can someone explain "passive-aggressive" to me? Give me examples? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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Talk Amongst Ourselves > can someone explain "passive-aggressive" to me? Give me examples?
kamilla626's Avatar kamilla626 08:39 AM 06-27-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellp View Post
Thanks for the story, and you've got a good hubby for being so gentle with you!
Um, yeah... only a truly great hubby would actually like Mexican food. :

(Totally kidding and pretending to be PA )


The hardest part now, is when I'm asking him something because I genuinely want to know. And he will sometimes assume I'm being passive aggressive, even when I'm not.

"Do you want to go see my parents on Sunday? And no, I'm not just asking because I specifically want to see my parents on Sunday. I don't know if I want to yet, and I'm just trying to find out whether you want to, so don't do that 'Gee Katie' thing, because I'm only looking for a yes or no right now, ok?!"

kblackstone444's Avatar kblackstone444 10:04 AM 06-27-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post
Passive aggressive is trying to guilt someone into doing something rather than just asking them to do it. Or trying to make them feel guilty because they said no.

Or doing something to cause them distress because you're upset.

To me, indirectly requesting something is a hint, which is totally different.
All that, plus this...

Perpentrator: My Father-in-Law.

Sommon scenario: Me, my stepdaughter and my Father-in-Law are sitting in my Father-in-Law's kitchen.

My stepdaughter to me: "Krissy, can I have some chocolate?"

Me to my stepdaughter: "We're eating dinner in a few minutes. You can have some after dinner."

My stepdaughter to me: "Okay."

I go in the next room to help my son with something and come back to see my stepdaughter eating a half a bar of chocolate.

Me to my stepdaughter: "Why do you have chocolate? Didn't I say you can have some after dinner?"

My Father-in-Law to me: "I gave it to her. She's hungry. She'll eat dinner."

:
Katielady's Avatar Katielady 10:10 AM 06-27-2008
harleyhalfmoon: good example. One kind of PA is doing things behind someone's back that you know they don't want you to do, rather than confronting them about it directly.
kama'aina mama's Avatar kama'aina mama 10:11 AM 06-27-2008
oooohhh! More on the fallout of passive aggressive behavior: My partners ex-girlfriend was really passive aggressive. Very. So last night he was shooting pool and having a good time. I was tired and not really into it. So I said, "Hey, I'm gonna go upstairs. I'll see you later." and we had a little back and forth about when he was gonna come upstairs and I was very clear that he should stay and have fun as long as he wanted and I was fine.

Two or three hours later I hear him come in... I'm asleep. He slips into bed and I roll over and he instantly starts being really apologetic about being out late. Ugh! I just said "STOP! You haven't done anything wrong. I'm not the least bit annoyed. When I said 'Do whatever you like and I'll see you later' that's ACTUALLY what I meant."

Ugh. So tiresome.
shelley4's Avatar shelley4 04:51 PM 06-29-2008
two examples from MIL:

"DS is so *goofy*... he sures doesn't get that from MY side of the family!" = goofy is bad, your side of the family is bad/goofy, my side of the family is superior

"if i had to chase these kids around all day, i would be SO skinny" = this is double edged.. first you must not play with your kids enough, and second, you're fat
lerlerler's Avatar lerlerler 11:41 PM 06-29-2008
Hee hee

My sister is PA all the time. Great example - her son (nephew, duh?) is a special needs (terrific, wonderful but not "easy"). At the time of our wedding he was about 6 years old. I asked my sis if he would be OK being IN the wedding.. she decided that it would be too stressful for him and too much potential for trouble (I was fine with an outburst, I love the bugger, but I didn't want a sad child...)

ANyway, we gave him a special title, let him help pick the music-- all the backstage things and I spent WEEKS making the programs (obviously NOT with him listed as ring bearer) big silly project but I was obsessed

Two DAYS before the wedding my sister tells me that

SHE BOUGHT HIM A TUXEDO THAT MATCHED MY DH'S!! "well, it was on sale.... "

"um, sis dis you change your mind - do you want him in the wedding?"

she squeals "Oh, I never thought of that, but now that you mention it...I was thinking that he MIGHT be OK"

Dork. OF COURSE he was welcomed in the wedding but Geez loiuse, if she had TOLD me instead of being all weird about it...
hakeber's Avatar hakeber 10:05 AM 06-30-2008
Passive agressive is being mean and agressive while pretending you are innocent and well-intentioned.

