Top 10 Ways to React When People Push Your Buttons

AdobeStock_41506764 [Converted]Those who anger you…control you! There’s always that one person that knows how to get under your skin. When someone is trying to upset you, the worst thing you can do is oblige them. By rewarding their behavior, you encourage the same thing to happen again in the future. Take control of the situation by taking control of yourself.

Others may push your buttons, but you control your response:

  1. Consider why they’re trying to upset you. Does the other person dislike you? Are they trying to be funny? Is it about control? What is the purpose of their behavior? Once you know the motivation, you’ll be in a better position to choose your response.
  2. Remove the reward. If they’re trying to be funny, tell them you don’t appreciate it. If they’re simply trying to upset you, smile and move on. When they don’t get the reaction they’re looking for, they will usually stop.
  3. Stay calm. You’re bigger than a few harsh or mean-spirited words. It’s just sound, not unlike a garbage truck rolling down the street. Take a deep breath, think about something pleasant, and move on. Calming yourself is a skill. Practice as much as possible. Soon, nothing will be able to upset you.
  4. Consider how serious you need to be. If the behavior is inappropriate and you’re at work, consider speaking with your boss or human resources. Do you need to contact the police? Take the necessary steps to ensure your safety is maintained.
  5. Consider if you’re at fault in any way. Do you complain or whine excessively? Are you unreasonably fussy? Then you’ll probably draw some unwanted comments, fair or not. Do you pick on others? Some observers might decide to even the score.
  6. Stick up for yourself. It’s possible that the other person doesn’t realize that they’re upsetting you. Speak up for yourself and let them know how you feel. No one can read your mind. Take responsibility for letting others know how you want to be treated. Many bullies will stop if they face any resistance.
  7. Deal with your buttons. They are your buttons after all. Why are you so sensitive about this issue? What can you do to remove all the emotion surrounding it? Your personal buttons are your responsibility to deal with. Enjoy the freedom that comes from eliminating them.
  8. Address your buttons with others. Maybe you’re sensitive about your weight or your faith. Let others know which topics you’d like to avoid. The other person might be happy to accommodate you in the future. Speak up.
  9. Realize that harmful comments come from personal pain. People are mean when they’re hurting in some way. Try to feel compassion for the other person and avoid taking the comments seriously. Some people erroneously believe they can make themselves feel better by making others feel worse.
  10. Leave the situation. Take a time out if you’re very upset. It happens. Take a break and give yourself a few minutes to regroup. Everyone needs a time-out on occasion. Go back with a calm mind and refreshed attitude.

It’s no fun when others are trying to get a rise out of you. However, you don’t have to get upset when someone else tries to annoy you. Don’t wrap up your personal power in a big white box with a big red bow on it and just hand it to them!  Take control of the situation and your emotions. Do what you can to discourage the other person. Maintain your composure and choose your response wisely. You’ll find that others are pushing your buttons less and less.

Hello Louise…it’s me, Monday!

4 Ways to Start Off Your Week with Less Stress

Chronic stress can zap your energy and undermine your health. If tensions build up throughout the week, you may have trouble resting and recharging on your days off. Then, you start the next week tired out from the start.

Break the cycle with this 4-step plan to squash stress before it accumulates. Start your week off feeling peaceful and relaxed.

Step 1 – Practice Relaxation 

  1. Slow down. Do you rush around from Monday to Friday trying to mslow down and relaxeet deadlines at work and deliver your kids to soccer practice on time? Wake up early and leave a gap between appointments. Pause to collect your thoughts, and listen to birds sing.
  2. Turn off your phone. Try to disconnect for at least an hour each day. Connect with family and friends face-to face instead of texting.
  3. Pray and meditate. For many adults, spiritual traditions are the ultimate source of stability and contentment. Study inspirational texts and contemplate how they relate to your personal challenges.
  4. Express your creativity. Whatever your beliefs, you can blow off steam by engaging in arts and crafts. Play the piano or knit your husband a sweater.
  5. Live mindfully. Studies show that humans aren’t very good at multitasking, and jumping from one subject to another creates anxiety. Focus on the present moment to accomplish more with less effort.  Guided visualizations through the use of BrainTap Technology provide your brain the stimulus it needs to transform you into a mental powerhouse.

