Are you aware of how you allow others to push your buttons? 

Yes, that’s right!  I just said “how you ALLOW others to push your buttons…….” We never think of it this way – we think others are out to get us and know how to push those buttons that get us all worked up.  AND when we react, that reaction knocks us off base, makes us forget our point or question our position.

Did you ever consider the thought that those who push your buttons intentionally are actually accomplishing their goal of rattling you and making you question yourself? Did you mean to give your power away in that moment? I bet your answer is a big “NO”! So, can you think of a way you can maintain control and self confidence in those situations?  I suspect you are reading this because you feel you can’t retain your power when your buttons get pushed, or at least not consistently, right?

Think about this situation for a moment….

A stand-up comedian is on stage and an obnoxious heckler starts messing with him.  The heckler shouts some things from the audience that works him into a frenzy.  He loses his cool, abandons his routine, and begins a rant on the heckler that is angry and confrontational.  An audience member records his rant on a cell phone and posts it online. BAM!  Who got the result that they wanted?

How do I apply this in regular life?

Well, I used a very extreme example, but you get the point.  When someone tries to push your buttons, that is exactly it….they are TRYING to get you to respond in the way they want.  

It is important to remember that when someone tries to push your buttons, there could be any number of reasons – maybe the other person……

  1. is insecure around you or with the topic.
  2. lacks confidence.
  3. wants attention.

But there are ways you can respond and retain your power:

The first step is to RECOGNIZE what is happening.

The second step is to TAKE A DEEP BREATH before responding.


You are probably thinking, the first two are easy – peasy, but how can I keep the presence of mind to be successful in Step 3, right? The next time someone tries to push your buttons, try phrases like these (or your version of them):

  1. “I hear your concerns and I’ll consider them, however”…..(and return to your original point).
  2. “I’m not quite sure what your comments have to do with what I am trying to say (or get done), so maybe we can talk later.”
  3. “I understand you are looking for more information regarding my point of view, so I’d be happy to discuss and/or provide some additional information (and then follow-up – this works well in a work situation when someone has a valid concern but you don’t want to get derailed in a group situation).”
  4. I’m sorry, are we talking about you or me right now?” (this is especially effective when someone tries to turn something around on you).

You can use these tactics in your personal or business life – just change them around to fit the situation.

Just Remember:

[Tweet “You own your power. Don’t give it away unless you have clear intention to do so.”]


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I’m Tina Meilleur and a Leadership and Business Mentor, author and speaker. I am also the facilitator of a Women’s CEO group. You can learn more about my story here. I am also the founder of Design Your Success and the Academy for Business Success. My mission is helping high achievers match their desires, skills and experiences with success on their terms. My “It’s My Turn” program and CRAVE™ process are systematic approaches for making simple “tweaks” or orchestrating a total reinvention. I am the author of Your Next Chapter: Five Steps to Creating the Life of Your Dreams to help others build anything they want into their life. I have a CPA designation in the State of Louisiana and received my MBA from Tulane University in their Executive MBA program. I’m a highly sought-after mentor, life coach, female CEO facilitator, business strategist/coach, and speaker. You can reach out to me at