We all have someone in our life who enjoys making us squirm. Whether it’s at a family gathering or a colleague at work, if you are mentally preparing yourself to do battle with such a person, please know that you are not alone. Here are 5+1 tips to stay in your power, keep your cool and feel at ease (no matter which button-pusher is in your presence)!

#1: Prepare. You know who normally pushes your buttons, so prepare yourself for this interaction. Decide in advance if and how you will respond to this person’s comments with integrity and in love of yourself and others.

#2: When you’re in the moment, remember to breathe. When you feel your buttons getting pushed, do not respond right away. Stop for a moment and take a few deep breaths to get control of your emotions.

#3: Evaluate possible responses. For example, if someone says something that pushes your buttons you could:

  • Simply walk away.
  • Respond with a question like, “I’m curious, why do you ask?” or “Why do you feel that way?” or “What other constructive suggestions might you have to offer?”
  • Respond with a statement like, “While I appreciate the choices you made in bringing up your children, my family and I choose (fill in the blank).” Or, “Thank you for your comment, however I choose to (fill in the blank).”

#4: Remember that you have a choice. No one can make you feel or say anything without your consent. You can choose to respond to a rude comment and you can choose not to respond to a rude comment. YOU have the power.

#5: Respond sincerely, lovingly and always in integrity.

+1: Embrace your power. Always remember that you are the decision-maker of your life. Keep your thoughts centered on love and integrity, hold yourself sacred and embrace your power.