Step 2 – Think Positive 

  1. Edit your self talk. Treat yourself with compassion. Acknowledge your fears and losses. Encourage yourself to keep striving.
  2. Cultivate gratitude. Remembering our blessings reminds us of our connection to each other and the divine. The world instantly looks a lot friendlier, and that’s reassuring.
  3. Let go of expectations. Of course, many outcomes in life are beyond our control. Base your confidence on your ability to adapt to setbacks and changing circumstances. Accept uncertainty, and take pleasure in the opportunity to learn and stretch your skills.
  4. Laugh it off. Most of the things that make us uneasy have their funny side. Look for the humor in really bad parking or kitchen remodeling jobs that go way over schedule.

Step 3 – Take Care of Yourself

  1. Exercise regularly. Physical activity is good for your body and mind. In addition to burning calories, a run through the park will dissolve stress. Find a variety of workouts you enjoy so you can look forward to ice skating or volley ball.
  2. Eat a nutritious diet. Diet plays an important role in keeping us resilient and able to deal with stress. Get most of your calories from vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Reward yourself with theater tickets instead of second helpings of dessert.
  3. Sleep well. Your body uses sleep as a time to heal the physical inflammation caused by stress. Go to bed and rise at about the same time each day. Darken your bedroom or wear ear plugs if lights and noise are disturbing your slumbers. Utilizing self-mastery techniques found in BrainTap’s on-demand digital library can reduce stress and help you sleep better.  Click here to learn more and receive a free 7-day trial.

Step 4 – Simplify Your Routines

  1. Clear away clutter. Clean and spacious settings make it easier to relax. Gather up items you no longer use. Donate them to charity or sell them online. As a bonus, you’ll be able to complete your housework in less time, eliminating another common source of stress.
  2. Buy less. Prevent clutter from gaining a foothold by consuming less. Figure out how many shoes and electronic gadgets you really need.
  3. Eliminate unnecessary tasks. Streamline your schedule too. Focus on your most important priorities, and avoid taking on other obligations.

Cut stress off at the source. Begin your week with simple habits and easy decisions that protect your peace of mind. You’ll feel less frazzled and more alive each day.

Are You Stressed and Lost Today?

You know, sometimes, life just deals me “one of those weeks”.  And it seems no matter how hard I try, no matter how much I keep picking myself up, somebody seems to always be there to beat me back down.

Can you relate?

For me, all it takes is a reminder that I’m a child of God.  That I’m not alone.  That I was made for greatness, and “so much more”.

So if today you find yourself having “one of those weeks”, I’d like to gently remind you to “Burn Bright”.

WOTD Wednesday – “Insecure”

Step out of the boatIs your need for security holding you back?

Security is one of the most basic human needs.  We value security because feeling secure feels good.  But let me ask you…is it possible that your need for security is actually inhibiting the fullness of your life and limiting your growth?

Webster’s dictionary defines the word “insecure” as:

  • not confident or sure
  • not highly stable or well adjusted
  • deficient in assurance ;  beset by fear and anxiety

If we look at most of the successful self-made people in the world, we’ll see that many of them had to endure what would be considered a large degree of insecurity. For example, according to past studies, the average self-made millionaire went broke more than 3 times on the way to their monetary goals.

Most of us crave financial security, yet how many of us would be willing to put ourselves in situations where we might end up broke, just to achieve that security? Do you think these successful people have less of a need to feel safe than say you or I do? Perhaps they simply see security differently.  It’s a simple matter of perspective.

You see, here’s their secret…

Most very successful people feel secure the majority of the time, because they’re secure in themselves and in their abilities. They always have those two things available to them, regardless of their external events. Those are the only things within their power to control.  While not ideal, not having enough money is a nuisance, but nothing to get bent out of shape about.

Risk vs. Reward

Most of us would probably feel more secure with $250,000 in the bank, a house that’s paid off, a stable job, and health insurance. The problem is that by the time most of us achieve all of these things, we’re nearly out of time. No one lives forever.  Unless, of course, you’re the Wolverine, or Connor MacLeod, or Dr. Henry Morgan!

So to achieve the things that make us feel secure, the fastest path is usually to take action that might create a feeling of insecurity in the short-term.  As with many things, security frequently comes down to risk vs. reward.  During my career as a Project Manager, I knew this all too well.