It's a common tactic to fight against people who you feel are stronger than you, but is generally not approved of in western society.
kmeyrick's Avatar kmeyrick 11:00 AM 06-30-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley4 View Post
two examples from MIL:

"DS is so *goofy*... he sures doesn't get that from MY side of the family!" = goofy is bad, your side of the family is bad/goofy, my side of the family is superior

"if i had to chase these kids around all day, i would be SO skinny" = this is double edged.. first you must not play with your kids enough, and second, you're fat
that is worthy of my family, 2 birds one stone.

With my grandmother the record is 5 people in one go. My grandmother has always hated whatever my grandfather has bought her for Christmas, if he got her the Holy Grail she would complain it doesn't match her serving sets and she has no where for it.

ANYWAY, he always turns to us for Christmas, this year we helped him pick out a pendent from her favourite Jewelry designer. She said 'it would be nice to have a present with thought in it (swipe at my grandfather), especially from the giver (rather than me, mom, and dad), this looks like something D (aunt, a professional artisan jewelry designer) could have made.............

Bang! (grandpa)...Bang! (me)...Bang! (dad)...Bang! (mom)...BANG!!!!!! (aunt)

Taking the swipe at my aunt like that, it was magnificent.
kmeyrick's Avatar kmeyrick 11:04 AM 06-30-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post
Passive agressive is being mean and agressive while pretending you are innocent and well-intentioned.

It's a common tactic to fight against people who you feel are stronger than you, but is generally not approved of in western society.
no, no, it is the preferred tactic of all wasps, it is a fine white anglo saxon protestant tradition, an art form. being blunt is just rude and lacks finesse

It's like a war dance through the spoken word. A true passive aggressive fight can last for days, YEARS, and is the thing of legend at family dinners. We write every passive aggressive remark down in my family for our all time favourites. And we can hold onto them forever..........
pink gal's Avatar pink gal 11:49 AM 06-30-2008
"if i had to chase these kids around all day, i would be SO skinny" = this is double edged.. first you must not play with your kids enough, and second, you're fat[/QUOTE]

Wow, Shelly Has my mom been over at your house?

Here's my example I tell mom we'll be over at her place about 5:00. At 5:05 my cell phone rings and she says "Are you okay. I was worried because you're not here yet"
mama_at_home's Avatar mama_at_home 12:45 AM 07-01-2008
When I was in junior high and I got angry at my mom, I would rearrange her makeup drawer so that she couldn't find all her ususal stuff. But I didn't take it, so it just left her confused why she couldn't find things. I also dumped out her hairspray bottle and filled it with water so after she took out her rollers and did her hair, the water totally flattened everything. Or sometimes I would turn the radio on full-blast in her car so when she started it up it would startle her. I was very P/A.
hipumpkins's Avatar hipumpkins 03:31 AM 07-01-2008
Here's 2 from the king of P/A my Dh:
We were leaving the following morning to go to my Aunt's house. My mom and sisiter and had come in Florida and we were having a little birthday party for DS.
The night before I asked DH, "what do you have to do in the morning?" So I could gauge getting the kids ready to leave.
Instead of telling me that he either, A) had nothing planned b/c we hadn't discussed what time we were leaving
or B) telling me that he just had to run to such and such store to get the kids' life jackets
He said, "That's wny I asked you what time we had to leave!"

I asked, "What question are you answering?"


Then today I called him at word and asked him to pund some nails into a board b/c DD had gotten a pot holder loom and DS wanted to loop stuff too. I said I though the loom was about a foot (I was VERY wrong) wide. When DH came home with the pegs DS tried to loop the yarn...the nails were too far. DS said, "no workin'"
I said, "Oh they're too far apart Daddy can fix it for you"
To which DH said, "I *thought* you said a foot."

...and your point?
I did and I was wrong..and at no point did I say, "wow daddy really messed up your peg board he really sucks"
JamesMama's Avatar JamesMama 09:38 AM 07-01-2008
This annoying thing DH says...

Me- "Hon, I'm trying to do XYZ...could you change Aldria's diaper?"
DH (who was previously sitting on the couch doing NOTHING)- "Yeah, thats fine *grumpy voice* I was going to take some insulin since my blood sugar feels super high, but that'll just have to wait I suppose."

Honest.To.God he says that.

