You have the choice of being affected by negativity or not being affected by it. Sometimes it’s hard to believe we do have this choice. When someone is pushing your buttons to get a reaction they know exactly what they are doing and we fall right into it. This is following old behavior patterns unconsciously even when we don’t want to.
When someone pushed my buttons I used to mentally tell myself that I would not loose control of myself to someone else. I would not allow someone else to yank my chain. I reasoned that if they could yank my chain that meant they had a certain amount of control over me. I was not going to allow this.
The result was a tough armor that I needed to call upon time after time. People sensed that I was blocking their attempts and tried harder. I put more armor around myself. People tried harder to push my buttons. It seemed that I was caught up in a vicious circle where I was withdrawing from human interaction.
The final result was I was left alone and lonely. Not exactly what I wanted but it was at least peaceful. After I centered myself and calmed down I was ready to start relating with people again. It was not so easy. I noticed it most with my wife. She would try to pull me into arguments. She complained that I would only relate with her when things were going well. At soon as things got bad I would emotionally leave the relationship. She wanted me to stay and confront the issues so we could work them out. I was very uncomfortable doing this. We were at a stand still.
Gradually I learned that being affected by negativity happened by not confronting it when it occurred. It was an emotional charge and if I confronted it right away I lost energy but felt better. I was a lot better off just getting it over with and moving on. When I let my wife discharge her frustration she felt better. I didn’t try running from it. A side effect was that I started expressing more of my frustration as well.
Being free to express small frustrations and negativity prevented the build up of anger and resentment that produced many of the big blow-ups. This was an important step.
Being able to armor myself was just as important. Imagine being in a restaurant or public place and someone butts in line and starts screaming at you. This is the type of negativity you can block with your armor. Don’t block the negativity from your loved ones. Try to understand it instead.
The only way you can choose is if you are capable of both options. Knowing when to accept negativity is as important as blocking it. The sharing of pain and sorrow is an important part of our important relationships. We need to be supportive of others if we want them to be supportive of us. At times this means accepting their anger and resentment.