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Part V: Ten Tips for Tip-Top Listening > Control Your Emotional “Hot-Buttons”

Chapter 30. Control Your Emotional “Hot-Buttons”

Words, issues, situations, and/or personalities trigger us emotionally. When these issues trigger our emotional hot-buttons, verbal messages become distorted, either positively or negatively. Because issues are emotional they create barriers to effective listening. When our hot-buttons are activated, we tune out, distort, or prejudge these emotionally charged messages.

Emotional hot-buttons are intense complex feelings that affect everyone. Each may initiate a different emotional reaction, but our physical responses are similar. If you cannot eliminate your emotional hot-buttons, the best alternative is to develop acceptable responses. The physical triggers warn you that emotions are taking over. When emotional levels go up, objectivity comes down. Problems are never resolved satisfactorily at an emotional level.


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