Have you every felt yourself being played? Like someone knew what buttons to push, to get you riled up and get you calmed down. And they would just keep going back and forth to drain you.
We can be better than that.
We can check our buttons. Are they tied to deeply rooted values? Or are they tied to things that we are chasing that we actually don’t to need chase?
We can check the button pusher, too. Why are they doing what they’re doing? Is their intent serious dialogue or just for their enjoyment?
We can check the game. If the game is that of pushing buttons then we can learn how best to play. How do we defend against being pushed? What does a virtuous offense look like? How do we protest the game, talk to the ref, or walk off the field?
Check our buttons, check the pusher, and remember that we can always check the game itself. We can be better than getting our buttons pushed.