Don't Get Baited Emotionally
Do family members “push your buttons” or you unintentionally push theirs at times? If so, you can learn to stop taking or putting out this kind of bait.

By: Family - Relationships_d - 11/15/2018

If you find that family members "push your buttons" or you unintentionally push theirs at times, you'll be happy to know you can learn to stop taking or putting out this kind of bait. It's easy to form and get stuck in patterns or habits with anyone you've been around for a long time. Do you still argue with your siblings, even though you've all "grown up"? Do you still rebel against things your parents say or do long after you've left the nest?

Here are some tips to help you avoid "taking the bait" of familiar conflicts, so you can break negative patterns, reduce petty conflicts in your relationships, and get back to enjoying time with one another:

  • Don't put out bait. You can't control what other people do, but you can control your own behavior. Try to recognize when your next move might cause friction, and stop yourself first.

  • Don't take bait. Intentionally or not, consciously or not, others are bound to do things that trigger your emotions. When someone threatens to push your buttons, take a deep breath and don't react out of impulse.

  • Assume good intentions. Especially when you feel baited, assume that the other person isn't intentionally doing so. Assume instead that he or she means well, even if it may not be true. Just interacting in a different way can help break the pattern. It could even start a new, positive dynamic!

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