Embracing the word ‘bossy’

The word 'bossy' on a floral background wall.

According to the dictionary, a “bossy person” is always telling people what to do. But when was the last time you heard a man referred to as “bossy”? It’s a word that is almost exclusively used to describe girls and women.

“She’s very bossy…”

I’m sure we have all heard a little girl called “bossy” because she shouted at a group of other kids, or took the lead during a outdoor play session. You might have been called it yourself. It is definitely a term used by people to ‘jest’ about a strong-willed little girl and in the past, I’ve even heard teachers use the term. 

Why is it negative?

Some of the words that are associated with being “bossy” are pretty negative. Those words include ‘domineering’, ‘overbearing’, ‘imperious’, ‘high-handed’, ‘dictatorial’ and ‘controlling’. But unlike the word “bossy”, those other adjectives aren’t used to exclusively describe a female.

The connotations of the word “bossy” are that a girl, or a woman, is doing something she shouldn’t. 

I’ve been called worse

To be honest, I’ve been called much worse than “bossy” in my lifetime. People have thrown all sorts of words in my direction, as they try and cast aspersions. That being said, we have all been called things, haven’t we? It’s part of life. But as far as insults go, I’d say that ‘bossy’ was pretty low key.

It’s is just a word

There are billions of words within the English vocabulary and ‘bossy’ is just one of them. It is only a word. It is usually used to call out a girl or woman’s assertiveness, but that doesn’t mean the word has any particular power. 

Embrace it

You can choose to embrace the word ‘bossy’. If you were a ‘bossy’ girl, then perhaps you’re now you’re now a boss in your professional life. You could be leading a team, or leading your own Etsy business. Or maybe you’re not, perhaps you use your assertive nature to run a family, or to ensure that people don’t take advantage of you, or to fight for a cause that you believe in.

I’ve decided to embrace my bossy nature, because there is nothing wrong with leading.