The Dangerous Repercussions of Ordering People Around

Are there people in your life who you boss around?

You know, instead of asking them to do things and having them consent and agree to do it, you give them commands that you expect will be followed immediately and without protest?

“Do this.”

“Do that.”

“Don’t do the other thing.”

If you do, have you ever considered what affects this kind of approach really has on people?

Have you ever stopped to question how they’re really responding to your commands inside their own heads, even though they’ll probably never share their true feelings about how you’re treating them and what they truly think of you?

Most people will just comply when they’re ordered around, especially if it’s someone who has some authority over them, like a parent, boss or supervisor, or maybe even a significant other.

On the outside, all will usually look well.

But what’s really going on beneath surface will tell a completely different story, and one that may shock you if bossing people around is something you do out of habit and you’re accustomed to others following your orders.

Before moving forward, let me ask you another question…

Are you the type of person who wants to win the respect and esteem of the people you interact and deal with?

Because I can guarantee you that if you boss and order people around, you’re working against yourself and actually losing their respect and esteem.

In fact, chances are, they secretly despise you for it.

Of course, they’ll never reveal this truth to your face. They’ll just complain and gripe about you behind your back. They’ll revel in their contempt and resentment for you with others who feel the same way about you ordering them around too. They’ll criticize you and make jokes at your expense whenever you’re not around.

These are things you’ll probably never see, but I can guarantee you they’re happening.

You may get people to comply with being ordered around, but the one thing you won’t win is respect.

Now, perhaps I’m stating the obvious, but we all hate being told what to do as if we have no choice in the matter. We like to think that we’re in control of our own lives, and that means making our own decisions.

But when others make our decisions for us and “force” us to comply, though we may carry out the order (perhaps because our survival depends on it, or maybe simply to keep the peace and avoid a confrontation) and even though all may appear well on the surface, the truth of the matter is a very different story.

Aside from having your tasks carried out, the only other outcome produced by bossing people around is to generate resentment and even a silent anger in them.

Naturally, those feelings will be projected onto you, causing you to sacrifice any amount of respect you may have had.

What’s more important to you…

Having certain tasks you delegate carried out – or establishing and retaining the respect and esteem of others?

I reckon they’re both important.

But here’s the thing…

When you order others around by giving them commands, you may successfully get the task accomplished, but you sacrifice the respect and esteem of the people you command.

They will not willingly follow you.

Though they may carry out the order, they will do it begrudgingly and look on you with disdain.

So, certainly there must be a better way, right?

Certainly there has to be a way that you can delegate tasks and have them carried out without jeopardizing the respect people have for you.

And there is.

It revolves around the issue of consent. When we boss people around by giving them orders, we strip them of their consent to carry out the activity. They feel they have to do it instead of wanting to do it.

So what you want to do instead is have them carry out the task while taking their consent into consideration. Your new aim in this regard is to have the task accomplished, but without infringing on another person’s dignity in the process of getting it done.

And how do you do that?

There are two great ways…

The first is to ask people to do what you want.

Don’t boss or order them to do it.


The simple phrase you need to remember is this:

“Would you … ?”

Then insert your wish.

For example, “Would you take out the trash?” Or, “Would you wash the dishes?”

In taking this approach, you’re respecting other peoples’ free will. You’re letting them retain their sense of dignity. You’re not treating them like a servant or slave, while you frame yourself as the all powerful master – as you do you when you command people to do things.

People who recognize that you’re respecting their power to make their own decisions will much more readily be willing to carry out the task you want accomplished.

And what’s more important is that they will do it happily and respect you for not abusing your authority, if you’re in a position of power over them.

The second way is to simply make your wishes known to people.

The phrase to remember is this:

“I’d like you to …”

Then insert the activity or desire.

For example, “I’d like you to clean up your mess.” Or, “I’d like you to help me out with some cleaning.”

Again, you’re not forcing them to sacrifice their dignity and sense of self-respect by bending to the wishes of a “master,” where they feel belittled as if they’re a mere slave or servant, as in the case of giving people commands and ordering them around.

This will not only get the task completed, but it will win you the respect and esteem of others.

If you want to be a great leader, you will do yourself a wonderful service by appealing to the consent of your followers – not forcing them to comply with your wishes because of your position and authority.



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