Let’s face it, some people can drive us insane and set off our inner emotional bombs in seconds.
We all have hot buttons and we all know someone who is talented at pressing them over and over again! It just takes someone to say or do something that irritates us and before we know it, boom, hello dark side.
So who presses your hot buttons?
Our loved ones seem to have a map of all our emotional land mines, probably because they planted them there. The people we care about definitely have the potential to hurt us most, but more often than not that is not their intention. What we perceive to be people’s motives influences how we react to them.
We make assumptions about the tone and intention of comments, emails, social media posts or even silence. But are they trying to upset us intentionally? We don’t generally ask ourselves that question. Our highly charged ego makes us feel offended, frustrated, hurt, sad, angry, stressed or resentful automatically and usually unnecessarily.
To disarm that barking ego we must actively work to stop letting our negative nancy mind take us for a ride and put our enlightened soul into the driver’s seat.
What you need to know from the get go is that our ego is hyper-vigilant in looking out for threats. It takes things very personally and is very defensive. It can also be quite needy, bratty and irrational at times. It is forever demanding energy, validation, safety and love in order to preserve itself. So we are always unconsciously on the look out for perceiving threats, insults and judgements.
When this happens we literally flip-out, as unbeknownst to us, a wound has been triggered and our mind kicks into self-defence karate kid mode! Sometimes rightfully so, other times not so.
As they say, we cannot control others, but we can control how we respond to them so here are five simple ways to help you stay Zen and diffuse those inner bombs:
1. Breathe before you blame.
Yes it’s easier to blame others but it’s certainly not wiser! Take a breather before you react, and practice conscious awareness. Take notice of your inner automatic thoughts and pattern of thinking the problem is “out there.” You don’t always have to believe and react to everything you think and feel.
We usually get into blaming others for our reactions and behaviours without even checking in first. Work toward breaking the defensive, deflective victim mentality and accept that we are completely responsible for our own choices, feeling, interpretations and reactions. No one can make us feel or do anything unless we choose it and allow it. We can always choose to respond rather than spitting the dummy but it takes training and suppressing emotions is not the answer.
2. Be watchful.
Our ego is super talented at making negative interpretations and projecting unresolved wounds onto the world. To remedy this, you must practice self awareness. If we are not aware of your perceptions, thoughts and interpretations, our ego will run havoc, lure us into blame games, denial, victim mentality, self sabotage, jealousy, greed, anger, lust, envy, shame, guilt and judgement.
It not only lowers our overall vibe, it stimulates our probably already tired adrenals and keeps us stuck in our lower self, leading to further loss of self-esteem and health in general.
Turn your attention inward and become watchful of how your ego plays out and deceives you into thinking and reacting destructively. Practicing mindfulness and meditation will help learn how to remain on guard and present to your inner world.
3. Ask, don’t assume.
We make many assumptions and ask few questions.
Before launching into unthinking, reactionary mode, next time, take a moment to just get curious rather than presumptuous and ask yourself: Is this person’s only intention to upset me? What might be their highest objective?
This will give your mind a moment to examine and challenge your perceptions, automatic assumptions and not jump to conclusions about the person’s innermost motives. We cannot absolutely ever know a person’s full intentions, values, beliefs and personal triggers. Many people do not act with intention to cause harm on purpose, they’re just unconsciously reacting, just like you! You can diffuse a heated situation by being more aware of your own reactions and instead of following through, simply ask the other person what they intended to do, or what had they wanted to accomplish instead of choosing to accept your limited or false reality.
4. Bow instead of dash.
Before you start blaming others and getting your num chucks out, take a moment to recognise that the people who trigger you the most are your most sacred teachers. Yes! Those a**holes are literally your soul’s greatest gifts.
These people are mirrors reflecting all your unresolved, abandoned and denied parts hiding in the shadows of your ego. You should be bowing to these people instead of bashing them! They point you to all the points inside of yourself that require inner work and healing. So next time someone in your life pushes your buttons, thank them for being in your life. They reveal the hidden wounds that are barriers to your growth and reflect what your soul has come to learn. Ask yourself “What is this person teaching me about myself?”
5. Be the change.
All change starts within us and ripples out into the world. Healing comes by diffusing fear with love, compassion and understanding. Step into your higher self rather than being ruled by your fear. Lead by example and you will be the guiding light for others.
Each of us holds the innate potential to change the entire world. The more we act in line with our highest self, the more we lift the collective consciousness of existence. Practicing more self awareness, self compassion and self acceptance is the path that leads to unlocking our best self. We can shape our collective destiny by practicing loving kindness towards ourselves and those around us.
We are in this together and are all the same on the inside after all. We all just want to be loved, appreciated and accepted. Treat others as you wish to be treated.
With the right tools and guidance, it becomes absolutely possible to diffuse those inner bombs and ignite the light of your soul instead! There are many proven ways to gain power over your very protective ego. As you turn towards your specific shadows with an open heart and clear mind, you will begin to crack your negative conditioning. You will learn to tame your ego by learning how to truly understand, accept, love and heal all parts of you.
Slowly, you will gain control over your ego’s unhelpful, self-destructive ways and begin to shed your innermost fears, insecurities and doubts, revealing the incredible power of your true essence.
Learn to manage your inner world so you can better navigate your outer one. Direct your will and energy in a way that creates rather than destroys, responds rather than reacts and loves rather than fears. With dedication and discipline we can all reach a point inside of ourselves where we will eventually be mostly spirit rather than ego.
We must be willing to open to learning how to disarm our ego and empower our soul. It will completely transform and improve our life and ultimately our world!
Author: Eryka Sklivas Stanton
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Pieterjan Vandaele at Flickr