Being Bossy

I was a bossy little child.

My family still reflects fondly about how I loved to play ‘teacher’ with them at the age of 2 or 3 — I was the teacher, of course. My grandparents, my doting uncle and my parents were all the students. I would give them homework and would carry a wooden ruler. And order them around. All in jest for them. Seriousness for me.

I continued to be confident in primary school. Speaking my mind. Telling people exactly what I thought. Embellishing the truth at times. Loving being the class monitor. Loving being the centre of attention. Somewhere along the line though, that changed.

I was told by a few people that I needed to tone it down. That I was being too ‘proud’ for my own good. That I needed to be humble. More lady-like. I was told by peers at the age of 9 that I needed to dress more like a girl. I was only given attention when I as quiet and well-behaved. When I was passive. On the other hand, I was shushed pretty quickly, especially around adults for being a bit assertive. A bit bossy.,

Being Bossy

They called me stubborn in my teenage years. While I was quiet and passive, I still rebelled in my own way. While I shied away from the limelight I loved as a child, I still spoke out passionately if something went against my beliefs and values. I remember being told to keep my views to myself. That not everyone was interested in hearing my opinions. And fair enough. They probably weren’t. But at the same time, I believe I was entitled to one.

Fast forward to present day me. I have gone from being passive to assertive to sometimes reactive. In a way, I have come full circle but a bit wiser. I will say it as it is but with some tact. I am still stubborn. I can still be bossy. I still like to have control. Do I want to be a leader? I don’t know. Definitely not in the field I work in!

Why am I writing all this? It’s because I have been hearing a lot about wanting to ban the word bossy that seems to have come about as an aftermath to International Women’s Day. But I find myself thinking — I don’t know if banning the word is the answer to empowering young girls. By banning the word, we are telling young girls being bossy is a bad thing. Reclaiming the word would probably be a better option. Just like we did with the word slut. Anyone up for Bossyboots walks??

On a serious note though, bossy or not, the message I’d like to give young girls {and boys for that matter} is to be yourself. Be genuine. Be true. Stand up for what you believe in and who you are.

And never, ever let anyone crush your spirit.

No matter how hard they try.

***Linking up with Grace this Friday for FYBF***

Until next time,