And then when I say "Never-freaking-mind! I'll do it." he gets all grumpy and says "Gawd! I said I'd change her diaper, I just wanted to take some insulin first so I don't DIE." And if I say "Fine, take your medicine...whatever." he says "No, because you'll get grumpy if I don't change her right away."


sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan 10:42 AM 07-01-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamatoablessing View Post
Is it considered passive aggressive when DH leaves his (expensive) sunglasses right next to the kitchen sink every damn day and I accidentally spray cleaner and water on them? "but honey...they were so close to the sink..."
Nah, that's a natural consequence. P/A would be if you "accidentally" knocked them into the sink or onto the floor.
sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan 10:49 AM 07-01-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by shelley4 View Post
d all day, i would be SO skinny"
"but then how would you have time to criticize your DIL? You really need to think these exercise plans through more carefully."
sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan 10:56 AM 07-01-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMama View Post
This annoying thing DH says...

Me- "Hon, I'm trying to do XYZ...could you change Aldria's diaper?"
DH (who was previously sitting on the couch doing NOTHING)- "Yeah, thats fine *grumpy voice* I was going to take some insulin since my blood sugar feels super high, but that'll just have to wait I suppose."

Honest.To.God he says that.

And then when I say "Never-freaking-mind! I'll do it." he gets all grumpy and says "Gawd! I said I'd change her diaper, I just wanted to take some insulin first so I don't DIE." And if I say "Fine, take your medicine...whatever." he says "No, because you'll get grumpy if I don't change her right away."

"Don't worry about dying dear, I've already upped your life insurance policy in case your poor time management skills kill you off one day."

Seriously though, if he's got that much of a problem monitoring his blood sugar levels, it's probably time for an insulin pump. And time for a discussion, totally separate from times you're asking him to do things, about why he isn't taking better care of himself.
JamesMama's Avatar JamesMama 11:46 AM 07-01-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
"Don't worry about dying dear, I've already upped your life insurance policy in case your poor time management skills kill you off one day."

Seriously though, if he's got that much of a problem monitoring his blood sugar levels, it's probably time for an insulin pump. And time for a discussion, totally separate from times you're asking him to do things, about why he isn't taking better care of himself.


His bs is usually fine, he just wants to get out of doing crap. It's like he suddenly *needs* to take insulin/go to the bathroom/eat something/blah blah blah when I ask him to do something for one of the kids. And it's ALWAYS life or death. ALWAYS. Just being a lazy ass.

He had the pump for a while but wasn't able to set the basal at a low enough rate for his level of daily activity. He has a VERY physical job and was constantly having low blood sugars because the basal rate, while at the lowest possible setting, was still too high.
karlin's Avatar karlin 01:09 PM 07-01-2008
Wow, great examples.

My grandma was the absolute queen of saying p/a things. She'd say things to me like, "Givers and takers always seem to get married to each other. Your father (her son) is such a giver." She always said things like that about my mom. Drove me nuts.

Now, my sister is the queen of p/a behaviour. She'll take 3 times as long an anyone else to eat dinner, especially if we go out to eat. She'll even order extra stuff and only take one bite to prolong the agony. She'll smile and talk about how slow of an eater she has always been while everyone else is obviously ready to go or has plans (and she'll need to be driven somewhere), etc.
elisent's Avatar elisent 01:17 PM 07-01-2008
I am unconfrontational which I think leads me to be passive-aggressive. Let's say someone eats a snack that belongs to me. I know who it is. I will wait until they're in the room and be like "Wow, I can't wait to eat my snack! I have been waiting for that all day. It's my favorite one and it tastes sooo good....Oh no, I can't find it! I wonder if I accidentally threw it away?" etc etc

I've been trying to work really hard on being direct but it's like there's some kind of block there.
sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan 02:48 PM 07-01-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMama View Post


His bs is usually fine, he just wants to get out of doing crap.
Well, yes. I was just suggesting a P/A "solution" to a P/A situation. "Oh honey you're sick?!? We have to take care of you!!!"

But he pulls it with going to the bathroom too? "Sweetie, it's been 20 minutes, are you sure you don't have to go to the bathroom, get something to eat, or check your blood sugar? Well, I know you *think* you're fine, but the 5 times I asked you to do something yesterday you suddenly had to do one of those things, so I'm worried that you aren't really taking care of yourself like you should."

Sorry, I'm apparently in auto-snark mode. Don't actually do any of the above!
Petronella's Avatar Petronella 05:00 PM 07-01-2008
Me and several people from work - maybe fifteen or sixteen - went out for dinner. It was all-you-can-eat, so they gave us a checklist and we decided what we as a group wanted.

At least an hour late, a woman (lets call her Cathy) came in. She's a vegetarian, leaning towards vegan, and it turned out there wasn't much on the menu that would work for her, and what there was, few of us would want. She got this really sour look on her face. We were totally willing to talk to our waiter or the manager and ask if out one friend could just order seperately, but Cathy just insisted on acting like this martyr and going to the bar, saying things like, "Don't you worry one bit about me, I'm a single woman, I'm used to taking care of myself."

