Pushing Magic Buttons

With my youngest children entering teen years, I recently joined a dating site. Typical kind of thing, a series of questions to answer to help potential suitors tune into your world and see if you are possibly “the one” or a close enough approximation.

However, many of the answers didn’t really give me enough of a clue. For example, under the question “What makes you laugh?” many people had written “Jokes” or “Funny stuff”. And under the question, “What do you like doing?” some had put “Having fun.” Or “Having a laugh”.

Now it is safe to bet that a huge majority of people will enjoy “having fun”. I am one of them. In fact, even for the ones who don’t enjoy having fun, they have fun by not having it. “Having fun” is a great feeling. Just remember a time when you had a lot of fun, see again what you were seeing, hear what you were hearing and see if you can get that feeling again, somewhere in your body, that tells you you are having fun.

Did you manage that? Great. You know, you are an expert at knowing when you are feeling the things that you feel. That library of emotions that you keep and can trigger whenever you like.
The thing is, though… for some people “having fun” might be having your head down the toilet at 3 am in a nightclub and then heading right back to the bar for another round of Jagermeisters (other mid European spiced and vaguely medicinal tasting alcohols may be available). For others it might be planting new spring bulbs in the garden. For others still it might be getting all the little boxes on a spreadsheet filled in neatly and beautifully. Or spending time volunteering at the stray dogs’ and cats’ home. Or knitting. Or going to Salsa class. Or even spitting and swearing at passers by.

The “having fun” feeling that you have stored has, for you, your own individual selection of triggers. As does every other feeling that you have. Including the feeling of something making sense or not. People talk about “common sense” and they mean only what triggers the feeling of things being understandable or making sense in their own, internal model. They mean the link they have built between a trigger and a feeling.

I have even heard people say, “Nobody seems to have any common sense these days”. In which case, it cannot be “common”. What this sentence means is, “I am only checking my internal stimuli-feeling links and using this as a benchmark, meaning that how other people are acting seems alien and undesirable to me”

Do you know what IS common to all of us? It is how we create those links, those buttons, and how they can drive us when we have made them.

Understanding this is the key to removing barriers and walls, to erasing suspicion of the different. And when you do more than understand – when you actually become curious and delighted by the way people give themselves feelings according to what they see and hear and experience and think – then you become both a magician in the way you can change your own buttons/triggers (that you thought were so set in stone!) and a delight to those around you in how you play with theirs.

Luckily I will not have to do the same things as my dates on the site to be in tune with them and to make them feel good: I will simply have to notice and celebrate the way their model works for them.

To find out how to bring these barriers down and to understand how to push other people’s “magic buttons”, whilst simultaneously getting to know your own, give me a call. I do a 2-hour session that can be tailored to personal or corporate needs, one-to-one or in groups of up to 30.  It will change your power to influence and it will change you.

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