How Do You Handle Passive Aggression?

A dear friend of mine Sarah at GraceUnderPressure.blog recently wrote a post about how being passive aggressive can hurt your relationship with God. 

It got me thinking. I have developed some methods for dealing with passive aggression over the years and I wanted to see what other people have come up with. 

Other than lying there is nothing that can make we want to throw a person more than passive aggressive behavior. In fact they are so close that it’s just about the same thing. 

I have had the uhh… pleasure(?)… of working closely with some people who are passive aggressive. (Is there a shorter way of saying that? How about pagg? I’m tired of typing the whole thing. Yep, I’m using pagg.) I have long said I would so prefer someone be one or the other. I can take aggression, I may not enjoy it, but I can deal with it. Or if a person is genuinely passive that’s easy to work with. The combination of the two is just bad. 

Over the years I have learned a couple coping mechanisms. First, some methods I chose not to use:

Them: “Pagg pagg paggy words”

Me: “Wow, I don’t know who or how but someone obviously hurt you in the past. Congratulations on taking that pain and using it to perfect your douche nozzle skills.”

or

Them: “Pagg pagg pagg… I don’t mean a word I’m saying.”

Me: “Is it possible you actually mean blah blah blah? Cause you’re not sly and you’re making me want to body slam you.”

Those are true stories bro. I just managed to use a bit (ton) of self control and not say my responses out loud. I obviously needed a different approach so I have decided just not to dignify such behavior. Here are some of the things I actually do:

Play Dumb

As a blonde girl this one is unfortunately all to easy too pull off. “Wait, what did you say? I don’t get it. You’re words are so fancy and you’re so intelligent my poor little blonde girl brain just can’t comprehend.” Okay, not exactly those words. It’s just how I feel when I have to use this technique. 

Be Literal

This one is pretty easy and actually kinda fun. When I know someone has a different agenda or is trying to sneak in a nasty comment I take their words purely at face value. I’ve had people get upset when I do this but, I won’t be held responsible for people’s subtext. This has been much easier when communicating by text or email. I have been able to refer back to their actual words. It’s more than a tiny bit satisfying to be able to quote a Paggy-pagg verbatim and they can’t argue. Then I get to say it is confusing when they don’t say what they mean. 

Call Them On It

This one is only reserved for people I know well, have a good relationship with, I know love me and they know I love them. The truth is that we all fall short and have been pagg from time to time. When someone I am close to pulls out their pagg-y pants I will gently say, “When you said blah blah blah is it possible you meant blegh blegh blegh?” Or “Are you okay? I could be wrong but I get the feeling there’s something more to what you’re saying or something you’re not telling me. Have I or someone else upset you?”

That’s what I have to offer. I am certainly not perfect and don’t use these every time. But I have come to believe that giving in to paggy behavior is enabling. Like my friend brings up in her article it is not healthy and can be damaging to not just the victim, but also the one being passive aggressive. 

Loving someone means speaking the truth in love and that is why I just won’t put up with paggy behavior. That and I don’t like being treated like poo-doo. The longer I put up with it the higher the chance of a felony being committed. 

That’s what I have to offer. Please please please comment some of your own suggestions! Pagginess is not going away anytime soon so we all need some ways to cope!

With hopes of a Pagg-less future, much love,

Janine

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