Album: Yourself Or Someone Like You (1996)
Charted: 38

Songfacts®:

  • At least one feminist group tried to ban this song, believing that it encouraged violence toward women. The ploy failed when the band explained that it was about emotional, rather than physical confrontation, and dealt with female on male mental harm, not the other way around. Lead singer Rob Thomas has said that this is evident to anyone who listens to the lyrics and not just the chorus. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Liam - London, England
  • Thomas wrote this about a high school girlfriend who vengefully broke up with him by giving his clothes to charity. Thomas didn't have money to buy new clothes, so local bands helped him out by giving him T-shirts and other items. Over the next few months, he wore a lot of band T-shirts.
  • This was their first hit, but not their first single. They first released "Long Day," which got some airplay and helped open the door for "Push."
  • The album was out for a year before this was released as a single. Yourself Or Someone Like You got noticed gradually and stayed on the charts for about 2 years while the band released more singles from it like "3 AM" and "Real World." It also got a boost in 1999 when Rob Thomas wrote and sang on Santana's hit "Smooth." By 2000, the album had sold over 10 million copies, giving it the rare designation of "Diamond Album."
  • The song is sung from the perspective of Thomas' emotionally abusive ex-girlfriend.

    I wanna push you around, I will, I will
    I wanna push you down, I will, I will
    I wanna take you for granted, I wanna take you for granted
    I will


    Thomas explained to Genius:
    "I was really writing about me. I was writing about someone who was manipulating me. But then instead of it being a victim song, I switched it around so that it was me manipulating someone, saying, 'I want to push you around, and I want to take you for granted.'"
  • The song began with a single word that Thomas and co-writer Matt Serletic chanced upon while trying a songwriting exercise in an New York City hotel room. The Matchbox Twenty frontman recalled:

    "Me and Matt Serletic came to meet with Jason Flom, head of Lava records. We were staying at the Wellington. He bailed on us. He couldn't make the meeting. It was just us in the hotel room. We started playing songwriting exercises. Matt opened a book and said, 'Point to a word, and then we'll start a song building around that word.' He opened it up, and I pointed at the word 'rusty." You think about "rusty.' What if it had a bigger meaning? What if it was rusty at life, just in general? We wrote it in that night.

    There's three things together: I've never been good enough, I'm a little bit rusty, and my head is caving in. There's imagery in there that sets up whatever you're trying to set up."
  • The band performed a countrified version of this on VH1 Storytellers. Thomas grew up in South Carolina and thought it was comical when early Matchbox Twenty reviewers claimed to hear the Southern influence in the band's songs, despite the frontman being the only one from the South. Then, he thought, maybe his boyhood diet of songs by country storytellers like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and the like shaped his songwriting - so the band decided to add a country flavor to the "Push" performance.

    In a 2020 Songfacts interview, we asked Thomas why he didn't pursue country music when his early influences were country singers. He replied: "The songs I write are just what comes out of me. I could try to write a certain style but it will always just sound like me. I just think that growing up on those legends made me think more about telling stories with the imagery in the lyrics. But I went from not knowing there was any other kinds of music out there besides those artists to becoming kind of obsessed with the '80s alt wave that was happening. So I feel like every song I ever write could be a country song if you broke it down but always seems to have that pop sensibility."

