A little more than a year has passed since the start of this thread and I have to re-visit it because things are working out really nicely.
I suppose the only real thing I have done differently is to become more vocal, still always in a light hearted, joking manner, but instead of waiting until I've "had enough" or allowing things to "bottle up" I will simply reply to each and every "instructional comment" negatively.... For example, while helping my friend load something into a truck several months ago, as I approached the truck, he says "Okay now set your end on the tailgate and jump into the truck bed
" I just laughed and responded "Hey %!#&!, I got this end, you just worry about your end or you can have 'em both!"
Somehow, I think this constant response has made them realize how often they bark orders and also perhaps get the idea that it is growing old.
Anyway, I am proud to say that it is working well, because these guys mean a lot to me.