I’m sure that even Peter could have attested to the fact that taking some risk may be necessary to create a life that’s full of security. 

Starting your own business might be “risky.” You might go broke. You might have to sleep on your friend’s couch. But is that really the end of the world? Did you know that Sylvester Stallone was completely broke and his wife was pregnant when he was trying to sell his script for Rocky?

He even turned down $200,000 for the script because that particular film company wouldn’t let him star in the movie. He ultimately took less for the script, just to be able to be in the movie because he knew it was worth the risk. Stallone is now worth over $275 million.

Would you have taken the same chance? If your sense of security came from within you, then yes, you would!

We are a society of instant gratification.  Sometimes if we can’t see the reward immediately, then we immediately think there is no reward.  When in fact, the long term rewards greatly outweigh the short term returns.  Always.

Inner vs. External Security

So, how can you change so that your feeling of security comes from inside you rather than from the outside?

First, you need to simply decide that you’re going to perceive things differently. And, you also need to believe that you have the capacity to handle any bumps that occur along the way. That’s it! Just those two things are all you need.

Avoid letting your need for security undermine the achievement of your dreams.

If you feel the need to wait until all of your needs for security are met before you chase your dreams, you’re likely to run out of time first. Ask yourself if you really need all of those external things to feel secure.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller

If you want to break the chains of insecurity, click here to learn more about my Courage, Risks, and Rewards coaching program.

So I invite you to join me.  Step out of the boat.  And, tell me, what makes YOU feel insecure?

Have You Got Stinkin’ Thinkin’?

Dont Wait for Perfection Time Progress Clock MessageWhen something doesn’t go your way, what’s the first thought that pops into your head?

  • Do you beat yourself up with internal negative self talk?
  • Or do you reassure yourself that you are growing stronger and wiser with each challenge you face?


Hi. My name is Mary Beth, and I’m a recovering perfectionist!

I have always said I have the “perfect kids”.  In retrospect, I realize that’s such an oxymoron! But I’ve also thought a lot about the undue stress that put on them.  I mean, think about it.  When you’re up on a pedestal, the only thing you can do is fall.  I’ve often thought “why did I do that to them?”  It was only recently that I realized, it’s because I do it to myself as well.  You see, it wasn’t until I began raising my level of self-awareness that I began to realize my own enculturation had deep seeded roots of thinking “if I wasn’t perfect, I wasn’t good enough.”  And it paralyzed me.  I became one big pile of STUCK!  It was hard to be successful, when I couldn’t move forward for fear of failure.

But in reality, it’s not the successes that make you a stronger, more successful person; it’s the failures.

This may sound odd, but each failure you have is actually a success. Why, you ask? Because it gives you the opportunity to improve, learn, and try again. And that, by default, is progress.  Not failure.

In fact, the very things that were considered to be a couple of the world’s greatest failures actually lead to some of the most unexpected inventions of our time.

  • Did you know that 3M’s greatest failure was inventing glue that didn’t stick? That glue became the basis for the sticky backing on the “Post-It Note.”
  • And, the scientists at Pfizer were trying to create a medication that treated high blood pressure in men. It failed to affect blood pressure, but it had one unexpected side effect. We now know this drug as Viagra and it’s considered one of the most successful failures ever.

You Can Only Appreciate Success After You’ve Failed

Thomas Edison had an incredibly positive attitude about failure. When he was questioned as to why so many of his experiments were failures, he responded by saying that he never had a failure in any of his experiments, rather, each experiment helped him discover another way that something would not work. In reality, sometimes the only way to know whether you’ve succeeded is to fail.

Learning How to Deal With Disappointment

Dealing with the disappointment of failure can be tough for adults, and even more so for young teens and children. But everyone experiences failure at some point in their lives and teaching our children how to deal with the disappointment is a critical life lesson.

Can you imagine a young adult, either a teen or college student, dealing with their first failures in the workplace? A tantrum at any age is not appealing, never mind from an adult who should know better.

Consider the very wise words of Winston Churchill who said, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” What did he mean exactly? Well here are three reasons why failing is a good thing:

1. Inspiration – Before you laugh, think about your childhood when you didn’t get something right the first time. What did you do? Tried again and again! Each time the thought in your head was, “I am going to get it right this time!” What better motivation do you need?

