Now for the one I cannot seem to get through to on this passive aggressive shit… I really don’t understand. This is a person who is a brand addict, and although I’m never sure if they realize it, loves to brag… it can be about deals they have found on designer shit, how much they have managed to save on food, how they have adopted an all-natural, all organic diet… whatever the latest “thing” might be. Half the time, I haven’t a clue who they are talking about when they mention brands.
They have a talented child they are completely devoted to, no one could possibly question it and this kid really is very very talented. Their kid and my kid never speak to one another even if in the same room, but have a shitload of the same or similar interests. It’s weird, but I attribute it to family just being family, it would make sense if there is some commonality. We have a lot of creative talent and high intelligence coursing through the family, we just have the emotional and maturity level of the Sta-Puft Marshmallow man.
They have a two-parent, two-income home and a spoiled child. The child themself is not spoiled, they simply have the resources to give and do just about anything their offspring wishes. I think that is really great. Sure, I’d like to have that level of resource, but I don’t and Spawn is no worse for it. In fact, I suspect that Spawn will be a lot more self-sufficient in the long run because they have simply had to be. Both are exceptional kids and I love them. I think their similarities yet disinterest in interaction with the other is both weird and funny. I hope they grow out of it because I think a valuable friendship could be had there.
I’m pretty sure my darling family member suspects me of directing Spawn’s interests in the same direction as their slightly older offspring. I think they secretly like this idea. This particular family member spends a great amount of effort extolling their various wins, trips, savings, adventures, and kid’s accomplishments on social media, I’m sure in part to instill jealousy among their social peers…whether they realize it or no.
Of course, among the weaker-minded of their acquaintances as I really am beginning to doubt they have ever had a real friendship, they occasionally end up with some mimicking them. One will post “artwork” by their children that is a little too obviously traced or will post seemingly similar posts about their adventures, savings, etc much in the same way my family member does. Personally, I don’t notice much of the mimicries until my family member points it out, but its like a punch in the face whenever they do their “some people” shit in response. I cannot help fanning the flames by responding with “whose ‘Some People’, do I know them and is Some a first name or middle name or a nickname?”,”If you don’t feel comfortable naming them, then why post this?”,”Does this really need to be directed to more than just the one person you want to notice it?”
I’d probably make a great troll.
When we have gotten together for holidays, I have often asked this as subtlety as I am capable as to why they continue to do this and who cares what the hell other people do around them. They seem to feel that in confronting someone this will affect their general social status. I don’t get it. I still don’t get it today. If they care so much about their social status, isn’t taking the risk their “fans” might pick up on the fact their being mocked also be detrimental to their “status?”
I was told “You say whatever you want and get away with it and people will and ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ because you are larger than life.”
Again, more confused and I completely lost all thought for a couple minutes. My family member told me that if anyone didn’t agree with what I said, they would be either too scared to say it or if they did say anything, I would tell them multiple ways to stick it.
All I could think to ask was, “Is this really how you see me? Because the last thing I would ever apply to myself would be some foreign concept of ‘larger than life,’ that one is especially far reaching.” In the grand scheme of things I feel really quite small, I’m just ok with that.
We talked a good bit trying to understand one another a little more, but they had left me completely befuddled with their view of me. I did encourage them to find their own voice and stop worrying so much about what people did around them, unless they were pulling Single White Female shit. If anything they would probably end up being the hero of the community for being the one to stand up to someone being a douchebag and relieving the cowardly ones from doing so. When we remain silent about shit behavior, we inadvertently reward it. Sure your parents should have raised you with good manners, but where they lacked is where your peers step in to be more effective.
I guess what I really took from it is that passive-aggressive behavior is stemmed deeply in fear. I supposed until we deal with the underlying fear, those who rely on P-A to contend with their issues will never change. I also took away from this is that someone like me who has no real fear of being angry or putting that out on the table to discuss, must seem like an unattainable goal, hence the impression of being “larger than life.”
Maybe I take it for granted, but over the years I have come to realize that relationships in which I’ve confronted someone with the goal of resolving something that angered me and that have become worse because of that confrontation, were never worth having in the first place. Perhaps, in having quite a few deep and valuable friendships, I have been able to make this distinction where my family member hasn’t. Is passive aggressive behavior a method of avoiding finding out your friendship is based on superficial shit?
Maybe, but the sad reality is that when you deal with “friends” through passive aggressive means, you are only deluding yourself in thinking they don’t know what you are doing. They may not see themselves in whatever it is you’re trying to communicate, but deep down they understand you cannot be trusted since you don’t communicate in an honest way.
When you deal with people honestly, they cannot help but find your friendship enriching since they always know where they stand, good or ill. I think that is worth the gamble.