passive aggression or how not to adult angrily (g2)

Going to have a little rant I guess. Most of us have that one (or more) friend or family member who just cannot seem to understand how to express anger directly, least of all to the source of their anger. In my case, I seem to be surrounded by the bastards everywhere I go. Most of them, not all, seem to be women. I promise I am not being sexist, it just seems too often, but not always, be the case in my own experience.

It does not seem to matter whether it is work or family, I just see so much of it. I wonder if this isn’t a phenomena of leftover bullshit upbringing principles in which it was not OK for a woman to express anger. However, we’re not in the dark ages anymore and the alternative makes you so much more hated… by everyone.

Now Grand was epic at passive aggressive. They were the type to not speak to you at length and then never tell you why, you were just supposed to know. Let me tell you this, anyone who wants to assume you’re a fucking mind-reader whenever they are pissed not only is a selfish twat, but has no interest in keeping a healthy relationship with you. They want the world to cater to them like royalty and they could use some humbling. Best response? If after 6 months they feel the need to finally ring you up and tell you they aren’t speaking to you any longer, your response should be “huh sorry didn’t notice, but it does explain why the past few months have been so peaceful and enjoyable.” If all they do is hang up and never speak to you again, consider your life blessed. DO NOT fall into their bullshit need to make you feel there is something wrong with you.

If at any point in your life you ever want to get on twitter, Facebook, MySpace (wtf is that?), Snapchat, YouTube or whatever your online social media addiction of choice is with the goal of raging about someone in particular and start with or include the phrase:

“Some people….”

Shut the fuck up right now and go dunk your head, then read a book about maturity and maybe Google “adult confrontation.” Otherwise, you’re being a big fucking tool. Take the shit offline and talk to just that person directly about whatever it is that’s pissing you off.

I have not so subtly tried to hinder this behavior in someone I know. I’m not good at being diplomatic or soft-handed. I rage about what pisses me off and I cut ties with people who cannot seem to function without being leeches. I don’t do passive aggressive because I don’t give a shit what people’s opinion about me is. I know how much I hate it, so it makes so much more sense for me to take two minutes and hash it out with the person who pissed me off.

Eight times out of ten, I have completely misunderstood something and had no reason to be pissed in the first place. Isn’t that great? I don’t have to shit on my day when I’m pissed 80% of time because I don’t assume someone knows they pissed me off, we deal with it and I find out I have grossly misunderstood something, they explain, I say “whew” and move on with my fucking day.

The passive aggressive person however will never say anything to the person, they will write notes, make rude comments, bitch to every single person they can around both parties, make vague hostile remarks on social media and just spend most of the their time obsessing over everything the person says or does, assuming it is all some retaliation or attack against them. This could go one for years… maybe until the day they die. Considering the passive aggressive person does not often just target one person, that’s a shitload of anger being bottled for no fucking good reason.

Another major run-in with p-a was a co-worker. I’m not sure what happened, they were newer than I to the company and I’m pretty sure they had more experience doing mostly the same thing I was doing, and likely being paid more because of it. However, me being me I was generally faster and more accurate at it, by about 30% (yes, my manager checked). I’d been with the company longer and I have a reasonably high energy, but it was my first time in this field. She was the type who watched the clock and didn’t budge a minute over eight hours. I never watched the clocked and often worked over. We were just different types of people. Unfortunately, she was also one of those who simply had to have drama going either at home or at work. If not, she created it.

I had come back from vacation after she’d been there a little over six months and I was treated… well, like shit. I asked what was up and if I’d left something unattended and was met with silence. A few weeks later, my manager pulled both of us in a meeting over my co-worker’s “concerns”. Now, before I took time off, we had often come into one another’s area and help the other when one of us got caught up with our own work. I kept things pending in a particular area and had always let everyone including my manager know where to find anything. My co-worker’s concerns were that my going into their personal space was “disrespectful” to them. (since when the fuck is common area personal space?), and they did not want me touching their stuff any longer.

