push (one's) buttons(redirected from pushes one's buttons)
push (one's) buttons
1. To do things that create a very strong emotional reaction in one, especially anger, irritation, or exasperation. I hate Dave's new boyfriend, he's always trying to push my buttons, and he's doing a good job of it! No one will be able to push your buttons like your children, but it's all a part of the adventure of parenthood.
2. To be sexually attractive or arousing to one. A guy who knows how to cook really pushes my buttons.
push someone's buttons
Also, press someone's buttons. Draw a strong emotional reaction from someone, especially anger or sexual arousal. For example, My mother-in-law really knew how to push my buttons, or A good-looking redhead, she always seemed to press his buttons. This metaphoric expression transfers activating some mechanism by pushing buttons to human emotions. [Slang; 1920s]