I don't tend to be an ear-steamer. I tend more to be a slow-boiler and aim to turn the burner down before ear-steaming starts to happen. That can mean taking any number of steps, depending on the situation.
Having said that, there is something that tends to be a long-running , potential ear-steamer for me; and that it is either when anyone tries to define me to my face or behind my back or in their own mind
I'm fair and respectful and objective about/to other people. (That doesn't mean blindly trusting every stranger to the point where I'd put my own safety at risk by not using good judgment and taking some sensible steps. I'm talking about just general approach to people in day-to-day life and relationships.) Something I value in myself is my ability/willingness to step outside myself and my emotions and refrain from forming thinking/conclusions without first checking to make sure that I'm not just relying on what's inside my own head and am, instead, doing the very reasonable thing of "assessing" what's there by comparing it to very reliable and objective "outside sources" (in this case, "outside-my-head sources").
None of these behaviors/traits are particularly unique. They're a choice that most people can make if they have any interest at all in truth/accuracy about the world beyond one's own mind, small world, and relationships. Contrary to the apparently popular belief that mothers (among whom I count myself) cannot be objective because of their love for their children, I've found that it is precisely my intense love for my children that made me even more committed than ever to be able to offer them the most objective view/perspective so that, in my hopes that each would think for him/her-self he/should would be adequately well informed/equipped beyond just "my mother loves me" and on to "my mother may not have all the answers, but what she presents matches the rest of the world and makes sense".
So my "thing" about being defined is not just about an individual or a few who try to do that, but about anyone/anything (including media, schools, kids' friends, etc.) that potentially undermines (essentially attacks) the objective, reasonable, framework that I've always hoped my children would use as their guide in thinking for themselves.
I don't presume to define other people by thinking I know what's in their head. I certainly don't define other people to/for their kids. Poisonous thinking harms families that otherwise wouldn't be.