How to Get a Grip on Your "Hot Buttons"

Last Updated Nov 19, 2007 12:00 PM EST

angry.jpgWhat sets you off? A co-worker who doesn't refill the copier paper tray? A boss who cracks inappropriate jokes? Excessive memos in your inbox? According to, everyone has "hot buttons": sensitive spots that get triggered by events or circumstances. And if you succumb to emotion when those triggers get pulled, the results can be quite damaging.

So, how can you cool off your hot buttons? Take a mental "time out." Breathe. Slow down. Of course, you won't remember to do that unless you become more aware of the kinds of situations that make you instantly angry or upset. The author explains how to achieve this awareness.

My hot button is criticism of my work (hey, I'm a writer, it goes with the territory), but over time I've learned to not take it personally. Which is good, because it used to ruin my entire day. What's your hot button? Come on, I shared... Now hit the Comments and do likewise. Photo by furryscaly.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.