Your life is yours and yours alone, and no one but you has the right to decide what you do with it. Not your parents, not your partner, and certainly not your boss. If there is someone in your life who thinks they control and dominate you, get yourself out of the trap. Stand up for yourself!

1. An ogre boss.

Bosses are monsters. Bosses are tyrants. Some take it as their sworn duty to make life as hard as possible for you on the job. But if your boss’ demands are starting to spill over to your personal life too, you need to take a long hard look at the situation. Does your boss think nothing of calling you up at all hours for work stuff? Have you, on more than one occasion, cancelled plans to meet your boss’ demands? If yes, you have landed an ogre boss. Watch out before he takes over your life!

2. Controlling parents.

Parents are meant to guide you and tell you what to do, but some just don’t want you to leave the nest. Some parents continue controlling and interfering in their offspring’s life, well into adulthood. The situation is worsened if you’re still living at home, are financially dependent on them, or are single. Single or not, stay-at-home kid or apartment owner, beyond a certain age and point, parents should have no say in their offspring’s decisions. Get this across to them politely, but firmly. Say that you respect their advice and suggestions, but that the final decision is always yours.

3. A bossy significant other.

Being in a relationship is great fun. Until your partner ends up becoming your mother! No matter how close you are, a partner should never have to get permission from their partner to do things, or have their decisions vetted by the other partner. An adult is an adult, and responsible for his or her own life decisions.

4. Toxic friends.

We don’t choose our family; we choose our friends. Friends are supposed to be people of the same wavelength that we can hang out with and share our problems with comfortably. But what happens when friends start taking over your life? Whether it is a single, demanding, jealous friend, who wants you all to herself, or the combined peer pressure exerted by a group of friends, it is always a burden. Your friends shouldn’t be dictating what you do, who you meet or what you eat. Sadly, peer pressure can force us to do a lot of things we wouldn’t normally do.

5. A spoilt child.

Just like controlling parents, sometimes a kid can end up controlling your life more than you care for. Whether it is a jealous kid disapproving of your partner, a tantrum-thrower determined on getting his way, or simply a spoilt brat who won’t take no for an answer, don’t stand for it. Show your kid who’s the boss. You might not be a strict, bossy parent, but that doesn’t mean they get to control your life. Just like you let them make their own decisions, expect them to extend the same courtesy to you. And respect and accept your decisions gracefully.