Passive aggression = massive aggravation
Passive aggression: the fighting style of
the weak, and spineless.
Throughout my life, I’ve had the displeasure of dealing
with passive aggressive people on a continuous basis — an
unfortunate phenomenon, considering I can neither respect nor
relate to them.
I’ve always been a very direct person. If I have a problem
with you, I’ll tell you. If something’s not working
in a friendship or relationship, I’ll take steps to fix
it. I’m the type of person who is always willing and
quite happy to speak my mind.
Passive aggressives are the type of people who are unwilling
to do this. Instead of facing conflicts directly, they’ll
deflect and deflect until problems grow to mammoth proportions.
Rather than just throwing a verbal punch, they choose to stew
in silence and act out in subtly vicious ways.
Some of my least favourite passive aggressive phrases and
behaviours are listed below. If any of these ring a bell with
you, watch out — you may be closer than you think to
a passive aggressive individual.
“Oh, so you want to do it that way?” says the
passive aggressive in a purposely innocuous tone.
Hmm, well since I’m already doing it this way, I think
it’s fair to assume that I want to do it this way. If
you have a problem with what I’m doing, tell me. If you
don’t tell me anything, I’ll assume you’re
in agreement with me. So either verbalize your criticisms directly
or zip it.
“You never tell me:
a) how you feel.”
b) that you love me.”
c) what you’re thinking.”
You could insert any number of other endings to this phrase,
but the common thread is they’re all things someone shouldn’t
have to ask you to tell them. If I’m not quick to say “I
love you,” then I probably don’t. It’s weak
and pathetic to try and guilt someone into saying something
they don’t mean.
“[Insert cutting personal remark here]. Ha ha, you know
I’m totally joking, right?”
No, I don’t know you’re joking. In fact, I know
you’ve been waiting a good while to get that remark off
your chest; now you can pretend it’s all in good fun,
and therefore dodge responsibility. At the same time, you can
inwardly cheer at your own cleverness — you finally said
what you wanted to say, though you did it in the most ineffective
and idiotic way possible. Bravo!
Your passive aggressive buddy is acting cold and distant.
You ask him or her what’s wrong. The response: a crisp
and immediate, “nothing.”
We all know what “nothing” means: it means “something.” But
passive aggressives feel someone else should always have to
seek out the problem. Well, guess what — if you can’t
respect me enough to be direct, I won’t respect you enough
to care what’s wrong.
I could continue, but I think I’ve made my point. Suffice
to say, passive aggression helps no-one. Put in the extra effort
and learn to speak your mind. If everyone was capable of being
honest and direct, our world would be a much happier and more