Imposing People – Between Narcissism and Weakness

March 26, 2018

Imposing people aren’t born, they’re made. There’s no gene or biological, physiological indicator that leads someone to become bossy. This tendency or this need to control other people is clearly transmitted through culture. First it comes from their general surroundings, and then from the family.

Why are some people imposing?

What makes these people become imposing is, on the one hand, a value system, and on the other, a combination of features of their personality. The bossy person doesn’t think they have a problem. Actually they usually think their actions are praiseworthy. Even their psychological conflicts reaffirm their opinion.

No tyranny is more cruel than that which is practiced in the shadow of the law and with the trappings of justice.

-Montesquieu-

This way of being and feeling will harm the imposing person, but also everyone around them. It’s an obstacle for creativity, prevents moving forward and change, and encourages unhealthy patterns of communication. It also makes human relationships into a constant source of conflict that sometimes explode and sometimes sticks around as a dull, awful tension.

The characteristics of imposing people

Imposing people aren’t always imposing to the same degree. Some people are more so and some people less. This ranges from people who tend to be controlling to those who are frankly sadistic. Of course we’re talking about sadism in the general sense, not the sexual kind.

imposing people

But all imposing people have some characteristics in common, even if the levels are different. These are the main ones:

  • They’re aggressive. These kinds of people think they can solve problems through physical or symbolic violence.
  • They’re dogmatic. Not under any circumstances are they willing to change their opinions.
  • They love to order other people around, establish rules for everything, and impose punishments on anyone who doesn’t obey.
  • They react powerfully when you question or challenge  them.
  • They’re insensitive to other peoples’ needs and emotions.
  • They’re not very expressive with their feelings of love.

Imposing people love hierarchical institutions, especially if they give them some power over other people. They enjoy controlling other people’s behavior. If it comes to violence, they don’t feel like it’s their fault. They feel justified by a “greater good,” for example “the good of the company” or someone’s “well-being.”

Different types of imposing people

Not all bossy people act in the same way. That’s why a classification system for gathering up the existing varieties has been designed. There are four big types of imposing people, and here they are:

woman in glasses

  • The imposing person who “demands respect.” The focus of life and the values for these types of people are rules. They feel like they have the right to demand other people follow the rules and punish them if they don’t.
  • The tyrannical imposing person. This is the cruelest and most violent kind of imposing personality. They’re cold, calculating people, even when it comes to inflicting pain on other people. Major dictators are the perfect example of this kind of person.
  • The explosive imposing person. These are the kinds of people who have a really hard time with self-control and end up managing it with explosions of personality. These out of control actions are so strong that other people end up not disagreeing with them or letting them get their way, so they won’t have to put up with any more “tantrums.”
  • The weak imposing person. They’re cowardly and very insecure. They’re only bossy with people who are weaker and more defenseless. They use these others as a tool to make themselves seem strong. People in this group are, for example, gang members.

What about bossy people?

Bossy people aren´t the same as psychopaths or anti-social people, though. They aren’t indifferent to the harm they might cause other people. They behave more like watchers or guards of morals, good practice, or a belief system. They’re the typical kind of censor who wants to watch, approve or disapprove, and punish when there’s disobedience.

man thinking

Is there any way for these people to stop being imposing? What these kinds of people need is to do a “remoralization” process. This means that what needs to change within them is basically their value system. They need to understand that respect and tolerance are extremely valuable virtues. They also need to look inside themselves and admit that it’s their fears and empty spaces that make them want to impose themselves over other people.