Passive Aggression

“Life is simply time given to man to learn how to live. Mistakes are always part of learning. The real dignity of life consists in cultivating a fine attitude towards our own mistakes and those of others.” Anonymous

“We know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks but by his actions.”  Isaac Bashevis

I heard from a couple of Mothers-in-law (MIL). One stated how her son had asked her over to look at his latest work done on the house. Apparently her Daughter-in-law (DIL) was not aware she was coming. The MIL took the brunt of the anger through passive aggression. Her DIL never looked at her when she was talking or when her MIL was talking. She smiled a forced smile but was quick with her moves and stiff with her body language. We call it passive aggression.We all know what it is but nobody knows how to stop it or why it is so irritating. MIL or DIL as well as people in general are guilty of passive aggression. If we really don’t attempt to hide it then I would assume it is out there in our faces and meant to hurt. When we snub or make faces at another’s remark or sigh, we are practicing passive aggression. We get the message across to others bluntly. The victim is at our mercy because on the surface everything appears complacent. Only the person experiencing the aggression is aware of what is really happening. If the victim complained the aggressor would deny what they were doing and state nothing could be further from the truth. The victim in a sense would become the complainer and one who imagines things that are not there.. We all know when we are getting the proverbial “Cold Shoulder.” We don’t know how to respond to it.

What do we achieve by doing this to another? We hurt the person at the receiving end. It is demeaning and usually, the receiver is confused and trying to figure out why they are a target. They try to recall what their mistake was. How sad to spend quality time with loved ones or friends in total reflection about the past. Maybe we assume too much. We think another has done something that they most likely didn’t do but we make them guilty until proven innocent. Sometimes we can’t prove our innocence.

If we simply look for the best in others and assume they are never deliberately trying to hurt us, we all might thrive a lot better. Sometimes it seems that the people who think others are guilty of saying or doing something negative to them are the people who are doing these things themselves. If we live our lives complaining about others and talking about others and perpetuating a “Cold Attitudes” towards them, it’s time to ask ourselves if we are the guilty party.

We all will play many roles in our lives. We are the teen who becomes the parent, the brother or sister in need to the brother or sister who can lend a hand, the shunned worker who rises to become the boss. If we are out for revenge then it will come in many forms to those who have hurt us. This includes those who remind us of those who hurt us. Are we any better? If so then it is time for an attitude adjustment. No payback involved only forgiveness. This allows us to  live a more honorable life.

Even a small hurt may wound another and affect them for the rest of the day or week. In the same way a small gesture of kindness without attitude, may cheer a person for a day or a week. We always have the choice not only to increase our happiness but the happiness of others. That holds more power than the quick infliction of pain. I would rather be remembered for the small kindnesses I do for others rather than for the tremendous hurts I was able to inflict.

Most of us forget to carry the nice gifts of kindness with us, that we received throughout the day but it is obviously displayed in our good mood. The unhappy experiences are taken to heart and shadowed from the light where they fester within us for a long time. Our mental, physical and emotional attitudes are hampered.

If company appears unexpectedly be honest by stating your surprise. Cordially laugh and mention your tremendous workload and you may receive help with it. That is far better than making company feel totally unwanted and  intrusive. When your made to be the intruder, and someone hurts you try to remember some reasons involved. They are having a  difficult day, They are shifting their anger with someone else onto you. They are not feeling well or anticipated a project and are disappointed at your arrival but don’t want to send you packing back home. Alleviate your anxiety about the situation with positive thoughts.

It is important to step outside of ourselves and go with the flow. If you are  receptive to the company, you might just have a better time than they do. If you are the intrusive person, you might win the person over with your charm, kindness and love. It shrinks down to “I want what I want even though I am an adult.” We can modify that to “I can always work on my project another day and maybe I’m going to have a more interesting day or a challenging one that I will remember I overcame.

Either way it will make you a stronger person and one who is governed by thought and appreciation rather than anger and frustration. I believe there are moments that interfere with our plans that were ordained times. Maybe we were saved from an accident we’ll never have. Those stupid incidences that annoy us may be the life altering events which would make more sense if we could  see the results, which we can’t,  if they did happen. Loosening our agenda and expectations makes us a better friend and companion. In the end when we disturb our friends’ plans maybe they will extend us the same kind courtesy.

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.” George Washington Carver

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