I have neither ranted nor raved in awhile, and I think it’s about time.
It can be difficult to recognize a passive aggressive force in your life. They can be sucking positive energy from you for years before you catch onto them. Once you do recognize their energy-sucking powers, however, it’s time to get the frick rid of them. I’ve got a definition for you:
passive-aggressive: adj, of or relating to a personality that harbors aggressive emotions while behaving in a calm or detached manner.
We all have some passive-aggressive moments, and I’ll get to that. It’s the people, however, who simply are passive-aggressive by nature that we need to cut out of the picture. I’ve got plenty of stories that involve passive-aggressive people, and I would love to go on and on about them, but this blog is not about singling people out (unless you’re ananonymous-texting asshat). This blog (usually) is about bettering myself, and hoping others are interested in doing the same.
So, how can you recognize passive-aggressive behavior?
Just log onto Facebook.
Facebook is interesting. It’s got the “status” option. This means you can post something about someone, call it a general musing, but know full well said person (and the rest of the world) can see it. Has this happened to me? Yes. Am I being passive-aggressive about it? No, and I’ll tell you why.
The antidote to passive-aggressive behavior is honesty.
When you try to contact someone directly, and get ignored, you’ve done all you can do…other than blog about it and get it out of your system.
How else can you recognize passive-aggressive behavior?
Gauge your general feelings.
Do you feel like a big pile of crap, even though this person told you “It’s okay, I’ll just do it myself.”? If, in fact, the person was really meaning to say, “Hey, I need help with this, and no one else is available…I know you probably don’t want to, but I’d really, really appreciate it,” they’re being passive-aggressive.
The act of simply saying what you mean can avoid hurt feelings, tense atmospheres, and misunderstandings. Hurt feelings are not something to ignore. Hurt feelings bubble and boil till they explode like a victim in a Bones episode.
So, I’ve babbled on about passive-aggressive behavior. What’s my point to all this? If you’ve got people who constantly rely on this form of behavior to interact with others, cut them out. You don’t need that negative ju-ju.
What I really want to hammer home, however, is that we need to recognize passive-aggressive behavior in ourselves, and kick it the hell out of town.
I know I’m guilty of it. Here’s a scenario:
Paul: Hey honey, is okay if I go play frisbee tomorrow?
Paul: So, no?
Lauren: That’s fine.
Ding, ding, ding! That’s me, being passive-aggressive. Why don’t I just say, “Dearest husband, I love you. You are the handsomest in all the land, and I had plans to snuggle you into submission tomorrow…because you are roguishly handsome, and oh, so, snuggleable…I would much rather you stay here and snuggle than go play frisbee.”
It may seem harmless, but I know it frustrates Paul when I do it. He does it to me, too. We all do it…and it’s just something that adds stress. When you come right out and say something, it may not always be pleasant, but it’s definitely honest. That’s the important part.
I’ve done my best not to make this post in itself be passive-aggressive, but let me offer this: if I’ve acted like this in the past, and hurt someone’s feelings because of it, I welcome the opportunity to make it right. Please shoot me an email, and we’ll deal with it there.
For everyone else, just do me a solid and keep this in mind for all your future interactions, and I’ll try to do the same.