How to deal with annoying people

23 Feb 2011, by michelle in personal development, self-care, Stress

Ahh, we all encounter someone from time to time that pushes an internal button and, like most of us, you will find the person annoys the heck out of you.  Recently, I was asked to appear on FOX to answer how to address this common, yet irritating issue.  To find resolve, follow this 5 step plan to let go of your internal button:

1. Understand Your Reaction: What is my reaction about?  What am I defending?

2. Me, be defensive?: You defend that which feels vulnerable.  What is that vulnerability in you that you don’t want others to see?

3. Acceptance: How can you apply greater acceptance and  non-judgment to that vulnerablity?  What is the benefit to you having this vulnerability?

4. Tell the Difference between Truth vs Falsehood: What about having that vulnerability isn’t true that feels inappropriately put on you?

5. Honor More of You: By acknowledging the truth vs the falseness to what is pushing your button, you are able to honor yourself more fully.  In other words, you create further acceptance of yourself, which allows you to more honestly discriminate what is and is not your truth.  As you share your acceptance and clarity with the person who once annoyed you, you will find your internal button diminishing right before your eyes!

Live Emotionally Conscious & Exceptionally Well,


  • Moira

    I seem to constantly run into Managers that respond to simple questions like ” are we getting lunch relief?” into “well if I got lunch relief…”. I wish I knew a way to respond to this “Well if I ….” instead of having to walk away being pissed off because they make my problem insignificant. Six months ago I burnt out on the job and have spent this time rehabing myself, working in a different area, hoping to be able to return. This encounter makes me feel I’ve got no where personally in dealing with the type of managers they employ in my organisation. I don’t want my buttons pushed anymore –

    • Hi Moira,

      Great question you submitted. What it revealed was that you have a vulnerability to feeling insignificant. This is exactly what you can address. What happens when we have a button is that the hurt felt inside becomes compounded. What this means is that your reactions, even if justified, carry an extra layer of hurt that impacts you deeply. I am so happy for you that you have given yourself time to rehabilitate. Now take the next step by using this time to claim your significance by attending to your feelings and investing in support.

  • Annie

    What about a family member who keeps doing things to ensconce himself further in failure and and so I have to keep dealing with stuff that shouldn’t even be there?

    • Hi Annie,

      Thank you for your question. I know how frustrating it can be when a family member keeps tumbling down. Of course, this impacts the family unit. Your choice is to create boundaries around yourself as much as possible in order that you are protected, in addition to preventing unconscious enabling. Listen to your anger and frustration from an emotionally conscious standpoint to guide you as to what your next steps can be.

  • Jeannette

    What if its your husband that tends to know what to say to push those buttons.?

    • Hi Jeannette,

      If your husband is the person who is pushing your buttons, it means you chose one another to heal inner wounds. There is an imbalance in the marriage, which will offer the opportunity for growth in both of you. I highly encourage you to get support as a couple. Even if the issues don’t seem that bad now, they will continually grow because the underlying issue underneath the buttons being pushed aren’t being resolved. Now is the time to handle damage control. Trust your feelings from an emotionally conscious standpoint to guide you through the process.

  • What about a family member whose values are totally different from yours and is always trying to impose them on you. Her way is the only way. A way of exaggeration and and falsehood. I find it very difficult to deal with her as she is a very close family member.

    • Hi Kali,

      Thanks for writing in. What is hard about people who push your buttons is that typically their behavior is not healthy. Nevertheless, there is a reason why it gets under your skin that is about you. What I gather from what you shared is that this is an opportunity for you to insert healthy boundaries into the relationship. In doing so, you allow her way to be the only way for her, while feeling deep within you what your way is without needing to prove that to anyone. Use this as an opportunity to empower yourself even more fully and her energy and views will become less important to you.

  • crissy ray

    My buttons are constantly being pushed by a manager who is not only not managing, but who seems to be a compulsive liar. It’s okay if she’s talking about her personal life, but I makes my blood boil when she states that she’s done something related to work that I know she hasn’t. She seems to exist in an alternate reality where things occur based on the fact that she said they did. Do I confront her or ignore her? Even when she’s caught in a lie she doesn’t own up to it.

    • Hi Crissy,

      What I sense through your buttons getting pushed is anger toward your manager. Anger when addressed through the higher consciousness perspective of love is actually a wonderful feeling because it is about you asserting your power. So the question is how can you assert your power in this situation. You have choices, such as talking to someone besides your manager, choosing to work in an environment that is in greater alignment with your ideals or perhaps furthering your skills in order for you to become the manager you desire. The key is to do so out of love for yourself and your standards and not out of spite for your manager.

  • Jeannette


    I’ve recently discovered my buttons and that others at work push them on purpose. I found this week that I was able to recognize and not react. I have also recognized my merits in the workplace and think of those when I run into a coworker that pushes my buttons. It was really difficult for me but I was able to do it. My coworkers would be laughing at me when I negatively reacted and its really sad that these are to be teammates that are supposed to be supportive.

    • Hi Jeannette,

      Good for you that you have shifted from fear to truth. The truth of the matter is it is sad for those co-workers who laugh at others pain for truly they carry much inner pain to be able to react in that way. So happy you have triumphed Jeannette!