Ten things I’ve learned from passive-aggression

Note: I have both perpetuated and been the recipient of passive-aggressive behaviour.

  1. The internal logic that says it is reasonable to, say, steal somebody’s milk because they made too much noise last night does not function the same way in the outside world.
  2. Writing a note may still result in a confrontation at a later date; it is not a panacea.
  3. If you are at a point where you would pour red wine into the shoes of people you don’t know in a passive-aggressive rage, perhaps you need professional guidance.
  4. Honesty is the best policy. Mostly.
  5. Conceptually, passive-aggression makes sense. It’s cathartic, without creating an unlivable or unworkable situation. The problem is that it never effectively addresses the root of your issue with another person.
  6. I have had numerous confrontations in my life, but there are still many times when I wish I could be more direct. I am, at heart, a diplomatic and socially cautious person, and it is often only when I am at the end of my fuse do I address issues with people.
  7. Calling somebody “passive-aggressive”, “crazy”, or “OCD” can be a lazy way of dismissing legitimate concerns. That being said, sometimes it’s true.
  8. Nobody knows how upset you are unless you tell them. I have often thought that it should be obvious why I’m so mad, when from the outside it is hardly noticeable, or just reads as mild annoyance.
  9. These days, the thought of confrontation often makes me feel either tired or anxious. But it wasn’t always like that…
  10. One of the biggest barriers to direct confrontation for me is the fear of getting my ass seriously kicked. Maybe I need to fight more just to face that fear. The problem with that plan is that I might end up getting my ass seriously kicked.

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