Why Do Certain People Press Our Hot Buttons?
When I first came across this mirror process in a workshop U.S Life Coach Debbie Ford, I really found it rather confrontational. Of course I had heard the old adage that ‘your life is like a mirror’, but what I hadn’t done is sit down and apply that to people in my life who really annoyed me, drove me crazy or had a personality trait which pressed every hot button in my entire body.
Today I would like to share this simple process with you, as I have found in invaluable in working out where I needed to use the mirror to work out what was going on inside of me. The mirror process is simple and has two main themes:
1) When someone drives you insane and you end up getting angry, resentful or just simply wound up about their behavior and actions, this is actually a reflection of what you need to own in yourself.
2) When you admire someone or have them on a pedestal, then this is a reflection of what you need to own in yourself.
Let’s start with theme 1. Let’s get honest here - I am sure everyone in their life has someone who irritates you, drives you crazy or maybe you detest the person they are. A great healing action to do in this case is to look at where you also have these traits.
For example, If you think someone you know is really lazy and this really irritates you, you would ask yourself – Where am I lazy or even, where do I need to be more lazy?
As humans, we need to own all the traits, good and bad. When certain traits trigger a hot button response inside of you, it is a pure sign that the mirror is at work.
While I was in an abusive relationship, I used to ask myself why I deserved this horrid person in my life and why wouldn’t he just change? On doing the mirror process, it became much clearer. The mirror was simply showing me that I was simply abusing myself by staying in that relationship and also abusing myself with my thoughts and beliefs which kept me stuck in the cycle of abuse.
The same goes for anger as a trait. If you find yourself surrounded by angry people – simply ask yourself the question – Where am I angry or where do I need to own my anger? This was one of my mirror traits and by doing this process, I actually realised that I needed to own my anger rather than supress it and it was ok to be angry sometimes. In fact, being angry was a positive sometimes!
With regards to theme 2 – The mirror works in exactly the same way. If you find yourself in awe of someone, perhaps their beauty or intelligence – ask yourself where do I need to own my own beauty and intelligence?
Try these action steps to identify your own mirror:
1) Choose the person in your life who irritates you the most. This could be a family member, work colleague or friend. It could even be someone in the media. Then, identify the 3 key traits which annoy you most about this person.
I chose my ex-partner and the traits which upset me the most were as follows:
I then asked myself about where I needed to own these traits. My light bulb moments were as follows:
1) I actually needed to become more rude. It sounds silly but I was so passive that I allowed him to continually treat me badly and very rarely stood up for myself. Perhaps if I had been more ‘ rude’ then I would have been able to put better boundaries in place and also stand up for myself a little bit more?
2) Uncaring – I realised that by putting up with their behaviour I was not caring for myself. Therefore, I need to turn the attention onto caring for ME rather than caring for him.
3) Thoughtlessness. I spent all my time in my relationships being thoughtful of other people’s needs and wants, rather than focusing on my own emotional well-being. This mirror showed me that I needed to be more thoughtful of me and less thoughtful of others.
You can use exactly the same process to look at positive traits as well.
Remember, what you despise about others is always shown in big red flashing lights from the universe. This is so you are able to notice the mirror clearly. It didn’t mean that I needed to be as rude, thoughtless and uncaring as my partner, but it did mean that I had to look at these traits and own them as part of me. Remember, there will always be a positive even for these perceived negative traits.