Dealing With Your Button Pusher

A button-pusher is anyone or any situation that makes you feel consistently provoked to the point where you are at serious risk of losing control and your sense of composure. This tremendous negative impact on your emotions, is not only due to the provocation whatever that may be. It also has to do with the strong likelihood that your button pusher is someone &/or a scenario from which you can’t easily disengage or avoid.  The seeming “No Escaping This!” clause is what ‘ups’ the pressure in you, making you think of doing and saying things that are unlike you, which in turns makes you wonder at times if you are ok in the head. Don’t be discouraged. People who make others crazy aka “Crazy Makers” are a common occurrence in human relationships. Many such people are even found within the family system. Whatever the source of your Crazy Maker, you can, if you choose, learn to maintain perspective and composure and diffuse the provocation and maintain control over your thoughts, emotions and actions. Here are some tips on how to build up a strong immune system against the effects of your button pusher.


  • Review your values, which relate to self and to others. Focus especially on how you wish to be treated and how you wish to treat others. Remembering your values is helpful to guide your next steps when facing a crisis.
  • Identify any fears that you may have in relation to the person or the situation. Fear will prevent you from appropriately asserting yourself and clearly stating or acting in support of the outcome you desire in the troubling situation
  • Learn and practice assertiveness skills to overcome your fears. It is appropriate to respectfully tell others how you wish to proceed in a matter, even if they are not in agreement with you. Speak and then act consistent with your words
  • Be honest with yourself, take responsibility for your actions and deal with your ‘unfinished business.’ No one can make us act in ways that we do not choose to act. Frequently what we sense as provocation is an indication of another unrelated matter that we have not dealt with, and which the button pusher reminds us forcibly of, causing pain and vulnerability
  • Practice talking to yourself in order to coach yourself through to providing an appropriate response when provoked. Ask
    • How am I feeling right now?
    • What about this situation do I find upsetting?
    • What is causing me to attach so much importance to this situation?
    • What is really going on with me??
    • How would I think, feel, respond if I was confident and composed?
    • What do I need to do/learn in order to be confident and composed in these situations?
    • What will I do the next time I have an encounter with this person/situation?




Coach Cheryll Messam, CPC, ELI-MP, is a Certified Professional Life & Corporate Coach,  Energy Leadership Master Practitioner, and owner of YOU in Mind Jamaica, a personal and professional development company. Coach Cheryll helps local and international clients overcome their workplace, career management, job search, productivity, self-confidence and goal setting challenges.

Cheryll Messam, CPC, ELI-MP
Certified Professional Life & Corporate Coach
Energy Leadership Master Practitioner
You in Mind Jamaica – Your Ally for Excellence in Life & Work
Local clients: 876-357-6397 (Jamaica)
International clients: 954-762-7942 / Skype: cmessam2
Email: (* Remember to include your  name and telephone number in your message)

Office Hours:
Coaching sessions & Consultations are done by phone or internet telephony e.g. Skype. Best time to call during weekdays is evenings 5 pm  – 10 pm EST, and on Saturdays 10 am – 5 pm.


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