That, to me, is passive-aggresive. Or perhaps it is just annoying.
sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan 05:07 PM 07-01-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petronella View Post
Me and several people from work - maybe fifteen or sixteen - went out for dinner. It was all-you-can-eat, so they gave us a checklist and we decided what we as a group wanted.

At least an hour late, a woman (lets call her Cathy) came in. She's a vegetarian, leaning towards vegan, and it turned out there wasn't much on the menu that would work for her, and what there was, few of us would want. She got this really sour look on her face. We were totally willing to talk to our waiter or the manager and ask if out one friend could just order seperately, but Cathy just insisted on acting like this martyr and going to the bar, saying things like, "Don't you worry one bit about me, I'm a single woman, I'm used to taking care of myself."

That, to me, is passive-aggresive. Or perhaps it is just annoying.
Yes. And yes, although that's redundant.

By the way, sounds like a great group of people. I've had family expect me to split the bill evenly when they had steaks and I had an appetizer (I didn't, but they tried to get me to.)
Rach's Avatar Rach 05:23 PM 07-01-2008
Yesterday, I put the clean laundry on the bed with the intention of folding it later. Well, I never got around to it. When my husband went to bed, he folded all of his own clothes out of the pile and put them away. When I went to bed, I found all of my clothes piled on my side of the bed. [Hmmm...I wonder if he was trying to tell me something...] So I then folded all of my clothes and put them away. One shirt was his and I remembered this thread and actually debated with myself if I would go ahead and put his shirt away or if I'd be more passive aggressive and put it on his pillow.
I ended up leaving it on his computer chair.
DevaMajka's Avatar DevaMajka 05:36 PM 07-01-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post
Passive agressive is being mean and agressive while pretending you are innocent and well-intentioned.

It's a common tactic to fight against people who you feel are stronger than you, but is generally not approved of in western society.
Yeah, this is how I see it. You want to look innocent, but your intention is to be mean.

ie my mil: "I cleaned off the table for you. That window was open; there must be a lot of dust coming in." meaning- your table was dirty and you never clean it, so I did it for you.

Here's the merriam webster def:
Main Entry: passive–aggressive
Function: adjective
Date: 1946
: being, marked by, or displaying behavior characterized by the expression of negative feelings, resentment, and aggression in an unassertive passive way (as through procrastination and stubbornness)
kblackstone444's Avatar kblackstone444 07:49 PM 07-01-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rach View Post
Yesterday, I put the clean laundry on the bed with the intention of folding it later. Well, I never got around to it. When my husband went to bed, he folded all of his own clothes out of the pile and put them away. When I went to bed, I found all of my clothes piled on my side of the bed. [Hmmm...I wonder if he was trying to tell me something...] So I then folded all of my clothes and put them away. One shirt was his and I remembered this thread and actually debated with myself if I would go ahead and put his shirt away or if I'd be more passive aggressive and put it on his pillow.
I ended up leaving it on his computer chair.
I would have worn it the next day. "Oh, dear, that's YOUR shirt? It was in my pile..." Passive aggressiveness can be fun, as long as the person on the recieving end doesn't take it too seriously.
3_opihi's Avatar 3_opihi 04:20 AM 07-02-2008
Passive aggression - being really pissed off, upset, or irritated with someone and instead of talking to them directly about, calling up friends or family and talking stink about them. Not venting about the incident, just talking stink.
Sharlla's Avatar Sharlla 04:36 AM 07-02-2008
The one time that we were all out to dinner and the lady at the booth next to us was SPANKING HER BABY : and DH goes "Don't worry Seth, we'll never hit you like that" Now that's was passive aggressive. BTW the lady and the older man she was with left promptly after that, then I walked past them in the mall and I heard her say "That's the girl from the restaurant"
3_opihi's Avatar 3_opihi 05:57 AM 07-02-2008
Oh, here's another example of passive aggressive behavior. A few years ago I cut my waist length hair off to donate to locks of love. Being the big baby that I am, I called up one of my oldest friends and cried to her about it. That very night, what does she do but post a new myspace picture of herself showing off HER beautiful waist long hair -only to get loads of comments about how gorgeous she is. .

Passive aggression - makes you feel petty and silly over things. Makes you wonder, now why am I upset about this? Uh - because usually the "incident" isn't what you're really upset about!
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