B is for Bossy

confidence is silentBossy, Bossy, Bossy is what I am, or more accurately what I was told I was as a child. I can hear my sister and brother now “Mother, Mother, You’re not the boss of us!”  And my mother’s refrain of “stop being so bossy Margaret.”

And, I was seriously bossy. I remember feeling that my parents were just not doing a very good job. 😉  So I would step in and help out.

Much later, when we were all adults, my sibs let me in on their joke that I was Queen Margaret and they were the 2 Trolls. Hah! There’s an uncomfortable amount of truth to this characterization.

But you know who is bossier than the little girl who was trying to bridge the gap of caretaking for her parents, whether the need was real or imagined — my bossy inner critic:  She hogs up a big space in my brain with her chattering commentary on everything I do.

(She loves to use the words that my authority figures like my mother, father, grandmother, principal, teachers, uncle used.  These are the words that imprinted themselves on my brain especially during strongly emotional moments; big emotion, big imprint.)

Imprints on the brain– that’s bossy!

I’ll tell you about my bossy one—I’ve named her “Miss Priss.” She gets up before I do in the mornings. She likes to get a head start on chatting me up about my various shortcomings and past mistakes before my eyelids even have time to open! She’s with me while I’m doing mundane chores like filling up my gas tank. For some reason she loves to assault me at gas stations! “You always get the expensive gas—you’re lazy—you could drive down to the other station where it’s cheaper.” She saves one of her favorite excoriations for when I’m scanning the gas rewards card and I get a “0 cents off” because the reward has expired.

There’s nothing quite as punishing as having a reward expire!  Miss Priss piles it on higher and deeper with her refrain: “You can’t ever do anything that takes precision and detail.” I could relay Miss Priss’s unpleasantries for days.  This could really mess with a person’s mind!

You’ll recall–please hang on my every word–that in last week’s “A is for Ask” post, that asking someone for something is hard and scary because it makes you vulnerable to being hurt.

 Vulnerable is Miss Priss’s favorite playground. She’ll horseplay for hours with “You don’t deserve that. That’s selfish. You’ll lose him if you put yourself first. You need to be the bigger person. It’s not kind to upset him.” She will go on with: “The Bible says to turn the other cheek and lay down your life for others.”

You may be thinking by now that I should try and get rid of Miss Priss, and that  you would certainly like to get of your part that is like her.  Then our problems would be solved!

That would be a pretty rational thought. However, bossy ones in general are not rational; and my Miss Priss in particular, has a pretty good case of the opposites:  the more I try to get rid of her, the louder she gets. She thrives on negative attention!

So no battling allowed.  Battling my Bossy one is focusing on the problem. And somewhere in the back of all our minds we know that if you focus on the problem, the problem gets bigger, if you focus on the solution, the solution gets bigger. Problems are dark and full of drama. Solutions are light and full of truth.

What’s the solution?  Taming. Taming is the solution. Tame Your Bossy One.  He or she is a little scattered, negative, and in need of structure, but she’s still  an important part of you.  So how do you Tame this undisciplined part of you?

Because I know you LOVE steps–Ta-da!

7  Steps for Taming (instead of battling) our  Bossy Ones!

  1. Notice her. Pamper her.
  2. Suggest a nice nap for her.
  3. Let her know that if you need special intimidation for the already frightened child inside you, you will let her (or him) know.
  4. Give her permission to take a lot of vacations.
  5. Watch her calm down and as she allows you to take over.
  6. When you get to know her a little better give her a name
  7. Recognize that you are making peace with her

Why do you want to do this???  Because . . .  every time you notice and tame you are creating new happier imprints on your brain. 🙂

Join us in naming and taming!  And tell us about it!

See the little comment box to the right of this post. Click there to ask a question or tell us about you!

Author: Margaret Huntley Harrison

I’m a painter using my gifts to transform the seemingly ordinary into the beautiful and extraordinary. What I love more than anything is tracking down, creating, and spreading the beauty in our amazing world! And I LOVE helping you find and spread your beauty into your home, your family and your world. Art for sale: fineartamerica.com Margaret Huntley Harrison

4 thoughts on “B is for Bossy”

  1. Mine is called Lady. She doesnt like critism (unless she is criticizing me:). She is quite perfectionist and extrinsically motivated. As long as it looks good socially, it is more than enough for her, in those situations we gently ignore what I really want. This sounds like I have two personalities one is introvert and one is extrovert, bossy one 🙂 No it is not, just have a bossy inner voice representing my cultural side, she wants to conform and be like everyone else in the group. My bossy one was quite powerful but I am trying hard to make peace with her as it becomes really tiring to go her way. I have lost my voice I guess. Taming is a long process isnt it, but think I start to like to have a starting point, it is better than just waiting 🙂

  2. Interesting to name the bossy part, I never actually separate from her, instead to turn her off I go passive-aggressive. I look down on the out of control situation that is around me (one that happened naturally without my provocation), and think.. They think I am bossy, but then chaos exists when I am not in control? Thus I hide, while fuming, or if I enter the chaos, to assert the amount of control that is lacking, I get thrown in with the temper tantrums being played out. I’ve never thought of the bossy as separate, maybe she does have a name and is worth trying to tame?
    Loved the A and C’s so far!

    1. Your bossy one is the one that agrees with “them” that you are bossy. It’s perfectly wonderful to assert order in the middle of chaos. Our bossy one is our inner critic that agrees with our outer critics that push our buttons so easily. When our inner critics are allowed to go off duty we feel the authority over our own lives and have confidence to do what we know is right. 🙂

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