Make sure that you are not your own worst enemy!
Ancient wisdom literature is packed with warnings about making careless mistakes which can cause you great harm. Whether is it is allowing your emotions to control your words and actions, or simply being careless with your speech or actions, you must guard against being your own worst enemy.
Throughout history it has been a strategy of war, whether it is on the battlefield or in personal conflicts, to make your enemy angry, frustrated, and emotional, in order to cause him to act impulsively and make costly mistakes. This was actually demonstrated in the movie, Braveheart, when the Scots mooned the British on the battlefield, a tactic which the Scots did actually use in real life.
You will find that your enemies will bait you to see if they can cause you to slip up and make a mistake which they can use against you. This is true whether it is in sports, in the office environment, or in a life-or-death situation. Don't take the bait!
Your job is to remain calm and rational, no matter what the other person says or does to try to set you up. If you stay calm and use your head, you can turn their attempts to push your buttons around on them, frustrating them to the point that they make the mistakes, not you. After all, this is a time-tested strategy for a reason - it works!
Always stay calm and rational. When someone is trying to push your buttons, mentally ask yourself, "Why is he trying to get me to respond? What is his objective here?"
Look at the whole situation like a game of chess. You have to look, not just at the current move, but you must envision multiple moves in advance. You must be wise enough to figure out why your enemy just put his queen in harms way to bait you into moving where he wants you to move. What is the strategy behind his apparent stupidity?
Strategy beats strength. Your mind is your best weapon, and your best defense against malicious people. Don't forget to use it! If you stay calm, rationally, thoughtful, and aware, you can avoid the majority of the traps which malicious people set for you. Be smart and don't become your own worst enemy!