Why do some people resent bosses?


Ozodi Osuji

     I have never liked other people to tell me what to do. In life, obviously, other people will tell you what to do; your parents will tell you what to do, your teachers at school will tell you what to do, on the playground the sports captains will tell you what to do. I resented these afore-mentioned folks telling me what to do. I coped by passively seeming to accept them bossing me but inside was full of rage. I would walk away when it is possible rather than tolerate anyone bossing me around. This was so during my boyhood in Africa.

    I have spent most of my adulthood years in the USA. In the USA, it did not take me a year to read up on the sins of the white man, his enslaving Africans and currently discriminating against them; I saw him as my enemy.

     I totally resented any white person telling me what to do. How dare a man who enslaved my people tell me what to do? Of course, he was my teachers at college and if I sought any kind of work in America, he is my boss, so I passively tolerated him but did not pretend to myself that I liked him; in fact, I hated him; to me white folks are folks I want to punish for their sins of enslaving Africans.

      I would like to flog such bloated white leaders as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin; I would like to chain them to a pole and flog them until they bleed to death; that is the level of my anger and contempt for these folks. They may fancy themselves especially important persons but to me they are satanic and evil, and I want them punished before they die, and if there is hell, I want them in hell; unfortunately, there is no such thing as hell so they must be punished in this world.

     Indeed, I do not like God, if he exists, to boss me around; as a kid I used to ask, who gave that your God the right to tell me what to do, where is he as children suffer innumerable diseases and adults, too, suffer; he is nowhere to be found; how dare you then ask me to obey him, obey a man who is useless to me, obey him my foot. I did not like to and still do not like obeying what folks call God.

      As noted, my aggression is not just towards white people but towards Black people, it is towards anyone who dares tell me what to do; I just do not like any other human being to tell me what to do, to boss me around.

    People like me tend to start their own businesses and be their own bosses. I have been the executive director of three agencies.


     I believe that my pained body disposed me to seek ways to master my body; the process of trying to master my body and reduce the pain it felt and the fact that no external person helped me reduce that pain, if anything, they increased it, is the root cause of my need to be my own boss and reject other people bossing me.

    If I wanted to do what Western mental health professionals do, pathologize human thinking and behavior, I would say that I had what Alfred Adler called sense of inferiority (from my biological issues) and compensated with desire for superiority and that desire translated to sense of not wanting anyone else telling me what to do.

      I do not believe that we need to pathologize people’s behaviors but need to understand them. Yes, I want to seem superior to other people but that is not necessarily bad. I do not like other people to tell me what to do. If all the people of this world were like me there would be no evil in this world; just imagine other people conscripting me into the military and telling me to go kill people who did no wrong to me. I would not obey them; therefore, I would not commit the evil of killing people; if most people are like me there would be no unjust wars and evil in this world (there are some just wars, such as any war to unify all of Africa into one federation).

     Unfortunately, most people are like sheep and do as their bosses tell them to do. Indeed, many people are so docile and afraid of death that they tolerate slavery; I would cut off the would-be slave master’s head in a second, how dare he, a man born of woman tell me what to do? Who gave him the right to do so, his primitive Christian god? I will send him to that evil god of his that tells him to enslave people rather than love them. Of course, he can kill me for refusing to be enslaved; death is preferable to a life of servitude.


     Still, there are negative parts to the desire to be one’s own boss; I tend to fear whatever makes me seem small and inadequate.


     At elementary and secondary schools, I feared making poor grades, for to have bad grades did not square with my self-concept and self-image as a powerful self.

    I had examination anxiety; taking examinations meant that I could fail them and the thought of failing filled me with anxiety.

   On the few occasions when I flunked my examinations, I felt so humiliated that I contemplated quitting school. Some students quit school to not fail their examinations.

     It is obviously better not to fear failing examinations; my father mostly made first in his classes but when other kids made first, he decided to quit schooling to not be second to another boy in his class (we are gifted kindred; kids in my Osuji family are medical doctors, engineers, Professors and researchers at top research institutions all over the world). Thus, the pursuit of grandiosity is a problem because it may lead to failure in life.


      In interpersonal relationships it leads to lack of ability to relax and have good relationships with people, for one is primarily preoccupied with protecting one’s grandiose self-image.

     Love requires one to have no grandiose ego self-concept and self-image. In fact, the presence of any kind of ego separated self-concept reduces one’s ability to love oneself and other selves.

    What folks call heaven is a state where the various selves in God (in life) do not see themselves as separated from each other and see each other as the same and coequal hence love each other maximally. The ego interferes with human beings’ ability to love hence must be done away with.


    If you are very egotistical you do not want other people to reject you; in life people will reject you, right, left and center; if you apply for jobs you will be rejected by many of them before you land one; if you feel small because  you are rejected you would no longer strive to optimize your abilities and instead withdraw from society and feel angry and nurse your empty grandiose ego. 

     One must get to a point where even if the entire world rejects one and if what one stands for is right in one’s mind one would not evince an iota of emotional upset when rejected. For example, if the entire white race rejected me, I would not consider it a loss for to me they are not human beings yet; racists are not human beings and I do not care for their acceptance. To be accepted by them one must be like them, less than human beings, underdeveloped, I do not desire their company.

     Of course, white folks currently control the world and in Harold Laswell’s terms decide who gets what, when and how in our world; one accepts extant reality but is working towards changing it so that Black folks do not have to subject themselves to seeking jobs from filthy racists.


     Clearly, what needs to be done is to transmute the desire to be the boss and the resentment of other people bossing one to a situation where one accepts that people are different; each person is different, and one must accept that reality and respect people’s differences and accept that in some areas of life other people will boss one and in others one will boss people.


