Why does that always push my buttons

Published on: June 28, 2024

Author: Cath Covacin

Early development involves processing vast information, forming beliefs from experiences. These beliefs guide future reactions, which can lead to automatic negative responses. By understanding and practising emotional intelligence techniques, we can respond appropriately to present situations instead of being influenced by past experiences.

Our Development and Information Processing

Our bodies develop at an amazing rate in the weeks and months pre and post birth. We continue to grow and develop at a remarkable rate from newborn to age 5. Our ability to understand the masses of information we receive from the world around us from birth until around age 5 is also extraordinary. We not only take in what we hear but what we see, smell, and feel. We learn to understand language, recognise tone as well as gestures. We are receiving over 400 billion bits of information.

As we grow, we reduce or filter the vast amount of information to 2000 bits (still an incredible amount of information).

Selecting Information from the Vast Stream

How do we select from the 400 billion bits of available information?

The answer is by keeping a catalogue of previous experiences that we use to help us understand what is going on. When an event occurs, we store it in our catalogue of experiences. We also create a definition or belief of how and why we believe this experience occurred. Understanding how and why something happened can also help us to repeat a pleasant experience or avoid an unpleasant experience.

We also use this catalogue of previous experiences as a guide to help us to focus, and to choose what we will, should or could do in similar events or situations.

The Role of Beliefs and Definitions

It is important to emphasise we do not want to change our beliefs or definitions as it is this combination of definitions derived from our experiences that makes us who we are.

What we do want to change is when we automatically react negatively to certain situations which did not warrant a negative response or reacting to people in a manner we later regret. These negative responses are often due to us responding from our definitions and beliefs rather than us reacting to what is happening now!

Techniques to Manage Responses

We can use the techniques provided in the courses to understand why we are angry or sad. Ultimately, we can learn with practice to respond to current situations rather than being triggered and responding from our past beliefs. We want to take control of our lives and stop our definitions or beliefs holding us back and making us frustrated about ourselves and others.

For further insights and techniques to manage your responses and understand emotional intelligence, consider exploring the Shizzle course.

Key Takeaways

  • Human development from birth to age 5 involves processing a massive amount of information.
  • We filter and reduce information as we grow, guided by a catalogue of past experiences.
  • Beliefs and definitions from past experiences shape our responses but can lead to negative reactions.
  • Understanding and managing these responses through learned techniques can help us live more positively.


Understanding the way our brains process and filter information from early development through adulthood helps us manage our reactions. By recognising the patterns in our responses and applying techniques to address negative reactions, we can lead more fulfilling lives. Embracing these strategies allows us to respond to present situations rather than being trapped by past experiences.


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