One of my pet peeves has to be bossy folks. I’m pretty sure I’ve written about these folks before.
There are times when I can laugh and dismiss such behavior – especially if it is over the top and the person obviously has no clue how bossy they are. Most often though, these types of people irritate the holy tar out of me.
I would have to say my biggest problem with bossy people would be the fact they need to control everything. You know the people I’m talking about.
These are the people who always choose the restaurant. They recommend where everyone should sit when you get to the restaurant. Those same people try to suggest ways you should do things and pass their opinions off as much as possible. They view themselves as born leaders, but the rest of us view them as big-mouthed, controlling, blowhards.
They often use words like “you need to” and “what I’d do.”
I suppose my disdain for bossy folks really comes from my other trigger: people acting as though they are superior to everyone else.
These are the people who seem to think they are wiser than most and need to impart wisdom on the masses. They know the best way to do things, the best places to go, the best things to say, and the best way to live. And if you don’t understand it, too bad.
Sure, these folks mean well at times, but much of the time it seems as though they have an agenda which basically has the theme of “My way or the highway.”
These personality types also seem to be impatient with everyone else. They hate waiting at restaurants, in line, or basically waiting for anything. They have road rage and think every other driver on the road is an idiot. They are notorious tailgaters because you should know they are in a hurry and you aren’t going fast enough.
They rarely make mistakes. If they end up making a mistake, it is usually someone else’s fault. However, when they make an undeniable, boldface mistake and must admit they indeed screwed up, these folks go into a sort of pouting depression in which they can’t seem to handle their human-ness. It’s a sight to behold.
Bossy folks, also known as “Bossy Flossies” in my personal vernacular, don’t like not knowing things. He or she needs to know the complete plan from start to finish and feels better if they have made the schedule themselves and are familiar with every aspect.
It is very hard for “flossies” to be spontaneous. It is best if they are the cruise director and everyone falls in line behind them.
Oftentimes, you will find that bossy folks are fun, outgoing and vivacious to most people on the outside, but they are closet introverts. They may seem like the life of the party, but they really only allow people to get so close to them.
Because it is impossible for these types of people to control everyone, they tend to feel more comfortable alone or with a very small circle of people – all of whom are easily bossed around or too dang nice to speak up.
Bossy Flossies often work very hard on image and what people think of them, and rarely ever talk about anything deep. Portraying and cultivating an image is another way of controlling folks.
They are the ones who don’t really listen to anyone. Instead, “flossies” think of how what is being talked about relates to them or else how they can give you sage advice.
If you know someone who qualifies as a “flossy,” he/she has most likely asked you very little about your own life or showed any interest in who you are or what you do. Your bossy flossy acquaintances most likely know very little about you, regardless of how long they’ve known you. They spend most of their time making sure things are going their way, telling you what to do or how to behave, and thinking about what’s coming up next and the best way to move forward.
It’s hard for them to focus on the here and now or anyone but themselves.
Bossy Flossies are the same people who say things like “this is just the way I am” or “take it or leave it.” There can be many endearing qualities about such folks, and you may have people like them in your life; people you care about very much.
I’ve often had confrontations with these folks in my mind’s eye. “What makes you think you can tell everyone what to do all the time? Why do you think that’s OK? Do you notice that people avoid you because you are so stinkin’ bossy? Why does everything have to be your way? Do you really want to know what everyone else thinks of you?”
These conversations I have with myself make me feel a little better, but then I start examining my own heart. Why do these types of people bother me? Obviously, it’s because I have a high opinion of myself or I’m only concerned about how I feel. How dare they think they can boss me around. How dare these people think they are superior to me. Don’t they know me? Don’t they care about me? What about me? Me, me me!
I’m just as guilty of selfish and controlling behavior as the bossy folks are.
Plus, I’ll tell you I actually have put on my big boy pants before and had discussions with such folks about different hang-ups.
I will sometimes get a “savior complex,” thinking I can just speak up and talk to people in a tactful way, maybe sharing my own wisdom and telling them how they really are.
It’s highly possible my honest approach and my “sharing” will change their life!
What usually ends up happening is this: the folks I am talking to rarely know they are displaying such behaviors. They are shocked, embarrassed and disappointed I feel this way. They start thinking everyone is discussing “how they are.” They end up feeling bad and apologizing all over themselves. Or they end up feeling hurt or attacked and get so mad at you that they don’t talk to you again.
For a very short time, it feels vindicating and good. However, once I see that pointing out flaws to people does more harm than good, I end up feeling like a big heel.
So, what do we do with bossy folks? I’m pretty sure those folks are like the rest of us. They want to be heard. They want to be accepted. They want to be loved.
Hard as it may seem, this is what we have to do. And boy, is it hard to do that sort of thing when all you want to do to bossy flossies is tell them to kiss your patootie.
Hopefully, bossy folks like that will in turn accept, love, and hear overly sensitive, self-centered, neurotic people who write judgmental opinion columns.