90-to-40: Passive-Aggressive is just an accent. And when in Rome...

Day 41:

"Oh? Was I being passive-aggressive? I don't MEAN to be. I was just teasing."

Bull shit. I mean it. And if I thought for a minute you could handle an honest,straight-forward, respectful discussion about the topic at hand, I would prefer to go that direction.

"Does that sound condescending?  Awwwww... I sure am sorry."

Let's get real for a moment. The people who throw temper tantrums about passive-aggressive behavior, are most often those who are NEVER able to handle an honest, accepting discussion that includes MY feelings. Not alone, if I actually want to ask anything of them that might require self reflection.

I strongly dislike being passive aggressive. It is my nature to speak the truth. I can handle a frank discussion even when it includes my own behavior.  And... though I'm sure many will disagree... there is merit in masking statements behind wit or a softer message. There is sometimes a greater impact.

Now, if I did it all the time, THAT is a problem. However, I have people with whom I can be extremely direct...kindly, honestly and thoughtfully. But, there are times when passive aggressive points are the only thing a person hears. I am just speaking the local language.

Dr. Phil does it all the damn time. I've watched him. He does it for impact, yet  he is known as the most direct and "in-yer-face" public figure. Why? Because he knows when to do it, and when not to.

Well... same here.

So, am I being condescending?  Right now, I'm speaking the truth as I see it, and I bet you anything that a few people are boiling over. But... REALLY think about this. If you established a truly open, respectful conversation with me, I don't need to be passive OR aggressive. 

Tired of being patronized? Get real with yourself and get thicker skin. Maybe people will feel like they can approach you and engage in an honest discussion wherein both of you can learn.

If you won't hear me, or I know you are too fragile... I guaran-damn-tee ya that I will be passive aggressive if that is what it takes.

But, dont worry... i won't patronize you for long. I am a good communicator. I am able to deal with many, MANY communication styles. For the most part, once I've gone P-A on you, I have already tried other more respectful approaches.

Unless it is a persons only form of communication, you cannot assume they are being a jerk. Look in the mirror. If it is not the persons go-to form of conversation, then where does your level of communication lie with that person. It may need to be retooled.

Passive aggressiveness sets soft-boundaries. It gets a message to people who will not receive REAL conversation, or whom are incapable of acknowledging their own human nature.

Now here is the part where I know my own faults. People say being passive-aggressive is the lowest form of communication. I believe that is true, but i have still gone to that level. And there is the key to it all. I can end up there... and it usually means that I have given up and any level of mature conversation is in your court now. Throw me a bone and I will gladly step it back up.

I hate it when someone STARTS any interaction being P-A without trying to get to know me. So, if you agree with that, you and I will likely have some amazing, non P-A chats.

How many conversations would escalate if you were honest to a fault? How many people do you know who can't handle clear, concise conversations. How many people have you tried to conversate with and no matter what you say, they turn it into something else? Yep.. if i am forced to talk to a jerk... I'm going P-A.

Now... how many people are P-A with you? For me, it is only a couple and they tend to be that way with everyone. On the whole, I have mostly clear, honest, respectful interactions with so many amazing people. I don't face much P-A and I try not to dish it out. I also try to be open to those who offer a mirror for my own behavior.

Don't be - or make me be - passive aggressive. It means one of us has checked out of the relationship. After a while... anyone would surrender. And please... with absolutely no P-A in my bones right now, I ask that you take this for what it is... a commentary and opinion.

I'm fortunate to have little need to be  passive-aggressive in my relationships at the moment. I am so thankful. But as I've grown older, my boundaries are becoming clearer and my tolerance for relationships where I have to speak with the P-A accent is almost zero.

Lets all go for a nice conversation vs the condescending stuff. Okay? It makes us all better communicators and is so much more rewarding.

No comments: