Among the many types of difficult people you will inevitably face in your life are the bossy ones. These are people who, for no other reason than they want to, tell you what you should be doing with your life, how you should be doing it and -- everyone's favorite -- what you shouldn't have done already.
The thing about bossy people, though, is that they think they're doing you a favor. Your mother, for instance, simply must tell you to wash your hands (even though you're nearly 40 years old) because she can't bear to let you walk around with germs on them. Your spouse, meanwhile, may try to boss you around in the backyard because he or she is sure you'll pull out the tomato plant instead of the milkweed. The potential catastrophes are simply too great to not lend these pearls of wisdom.
To the recipient, of course, being bossed around can be downright maddening, particularly when it's coming from someone who is probably better off minding their own business. However, you don't have to let bossy people get the better of you.
How to Handle Bossy People (in a Kind and Healthy Way)
Because nobody likes being bossed around or controlled, you may be tempted to confront the bossy person in an accusatory way, which will surely escalate the situation and leave you with nothing but more strife. So the next time you find yourself with a bossy, controlling person, use these tips to handle the situation with eloquence, class and a positive outcome for you.
1. Confront the person in an appreciative way. You certainly should address a bossy person's offensive behavior, but you must do so gently. Start out by showing your appreciation, then stating that you're happy doing things your own way. (Try, "I appreciate that you're trying to help me do the dishes more effectively, but I prefer to use the sponge, not the dish rag.")
2. Release your frustrations. Being bossed around can bring up many negative feelings, including anger, frustration, anxiety and even a loss of self-esteem. The last thing you want to do is internalize these feelings and create an unnecessary source of stress in your life. The Sedona Method is an ideal tool you can use to release these negative emotions simply, quickly and for good.
3. Stand your ground. While realizing that most bossy people do have good intentions, you should make it clear to him or her that you have no intention of changing your behaviors. It may be that the person continues to try and control you, but it's also possible that, upon seeing your confidence, he or she will eventually back down and leave you be. Again, this should be done in a kind, not accusatory, way. (Such as, "Mom, I do so many things around the house the way you do, but when it comes to making salad, I like to cut the tomatoes in quarters, not slices.")
4. Give them a taste of their own medicine. Sometimes bossy people may not realize how offensive their remarks can be until they experience it themselves. Next time someone tries bossing you around, experiment with being bossy in return. It may just help to curb the behavior altogether. For instance, if a bossy friend tells you how to get your hair cut, tell them your opinion about how they should be cutting theirs. Just be careful not to go overboard with this and become a bossy person yourself!