A common tactic of sneaky bullies in relationships and at work is to push our hot buttons.  After we’ve lost it, they can blame everything on us and manipulate us so we do what they want.

Also, kids are really good at pushing their parents’ hot buttons.  Whenever there’s a giant argument, with outrageous threats and punishments, they’ll smile secretly because they know they’ve won – this time or next time.

We all develop hot buttons.
Sneaky bullies are experts at recognizing our hot buttons.  Those are the places we’re really sensitive.  They can sense our fears, our past traumas, our pet peeves, our deepest yearnings.  Just like when we have a big black-and-blue bruise, sneaky bullies push the place really hard but with a perfectly innocent look on their faces.  Then they smile when we explode with pain.  Now they can blame and shame us, guilt-tripping us, sometimes off a subject we want to talk about, into doing what they want us to do or into accepting any punishment they want to dish out.  And it’s our fault because we exploded.

Back out of the melodrama.
Recognize the patterns; who and what pushes your triggers.  Of course, with help you can learn to catch yourself before you explode, but even at the beginning of your transformation, you can catch yourself in mid-fight and step down.  As an adult, you don’t need anger or pain to make your point or to get bullying behavior out of your life.  Don’t accept any consequences from the explosion.  Just start again.  Talk about whatever you wanted to talk about in the beginning.  Make whatever points you wanted to make before your button got pushed.

Keep on track; focus on the subject you want to.
The first subject of the conversation following sneaky bullying is, “Stop pushing my hot buttons or else.”  Laugh at attempts to divert you.  Accept no reasons, excuses or justifications for repeated pushing of hot buttons.  “Only kidding” or “you’re too sensitive,” doesn’t matter.  Your standards rule your personal space.  There must be an “or else” that you’re willing to carry out in order to get sneaky bullies out of your life.

Get rid of your hot buttons.
Ultimately, of course, part of personal development is to get rid of our hot buttons.  Hot buttons might have been good motivation when we were little kids and needed to be loud and out of control in order to get listened to and to protect ourselves.  But they’re not effective now that we’re adults.  We’re big enough now to get what we want and to protect ourselves without the explosions.  We can be firm, strong, brave and persistent without the pain, anger and explosions.

The best way to learn how to stop sneaky bullies and to get rid of hot buttons to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to deal with the specific situation you’re in.

Read my new ebook, “How to Stop Sneaky Bullies.”  Also, since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert coaching by phone or Skype.

AuthorBen Leichtling