I’ve done tons of work on myself, spent years exploring who pushes what buttons, how I react and respond when those buttons are pushed, and addressing the ways in which my reactions and responses negatively impact myself and others. And yet, I recently found myself in a position thinking, “Fuck! I let that person get me!” I engaged with someone who was condescending, in need of the last word, and passive aggressive. People who are passive aggressive push all my buttons. They drive me crazy and make me engage in very direct and blunt ways that benefit no one because they are rarely in a place where they can handle that sort of truth with no sugar coating. In short, I get mean. There are ways to be truthful without hurting other’s feelings. I have spent a long time figuring out how to be direct without being mean. I have hurt a lot of people, myself included. (I sometimes think if I were a man I would not have this issue, people would just take me for a straight shooter instead of a bitch.)
So here I am, reflecting on the fact that my buttons got pushed. I initially stepped back and chose not to engage with this person because I knew my buttons would be pushed. And then…this person kept reaching out to me, sending lengthy email after lengthy email despite my lack of responsiveness. I got really direct. And while everything I was saying was true, it was not necessarily kind. In the end, I regret having engaged with this person. I let my buttons be pushed. I let myself react and respond in ways that I am not proud of. And now I get to let it go and try to do better next time.