What's Wrong with the Campaign to Ban the Word "Bossy"?

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What do Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook), Condoleezza Rice, The Girl Scouts of America, Jennifer Garner, Diane von Furstenberg, Jane Lynch, and Beyoncé have in common?

Answer: They are all sending the wrong message to young girls if they want them to be happy.

“The campaign to ban the word ‘bossy’ is unintentionally creating a foundation for young girls to grow up to be unhappy women,” says Rebecca L. Norrington, Happiness Specialist and author of RealitySpirituality: The Truth About Happiness (available April 2014). Rebecca says banning words because they are “offensive” actually subtracts from an individual’s happiness. Rebecca further states:

1)    When an individual chooses to allow words to have power and influence over her emotional state, she can expect to feel bad and, ultimately, be unhappy.

Solution: None of us were born with an ability to be offended. We all had to learn how to be offended. What you learned, you can unlearn.


2)    All labels, and I mean all labels, subtract from happiness. You can’t label something “good” without having an opposite opinion of what’s “bad.” In addition, it’s illogical to believe all women and/or girls feel the same about one word. 

Solution: Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. The same concept applies to labeling anyone ‘bossy.’ Rebecca says, “I was born bossy, and I never thought of it as a negative term.” Eliminate labels and substitute a neutral thought with one like, “I’m experiencing reality.”


3)    “I’m offended.” What does that even mean? For their own personal reasons, women who believe being labeled ‘bossy’ is offensive can change that belief in an instant. How?

Solution: Change the definition and connotation of bossy. You don’t have to change the dictionary; you can change your perspective in your mind. Can you imagine a world where no one is offended by mere words? Can you imagine how strong an individual would be if words no longer had power over how s/he felt? When you rise above unconscious, conditioned responses, you will be happier.


4)    Controlling others. When you attempt to control anyone outside of yourself, you are essentially asking for an unhappy ending. One of the reasons people try to control others is because of their own internal disconnect. We were not born needing others to do, be, and/or act like us.

Solution: Realize that the only thing you can control is your own behavior, responses, and perspectives. Wanting to control someone else needs to be examined closely, while looking in the mirror.


5)    The real issue has nothing to do with banning the word “bossy.” The real issue is deep-rooted and personal to each individual who supports this campaign. 

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