I have always had my issues with the word overbearing. It has always been problematic for me to reconcile its meaning and usage because it’s such a polite (sounding) word; it really does not sound that bad. Whenever I hear it, I think of someone who is slightly burdensome in a passive-aggressively patient way but means well. The Dictionary gives us “unpleasantly overpowering,” but who is pleasantly overpowered? Does such a person exist, and I am not talking about sadomasochism.
For my money, there is an incongruence between articulation of the word and the visceral affect behind that articulation in many of the contexts in which it is used. It often seems to me that when someone calls somebody overbearing, that person really means ‘damned arsehole.’ Isn’t overbearing just a euphemism which people use when they want to sound polite and/ or don’t want to appear too judgmental? I do not particularly like the word. It is a false word, a perfidious word that is too easy to confuse with forbearing.