Comments: 22

  • Windy from Northern ItalyWell, the fact that feminist groups try to ban something, tends to make me love the object of their "attention" more. It's time to end this filty gynocracy.
  • MotherI needed my mom. I want her back. I took care of her for over a decade. I begged her to do things for herself that were out of my control. I have a handful of mental health illnesses and my mom was the only one who never abandoned me. I abandoned everyone, including myself, to stay alive as she was/is my inspiration to keep going. My mom is an angel. We were both broken. The song is a back and forth, for lack of a better word, debate about how much I needed her to not give up and I was selfish for a long time. My mother and I were both each other’s victim. I am 34, kind of relevant, and I took her for granted as she did to me as well. This song helped me realize that no matter what you say, do, or try anything to a loved one, it is not your business why they do what they do. She never loved me any less. I am still grieving heavily and I go to call her and realize she will never pick up again. I had felt for years that I was failing her and that I was not good enough. It was not that at all. She knows I did the best I could but it wasn’t my part to make her follow my rules to stay alive.
  • MotherMy mom died on December 11, 2019. This has always been my song for tug of war. She had end stage renal failure and was in such a deep depression and I could not save her. I wanted her to want to live but I was making assumptions she didn’t. I pushed her around in the sense that I did everything I could to make her happy and healthy but I realized I was trying to control someone when it was impossible. We were best friends. Her body was just too tired. I was so angry but I understand it now. I lost sight of who I was as I was so paranoid about that phone call. How ironic is it that I have been waking up at 3am for months. That is when I was informed she was in a coma. A vegetative state. We made a deal, my mom and me, and I kept to it. I am traumatized but I did what I promised I would do.
  • Mandy from Mobile, Al This song touches my heart! It is so true in a relationship where only one person is giving it 100%, instead of 50, 50. It is emotional abuse any way you look at it.
  • Eric from Wisconsin I love this song. For me the song is sexual but not only that it's sexual but with the confidence that no matter what you do that person will always be there by your side.
  • Sam from MichiganHa people crack me up sometimes with all this feminism bs. I just kinda took it as aim wine in a relationship punishing them for all the crap that happened in their last relationship and despite what happens they just can't stop because that hurt-lies-bs is scarred into that person, they aren't able to trust at all, and this persons here and their able to get that frustration out tho it's not directed to the right person. But it somehow makes it feel better.
  • Pandora from San Francisco, CaI LOVE THIS SONG... it reminds of all the bad relationships I have been through.. this song makes me cry every time I hear it. ~pandora~
  • Ariel from Sacramento, CaThe first time I heard this song, I agreed. I am a girl, I knew he was speaking emotionally because that's exactly what a relationship is like. I never felt any offense against this, besides it never specifies which person in the relationship feels this way. he could be repeating what she has said...
  • Danleichty from Rochester, MnThe first time i heard this song i was offended by it.
  • Robert from Los Angeles, Cathe sataan comment is not true based on the artist interview, but it is relevant. meaning is the mind of the interpreter, and therfore anything has some validity. it makes sense, the satan logic, but that's not what the song was written about. doesn't necessarily mean that's not one of many meanings to the song.
  • Lolo Brown from Gertrude, Bahamasfavorite song. its about reaching the point wher you realize your whole life or relationship has been filled with lies and people who dont truly care about you and its about saying that you want to take them for granted how they did to you but honestly knowing you could never be like the people who hurt you. i love this song so much. its helped me through so many things in my life.
  • Isabella from Minneapolis, MnIn a radio interview on KS95, Rob said it was written about an awful girlfriend that pushed him around, and he just switched pronouns, because, "Nobody cares about me being pushed, they want me to push somebody."
  • Megan from Alanta, Gathis song is in the girl's perspective.
  • John from San Antonio, TxMy favorite Rob Thomas comment on this song was on VHI Storytellers. He said "look at us, does it look like we could push anyone around"
  • H from Albuquerque, Nm I heard that this song was about the relationship between a girl and Satan and how he doesn't want the best for us and that he wants to 'take us for granted' and 'push' us around. Is this true or even relevant??
  • Jan from Quezon City, OtherGee...this song sounds like a conversation between two people...
  • Amanda from Metropolis, IlThis song means a lot to me. When me and my ex broke up I listened to this to get through that and now everyone knows when I am really mad because I play Push as loud as I can!!!
  • Andrea Ruhlman from Charlevoix, MiThis song is really very sad... a great song all around, by an amazing group of artists. I agree that the music video is pretty sweet.
  • Noli from Manila, Othernice song...i feel the anger of the song expresesed well by rob's vocals...my band also has a rendition of this song
  • Adrian from Merthyr Tydfil, Alquality song - Rob Thomas has a great rock voice
    - hugely underestimated band. For anyone interested they have a great cover version of 'Time after time' - i dont think its on the albums but you should beable to find it on Kazaa
  • Caitlyn from Midland, MiMarilyn Manson told the band that he really enjoyed the video for this song, in which Rob cut his arm on the barbed wire during shooting
  • Shelby from Na, Scthis is my fav song i love it
see more comments

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