2. Humility – No one is perfect.  In fact, you can be human, or perfect, but not both.  Sometimes we need to be reminded of that very fact!

3. Learning – Success makes you feel good, but failing teaches you a lesson. Think back to the first time you swung a bat, learned to walk, or tried to eat with a fork. Did you do it right the first time? Of course not. Did you figure out with each failure what you were doing wrong? Well if you can swing a bat today, walk and eat with a fork then I guess you did!

Failure brings positive change and success to those who are resilient. Today, I tell you I have “great kids”.  And me, well…I’m making progress.  How about you?

To learn more about dealing with disappointments and how to use those failures as stepping stones to success, visit

WOTD Wednesday – “Authentic”

Do you ever feel like you’re wearing a mask to please others?  Do you sometimes hold back for fear of being criticized or rejected?

A lot of us today are at a crossroad in our lives.

The Word of the Day (WOTD) is “authentic”.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word “authentic” as:

  • real or genuine
  • worthy of acceptance or belief
  • true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character

As a Transition Coach, I work with many people who struggle with bringing their authentic self to the work place, for fear of not fitting in; to the dating arena, for fear of rejection; to the schools, for fear of being bullied.  Honestly, in true authentic strife, I’ve struggled with answering questions from people with what I know they want to hear, or telling them what I know they need to hear and risk hurt feelings or confrontation.

If you’re anything like me, you try really hard to conform and “get along.”

In order to fit in, you compare yourself to others and criticize every aspect of how you look, act, talk, dress and feel.  You’re tearing yourself apart – from the inside out – all in an effort to please others and to be accepted.

Because…you’re supposed to be PERFECT, right?

That’s what you’ve been conditioned to believe all your life…in school, at work, from the media, even your friends and family expect nothing short of perfection from you.

“…if you could just try a little harder, eat a little less, say the right things to the right people…”

The tragedy is, at the end of a day full of you “should’ing” all over yourself with unmet expectations, you know that it’s all just a show.  You know that what’s important is what’s inside of you, but you go on living out-of-touch with that core connection…and if you don’t already, you’ll end up hating yourself for it.

The truth is that your true beauty & strength actually lie right in the heart of your “imperfections”…and you KNOW this.

You know that the times in your life when you’ve felt the most HAPPY and SATISFIED have been those times when you’ve…if only for a few moments…let go of the judgments, fears & expectations, and simply accepted yourself for who you are. In those fleeting moments, you’ve seen your perfection, and it lit you up.

You DESERVE to LIVE that lit-up life of fulfillment, happiness & satisfaction…YOU deserve the rich beauty of knowing who you truly are.

The time has come for YOU to finally, fully. . .S H O W U P .

Join me…dare to be the AUTHENTIC YOU.

Now tell me, how would showing up as your authentic self change your world?

WOTD Wednesday – “Vulnerable”

Embrace LifeMost people don’t know this, but I’m a naturally shy person.  I’m a passionate public speaker when there’s an agenda topic.  But when it comes to sharing myself, my thoughts, with others…well, that makes me feel very vulnerable.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word “vulnerable” as:

  • easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally, or emotionally
  • open to attack, harm, or damage

As a Transition Coach, my clients are trying to move from one area of life into another.  Spouses going through trials and tribulations, or divorce; long time company employees moving on to start another career elsewhere; teens finishing up high school and moving into college life; singles adjusting to married life.  In all areas of life, expectations are high, time is short, and, let’s face it…we are vulnerable.

But just as in any situation we find ourselves in, we have a choice.

We can let that vulnerability consume us and confine us.  Build up those walls.  Build them so strong that when the jack-hammers try and chip away, they just bounce off instead.  Cut ourselves off from everyone and everything by keeping our guard up and thinking “I don’t need anyone, I got this.”

Or, we can let it define and shape who we become.  Embrace vulnerability, and stand with mental and moral strength to persevere and withstand fear (which, by the way, happens to be the definition of courage).  Run.  Run as fast as you can, not away, but towards those things that push you out of your comfort zone.  For with vulnerability, comes pain.  And with pain, comes growth, and that growth builds confidence.  Confidence to face the next situation, the next season, the next phase of your life.

So I invite you to join me.  Stand tall in your authenticity.  And, tell me, what makes YOU feel vulnerable?