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I’d Rather Be Positive, But Don’t Tell Me What To Do. YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.


SOC winner 2017

Years ago, I went to a workshop where we make booklets about things we wanted to manifest in our lives. We were instructed to state everything positively. I also used this a lot in my counseling job and had read about it in a book on NLP,  Neurolinguistic programing, which is more complicated than positive language. One example in the book was that instead of saying, “Don’t spill the milk,” make a positive statement like, “Be careful and move your milk away from the table.” The idea was/is that people, especially children, will not hear, “don’t,” as much as they will hear “spill the milk.”

I wonder if my clients got tired of me asking them to restate negative statements as positives. Well, it got to be a thing with me.  Here are some examples:

“Don’t use drugs,” in other words, becomes, “stay clean and sober.”

“I don’t understand why anyone would not like dogs,” in other words, becomes, “help me understand why you don’t like dogs.”

“I don’t want to be around negative people,” becomes, “I want to be around positive people.”

When my husband and I started dating for the second time around, we asked each other about pet peeves. He wanted to know if there was something he could do that would really bug me, (so he could avoid doing it.) That’s how I remember it. But I probably asked him first. He was all about open and honest communication. So I told him:

“Don’t tell me what to do.”

In other words, “you’re not the boss of me.” But I didn’t say, “You’re not the boss of me.”  I wanted to say that to my previous two boyfriends, but never did. I guess that’s why “Don’t tell me what to do,” came out in our pre-marrital pet peeves discussion. I did not state it positively. If I had, I could have said,

  • “Let’s talk about options.”
  • “I’m the boss of me.”
  • “Ask me what I want.”
  • “Compromise and respect are important to me.”

But sometimes, you gotta say what you don’t want to be clear.

I just want to say, to someone, YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.”

My husband, being conscientious and having a good memory, has not given me that opportunity in the five years we’ve been married. That’s a good thing.

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was to use the phrase, “in other words,” anywhere in our post. For more SoCS info, visit Linda at:

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

21 thoughts on “I’d Rather Be Positive, But Don’t Tell Me What To Do. YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.

  1. I’d enjoy saying you’re not the boss of me to someone too. And I had an opportunity at work the other day except I took the high road. Oh well! I guess I am better for it. Kind of, sort of, maybe 🙂

  2. This all makes sense. I am not sure exactly how much I subscribe to the tenet of the Law of Attraction (haha, I’m not 100% if it’s a money-making gimmick or if the idea of it is really true), but the idea is very similar to what you outline here: whatever phrase you create, the positive or negative doesn’t matter – it’s the essence of the phrase that does. So the phrase up there, “I don’t want to be around negative people” would translate to “be around negative people,” or “I don’t want to go to work at my job,” translates to “go to work at my job.” And so, the theory goes, if you reframe it around what you actually DO want, it would create a better outcome: “I’m so grateful for my dream job,” or “I want to work on my business today!” I *do* subscribe to the fact that mindset really matters and if you focus on what you DO want, the things that you DON’T want fall out of focus. 🙂 Thought provoking post – loved it. 🙂

    • I agree completely! The Law of Attraction added to this mindset for me. And it has worked really well as I am happy with my soulmate and enjoy being home more. Glad you enjoyed the post and that you get it.

  3. a) I like your post
    b) I like Sageleaf’s comment: i’ve read about the LOA and had the same questions she posted. I also agree with directing your energy to what you want, not what you don’t want: that seems counter-productive.
    c) the phrase: “It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it” – comes to mind, that supports saying things more positively.
    d) there are times you have to be BLUNT – NO means NO, for example.

  4. Really a great post JoAnna 🙂
    I do also prefer to be my own boss, which I also told my boyfriend years ago. Few times have been, where he said something, as I needed to listen to, where he was right and I was wrong.
    With mutual respect a relationship can live long.
    I worked with NLP years ago and found it was great in my teaching back then. For personal development it is great too.

    • Thanks for your kind feedback, Irene. I don’t mind listening to suggestions as long as they’re not delivered in a bossy tone. I have not delved into NLP in some time, but what I learned is pretty interesting.

  5. Joanna I was taught the same thing in my substitute training. They said that I should never say ‘Don’t run’ and that instead I should say ‘Walk’.

  6. a wonderful, realistic lesson, JoAnna!
    it’s quite the advanced practice
    to accept being told what to do
    and humbly be grateful
    for that gift 🙂

  7. Sometimes you do just want to say “you’re not the boss of me.” It feels good. Fires old neurons that have been hanging on to suspended states for too long. I say that to my wife from time to time, and she to me. All in good fun of course. We end up laughing. Where is the spontaneity in always giving directions!? It’s more fun when you try to give each other directions, but get nowhere… 🙂


  8. Good words that make total sense. I am glad you had the foresight to state that before marriage. Before marriage all folks should have this discussion. I think it is was very wise of you and I would hope very beneficial. 🙂

  9. I used to laugh at my children when they talked back. My parents had also taught me “not to crush the toddler terrible two’s” instead be proud of their newfound Independence. So, I would set two plates, two outfits or two toys in front of my 2 year olds. “Which do you want?” Food might be more corn than beans (more beans than corn on other plate) but still chicken and rice. It was like a sweet brief breeze through those toddler years. It helped set up the teen years, too. Not total freedom, but choices!

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