For all my life I have been labelled as ‘bossy’. For years I was ashamed of this and thought it was one of the worst insults that someone could say to you. It wasn’t until I came across a blogpost that explained why that individual was proud to be called bossy. (For the life of me, I cannot remember the blogger who wrote the blogpost or find it’s link so if anyone could help a girl out I would be eternally grateful.) Ever since reading this blogpost it’s all I can think about. Why should I be made to feel ashamed about being ‘bossy’?
The earliest memory I have of being called bossy is actually by one of my primary school teachers which is pretty ironic. Teachers are meant to bring you up and encourage all aspects of their students life. However, this teacher didn’t. The way they spoke of the word was with a sneer and like it was a horrible attribute to have. I remember going home and speaking to my mum about it, I was only about 6 so I didn’t really understand what it meant but it definitely upset me. I remember my mum comforting me and saying that “it wasn’t a bad thing, it shows that you are headstrong and confident”. At the time I was happy with this because I was 6 and had no idea what half of the words she just said meant. All I remember is that I enjoyed how satisfying it was when something came together that I had an input in, how it raised my spirits and made me think I could be something in this world.
For years after, I was always called bossy whether it was by my brothers or even friends. I always shrugged it off because I felt such pride when I was nominated to be a team leader in a group activity etc. I had visions and also spoke up for what I believed in, I made sure everyone had a say because everyone’s opinions are important! Over time, the word ‘bossy’ being used negatively definitely made me feel like it was a negative attribute. I stopped trying to input ideas and eventually merged into the background. Being called bossy with all these negative connatations had an effect on my mental health, I didn’t realise it at the time but now I do.
As I have grown older (the ripe old age of 18) I’ve learnt to not be ashamed or put down by people calling me bossy. I now own it because bossy is not necessarily a bad thing. Bossy, to me, means that I’m willing to fight for my goals and achieve them in any means necessary. It means that I know what I want from life and where I want to head and I’m ok with that. For the longest time, I have known what I want from life and where I would ideally like to be and because of that I’m always trying to achieve these goals. This had lead to me being called bossy but I’m going to own it because it just means I’m a confident person who’s not afraid to speak out and do what she needs to do. I like people hearing what I have to say, I have a lot of thoughts and opinions so why should I stay quiet?
Eventually, bossy needs to be replaced with headstrong and confident. I never want my future children to grow up feeling ashamed about one of their attributes like I did. Your attributes make you, you! I vote leaving the word bossy behind because it’s just deliberating and can have a lot of negative effects. Replace this with positive words that are more liberating and have more positive connotations around them. Teach people to be proud of who they are and to own who they are. Stop being afraid of what people think (easier said then done) because at the end of the day, all that matters is you and whether you’re achieving your goals or not.
Have any of you guys ever had any negative experiences with being called bossy? If you have, I would love to know.