My friend is bossy—how to confront a...

My friend is bossy—how to confront a friend at school

by Laura Sciarpelletti
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

No one likes to be bossed around, and it is even worse if the person bossing you around is a friend. Everyone has a different type of personality, and some lean more towards the confident and controlling side than others; you might hear it referred to as “A Type” personality. While this can evolve into strong leadership skills, sometimes it can make those less controlling feel targeted and even bullied.

Bossiness can come in a few forms: a person can be aware that they are being bossy and not care, or they can be unaware of it. If your friend is TRULY your friend, he or she will listen to you if you come forward about how their bossiness is hurting you. Often times an initial reaction to this kind of honesty may be denial or anger, but if you tell them how you really feel in a calm manner and give them space they will eventually come around. If they do not, they do not have your best interests at heart nor do they value the friendship you two share.

Confronting a friend is always hard. But maybe you feel like their bossiness has embarrassed you in front of others, or demeaned you, or made you think less of yourself. Whatever emotions it raises, being on the receiving end of bossiness at a friend level rather than a boss/employee level can seriously damage your self-esteem and make going to school hard. Here are some ways you can approach the friend in question:

1. Treat your friend to something or share a special snack.

Ask to spend a lunch break together and treat your friend to a soft drink or share something special your parent packed in your lunch. This kindness will put forward a sense of comradery and friendship. Once you’ve relaxed into the break a little, calmly bring up a situation where they were being bossy, mention that it had hurt you and that you need to talk about it.

2. If you are worried about how to confront your friend, ask for a teacher’s help.

This can be tricky, because your friend might feel ganged up on. But if you explain to your teacher that you just want your friendship to be fun again, he/she will understand and try to make things as smooth as possible. Maybe ask that the three of you sit down and that the teacher mediate a discussion between you and your friend. Sometimes all it takes is a strong role model present to allow you to feel the freedom and courage to say what you need to.

3. Explain what you are feeling in a way that makes his/her friendship valuable to you.

Everyone has different feelings when a friend is being bossy, but usually one of those is that you no longer look forward to spending time with them. Start the conversation by saying that you like being their friend, but when they are bossy to you it makes you feel less close and even scared of spending time with them. Say that you don’t want that to happen.

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