I have spent most of my adult life thinking that exact question whenever someone, especially a husband, boyfriend, lover, whatever tried to tell me what they thought I should do. It was more like, "Who the fuck do you think you are?" but you get my point.
My, oh my, how things change.
I have had short hair for 10 years. I grew it out while I was engaged, got it chopped off two days after I got married. My then-husband preferred long hair, and I didn't care. I wanted short hair, so by God in hell, I got short hair. Kept it that way, didn't ask his opinion, didn't care.
One of the first D/s interactions I had with my Sir was about my hair.
"You will grow it long, and if you decide to color it, I will decide what color."
For half a second, my ball-busting, bitch self reared in my mind, and then scurried away with her tail between her legs. I know this because what came out of my mouth was, "Yes, Sir" in the meekest tone I've probably uttered to date.
I've eaten what I wanted for years. I lost weight on my own, no help from anyone. I believe I looked at my ex-husband many years ago, and said, "Don't even think about telling me what I can and can't eat. If I want to eat a fucking doughnut, that's what I'll do" And then I gave him the "look" - if you're a woman who's ever had a bitch-from-hell moment, you know the look I'm referring to. Men, if you ever dated or married the bitch-from-hell, you know the look, too.
A week ago, I practically begged my Sir to please take over control of that aspect of my life. And while there have been moments when it's been difficult, it's something I've needed - because it works, because it's easy, because I derive comfort from it.
So how did I manage to make a complete 180? My Sir tells me all the time that I am a natural submissive, that I never encountered the man I was willing to submit to. My gut reaction makes me say it's because of how I feel about my Sir, the love I feel. But that's incomplete. It's about respect and trust, too. Before I could ever admit I loved Him, I respected Him and from there, trust grew. In my limited experience, I think it takes all three - respect, trust, and love.
I firmly believe that if one of the three elements was missing, I'd be a bratty submissive. I'd top from the bottom. (And no I'm not trying to imply that bratty submissives top from the bottom - I have no clue if that's what they do.) But I know me. If the trust, the respect, or the love were missing, I would try to take control. This would be role play; it wouldn't be real.
This is very real to me.
And when a demand is placed upon me that I am not used to or that I know I would have rejected in a previous life, when I respond to that demand, I no longer wonder who the hell He thinks He is. The difference now is that I know who I am.