     Nevertheless, it is people who resent being bossed that tend to reach the top of organizations and societies; they tend to be the leaders and not the lead of society; they are the alpha males of this world and there is nothing wrong with that biological and social state if such persons do not go around degrading and belittling people and feeling superior to them.


     Instead of trying to seem superior to other people, having a grandiose self-concept, what one should do is develop absolute positive self-concept and self-image; good self-concept does not entail looking down on other people but means seeing oneself as one is now, not tomorrow, as good.

      Look at yourself in the mirror, naked, and accept what you see, whether you like it or not, is who you are going be for the one hundred years or so allotted to you to live on earth, so you might as well accept it; self-acceptance contributes to living in peace and joy; self-rejection is probably the greatest source of lack of peace in one’s life.

    In Carl Roger’s terms, one must accept  one’s self in an unconditionally positive manner and do to other people as one do to one, accept them in an unconditionally positive manner (unless they have antisocial behaviors, those must be rejected…as a digression, I used to belong to a Nigerian Internet group and a riffraff, the coward masquerades under a false name, Nebo, called me all sorts of put down names; everything in me wanted to send some goon squad to go pick him up and kill him in the most gruesome manner; before the white man came to our parts of the world his folks were my folks slaves and I resented it that such a nothing being dared talked to me anyhow he wanted to).

     Positive self-esteem means not comparing you to other people, not wishing that you are like other people, for you are not other people; not wishing that other people like and approve you; you do not need other people’s approval, just do what you believe is right and do not hurt other people and that is good enough.

     We live in an abundant universe, and you deserve abundance; convince you of that fact; there is infinite wealth in this universe so do what gets you some of that wealth; you are entitled to all the good things of this world, to good houses, cars, planes, everything provided that you work for them.

    Poverty is not a virtue but a sign of not working hard.


      Please note that in all the above enumeration of the cause and consequences of having a grandiose ego, I did not blame other people or factor God into the equation.

     God has nothing to do with my behavior or people’s behaviors so blaming him or praising him is silly; in so far that there is God it is the fact that there is intelligence in the universe, and it manifests in all of us and what we do with it is our issue; he does not interfere in our lives.

    Other people are irrelevant in one’s success or failure in life. One succeeds or fails according to one’s character, one’s self-concept which was determined by one’s biological inheritance.

    Character and behavior are not determined by one single gene but by all the genes in the individual working in tandem.

     For example, I inherited a mitochondria disorder, Cytochrome C Oxidase deficiency, Mitral Valve Prolapses and Spondylolysis; all these medical disorders worked together to make me feel easily pained by the activities of daily living. That sense of pain then disposed me to try to escape it by positing a grandiose self-concept and seeking to become it; trying to become a powerful self that saved me from my pains created loads of social-psychological problems for me.

     None of my problems were caused by God or by other people but by my biological make up and how I used them to organize my life.

    I talked about racism early on; clearly, racism negatively affects all Black people but the particular manner it affected me is due to my response to it. Consider that in graduate school I chose not to relate to the white professors that taught me; I had no respect for them. Since I was a teaching assistant, some would invite me to their houses when they had gatherings and I would not go.

      In this world you must associate with people so that they feel comfortable with you; people tend to recommend for jobs and or give jobs to those they are comfortable with. In this sense, my refusal to associate with those I called racists played a more critical role in my life than racism itself.

      I am not minimizing racism; I am just stating the role my character played out in the racist context of the USA.

     Having understood what is at work in my life I choose to have a healthy self-concept and self-image that sees all people as the same and coequal but recognizing that in the here and now world each person is different and is suited for a different line of work. For example, I am suited to do what I do, a combination of psychology, philosophy and physics. I am me and you are you; we are different, and neither is superior nor inferior to the other, nor should we even compare ourselves, for you do not compare apples and oranges.


      The greatest liberating episodes in my life are the moments I lived without the awareness of having a separated ego self-concept and self-image; I was simply part of life, not a self-concept, not big or small ego self-concept, just life; it felt peaceful and beautiful beyond measure. I got those blissful moments whenever I managed to forget my ego separated self-concept and self-image, good or bad, and just felt a part of one unified life.

     Whatever life is, it certainly can be blissful when not cluttered with concepts of who we think that we are and what life is or is not. I do not know what life is and honestly, I do not know who my ultimate real self is; I understand who my false self is, but not my real self.

      From the moments of bliss that I had, I learned that our greatest problem is our belief that we have ego separated self-concepts and that the solution is to let go of those separated self-concepts and relapse to the awareness that we are part of one unified life and in it feel total peace and joy.

     My goal is to do whatever I can to let go of my idea of who I am and experience the peace that selflessness gives me.

     I wish for you what I wish for me, selflessness and its attendant peace.


      I deliberately avoided employing psychiatric and psychological categories in this essay; I did so because those may be useful in working with mentally ill persons, such as schizophrenics, manic, depressed persons, paranoid persons, deluded persons, and persons with personality disorders and or anxiety disorders but they are not relevant in trying to understand the human character.

    People are complex organisms; it is no use fitting them into diagnostic categories that may seem rational but do not really explain them. For twenty-five years I worked as a mental health professional and thereafter gave it up because it was not helping me to understand and deal with folks on the streets.

    I am like Karl Jasper; he worked as a psychiatrist then gave it up and made a foray into existential philosophy; I refuse to be categorized but I can be safely called an existential philosopher and a Gnostic, ala Plotinus (Ennead).

Ozodi Osuji

April 3, 2022

Comments are closed.