Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Art that is Passive Aggressiveness

Passive aggressiveness is the time honored tradition of showing you're upset about something by acting like you're not upset about it all. It’s telling someone you’re mad at them with smoke and mirrors, instead of direct communication. Basically, it’s marriage.

Marriage can be difficult, but so can ordering a “grande sugarfree nonfat vanilla soy latte”. And just like at Starburcks, sometimes you have to repeat your order.

Everything is relative, and when it comes to communication, I think it’s most important to consider your audience. Sometimes it’s OK to yell, and sometimes you must harness the powers of sweet, sweet awkwardness.

Once you're married, passive agressiveness becomes an art. Especially if you have a dog. Rather than saying something sarcastic directly to your spouse (a surefire way to start a fight) you can ask the dog a question in a baby voice that is loud enough for all to hear. For example;

"Maxy, did daddy forget to load the dishwasher again? huh baby? Yes he did….yes he did...Oh, what’s daddy thinking….huh buddy?...I guess mommy will just have to do it...."

or perhaps:

"Max, what did you mommy do with that remote? Did you see, buddy? It wasn' you was it? No, I know it wasn't would put the remote back on the table, wouldn't you buddy...yeah..."

My dog has the self esteem of an overweight pre-teen.

If there were a Marriage Olympics, passive agressiveness would be the marathon. Long, drawn out bouts of silence where you end up worn down and dehydrated. Except in the actual Olympics you leave with a medal, or at the very least pride. In Marriage, you don’t leave until you die.

But marriage is not the only arena to practice this mental sport of bottled anger. The internet has become THE soundboard for those who wish to passive-agress their significant other into oblivion. In particular; facebook.

The advent of facebook has allowed for an entirely new level of passive agressiveness (or passive e-gressiveness, if you like). Is your boyfriend being a bum? Just update your status to “I think I deserve better than this….”  Did your “bestie” flake at the last second and leave you high and dry? No Worries, just update your status to “I’m glad I know who my true friends really are….” BINGO, passive e-gressiveness.

And as far as your bleeding heart is concerned, calling somone out without actually calling them out is genius. Now you’ve got a boatload of e-friends to e-commiserate with, and at least a dozen will coment on your post and tell you you’re great and that “everything will be e-OK.”

Personally, I don’t understand why people do it. When has inviting more people into a problem ever made it better? Never. And once it’s on facebook, the dogs will eat. If people don’t comment, they’ll talk about it. If they don’t talk about it, they’ll blog about it….eh hem.

But in the end, I guess the important thing is that you work out whatever issues you may have, with whoever you have them. And if you do choose facebook as the method of your madness, you can bet I’ll be cheering from the cheap seats hoping for a public trainwreck. And when the carnage is complete, I’ll copy and paste your meltdown into an email to share with friends and co-workers. It’s public passive e-gressiveness, and it’s beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. We got the cutest birth announcement. And yes it is from our precious new GreatGrandBaby - Jude!
    I just can't wait to hold him and squeeze the sugar out of him, Ha! Thanks kids - Will be seeing you in few weeks. Heading north end of April. Can hardly wait to see all of you. Love ya, Grandma & Grandpa Menk