Friendships are not just about sharing a few jokes, doing fun things or having similar interests. Mutual respect is also important in a healthy friendship. But there can be times when you may end up with a controlling friend – someone who likes to keep telling you what to do and boss around. Instead of making you happy, controlling friends might annoy you or make you feel bullied. Whether it is a friend or a boss or your partner, you should not let anyone control you. But that doesn’t mean you engage in heated arguments with your friend! Let us share some tips on how deal with a bossy friend.
Health Shots reached out to psychotherapist, life and business coach Dr Chandni Tugnait, to understand ways to handle a controlling friend.
Who is a bossy friend?
You can easily spot a bossy friend, as she or he is someone who tries to control or dominate the group or people within it. That person might try to make decisions for others without considering their opinions or feelings. Dictating how things should be done comes naturally to such people. They may try to dictate what you should wear, how you should spend your time or who you should hang out with. They may also disregard your opinions and feelings. Dr Tugnait says that a bossy friend can be very demanding and may even become angry or upset when they don’t get their way.
Ways to deal with a bossy friend
Having a bossy friend can be very challenging and can lead to a power struggle within the friendship. It can be difficult to maintain a healthy and positive relationship when one person is constantly trying to assert their authority over the other. The expert says that bossy behaviour can also lead to feelings of resentment, frustration and anger, which can be damaging to the friendship in the long run. You shouldn’t want to hang out with toxic friends!
Here are ways to deal with a controlling friend!
1. Communicate clearly
Be honest with your friend about how their behaviour is making you feel. You can use “I” statements to express your feelings in a non-confrontational way. It’s not being selfish, but just being honest.
2. Set boundaries
Let your friend know what behaviours are not acceptable to you and set clear boundaries. Be firm in your boundaries and follow through with consequences if they are not respected.
3. Be assertive
Be willing to stand up for yourself and express your own opinions and ideas. Don’t allow your friend to make decisions for you without your input, so be assertive.
4. Offer alternatives
If your friend is being bossy about a particular situation, offer alternative solutions. This can help shift the dynamic from one of control to one of collaboration, which is required in a healthy friendship.
5. Be confident
Bossy people often target those who lack confidence, so be confident in yourself and your abilities. Don’t let your friend’s behaviour or anything be the reason for low self-esteem.
6. Don’t engage in power struggles
Bossy people are all about power struggles, so avoid engaging in them. Instead, stay calm and assertive, and focus on finding a solution that works for everyone.
7. Seek support
If you’re struggling to deal with your bossy friend, seek support from other friends or a therapist. Having someone to talk to can help you process your feelings and develop strategies for dealing with the situation.
If your friend’s behaviour is consistently harmful and they are unwilling to change, you may need to consider ending the friendship. Yes, it can be a difficult decision, but it’s important to prioritise your own well-being and emotional health.