I asked if I had ever plundered through their personal belongings, purse, jacket, etc. They said no, of course not. I asked them to please explain to me what aside from those items were “personal.” My co-worker didn’t understand what I meant. I figured if this person was going to be pissed at me, I might as well earn it. I pretty much said that I would never touch any of their personal items, but if they were talking about the piles of outstanding work left to be done, this all belonged to the company and “our” job was to ensure it was completed. That if she had issues with the fact I was helping her more often than she was ever helping me that was her own problem. If she suspected I was going through anything personal in order to get to whatever work she had outstanding, then to please move it to a more communal area or I would have the manager take it out for me, but it didn’t make any sense to let the shit just sit there to satisfy her own ego.

Thankfully, she quit a few months later. I read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” to get through the remaining time with her… twice. I would like to think it helped a little, it at least kept me sane. It was getting to the point where her venom around the company was getting on our department head’s nerves enough that she was very close to the chopping block if she hadn’t left on her own.

My next co-worker at the same place was unfortunately much the same in this way, and seemed to be for the same reason. Except she was the writing type. She liked leaving post-its in the stacks of work with “I wish someone people would leave other people’s stuff alone.” It took a year this time before I was pulled into yet another meeting with our new manager who did not know the prior co-worker very well. I was quite angry myself at this point. I told them point blank with them sitting there “fire me then, right now, because I’m not putting up with the bullshit again. People who act like this are a disease. They poison the entire fucking environment and then want to act like its your fault, and that’s just bullshit.” I’ve never wanted to rage quit so much in my life. I also didn’t realize how much working with someone like that could make your entire livelihood unbearable. I try very hard to brush off most of the dipshits of the world… this was like being slowly buried in mercurium. That shit doesn’t come off so easily no matter what you do.

At this point, I questioned if I had some big massive character flaw. I know I’m blunt, I know I don’t care about confrontation as much as I should…. the fact I once loudly told off another (veteran) co-worker in front of the HR Manager’s office (and around the corner from a VP) was enough to make it blatantly clear I didn’t give a shit about holding back when I’d had it. I even immediately went into our department manager’s office afterwards and told on myself because I didn’t want them to hear it third-hand.

I’ve also gotten in a screaming session with a branch manager under the scrutiny of 100 or so of our subordinates because I knew I was right since it was a program I managed and they did not understand it too well…. we were fist to fist and I was so pissed I actually heard a vein in my forehead pop and welcomed my very first migraine shortly after. Looking back, I was younger and more emotional, but I don’t know if I would have been too different.

My point is, I’m ok with being angry too. I know its a valid emotion that serves a purpose, the faster you expel it, the healthier you are. Like having a good cry can be beneficial.

The 2nd P-A hit the chopping block when the economy went to shit. I ended up having 100% of the workload normally split in two. Apparently, their attitude and way of dealing with things was pretty globally known and they had been moved to various departments over the last 10 years trying to find one they wouldn’t be such a problem in. Another VP begged for them to not be laid off, but they were essentially demoted and put on the phones as reception instead. I felt bad for them, but at the same time I was relieved in knowing that it wasn’t just me they had a problem with.

Now, on a happier note, my next co-worker and I were like two peas in a pod. We worked like caffeine-fueled hellions and there were no barriers. I had more than once had my chair, whilst still in it, moved out of the way so they could grab some of my pending material to help out and I did the same in turn to help them, even though we were not primarily over the same type of work. We went on hiking adventures at lunch to see what trouble we could find…and just generally had a fun time in spite of the hard times, even though buried in additional work and perpetually busy. When I got an offer with another company that was just too lucrative to pass up, they were with me til almost 9 that last night to make sure everything I had to do was done and any final touches to make the manual I wrote more clear were put in. We still meet up for lunch on occasion even today. I am constantly directing anything lucrative I hear about their way because they are just that good.

But did we fight? Yep. We both just happened to value our work and personal relationship enough to deal with it immediately and honestly.

Rest of the rant

6 thoughts on “passive aggression or how not to adult angrily (g2)

  1. I agree with you about passive aggression and the gender divide. Woman are taught that it’s unladylike to be overtly angry, the way men are taught that it’s unmanly to cry. Societal conditioning has a lot to answer for. Passive aggressive social networking irritates me too. Subtweets make me want to kick someone. But I’m a woman, so instead of that, I should just subtweet about the subtweet in a petulant and snarky manner.

  2. Hearing you loud, and clearly over here. NOTHING is worse than a passive aggressive individual! My complete sympathies. I think the hardest thing in life is trying to deal with someone when your crystal ball is out of wack. 😉 G-uno

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