My Bossy Inner Child

I’m a homebody, content to stay home every weekend in my sweats watching tv or reading.  When it comes to hanging out with others, even people I really enjoy being around, a simple dinner can still give me a bit of anxiety.  I am just more of an introvert and need a lot of time alone to recharge.  Still, there are a few social activities that get me excited.  Show me an event that will let me be creative, challenge myself, and work with a team and I’m in!  Game nights, mud runs, axe throwing…essentially anything that is playtime for adults is my idea of a good time.

One of my favorite things to do with friends are escape rooms.  I love being immersed in a creative, interactive experience, the challenge of solving clues, and the teamwork that escape rooms require to win.

The first time I did an escape room it was with my sister, brother-in-law, husband, and two of my closest friends.  We had never done an escape room and had no idea what to expect.  While we waited for our turn, I remember the adrenaline that was already starting to build up in me.  I was determined for us to “win” this challenge. Then I looked around the room at our group, all part of my small inner circle and thought, “Oh crap.  This could be a TERRIBLE idea!”

You see, one other thing you should know about me is that I can be a little bossy.  My family would laugh at that statement, saying that I’ve been bossy since birth.  I believe I’ve learned to temper that characteristic, self-managing so that I can lead rather than dictate.  However, I’ve also found that when people are with their closest friends and family, and especially when they’re having fun and playing around, sometimes self-management goes out the window and their inner child comes out.  And, my inner child can’t help but tell people what to do.

As I thought about being locked in a room and presented with a challenge that had to be completed within one hour, I started to realize that if I didn’t self-manage, my inner bossy child may come out in full force. We could all go in as friends, and come out not speaking to each other.  I decided the best thing for me to do was put everything out on the table.  “Alright,” I said, “I want this to be a fun time, so I’m going to do my very best not to be bossy when we’re in there.”  At that, they all started laughing!  They knew that would be a struggle for me in this situation and thought it was “cute” that I had to set an intention for a fun night out.  

I was able to self-manage, even though I may have still made some strong suggestions while we searched for a way out of the crazy sea captain’s lighthouse.  I don’t remember if we made it out of the room in time, but thankfully we made it out laughing and still friends. So what’s the point of telling you this story? Remember:

  1. There is a difference between being bossy and leading.
  2. We’re all human, and the people we are closest to and most comfortable with can bring out our human nature–the good and the bad.
  3. If you care about your team, maintaining those relationships should come above all else.  Unless, maybe, you really are trapped in a crazy sea captain’s lighthouse.

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