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To find passive aggressive people very very very irritating indeed

(32 Posts)
CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Thu 23-Jun-11 10:25:26

A "friend", of mine is slowly getting more and more passive aggressive. I think she is quite jealous of anyone that has or does something that she doesn't have or do.

I have recently started working from home, for myself, for a couple of hours each day. Her response when I told her about this "Well it sounds like something ANY of us could do when our little ones nap". Okay, fine,so start a similar thing yourself then.

I was off to the dentist to have some composite veneers on my front teeth. Her reaction; "Oh well that should certainly look interesting. Can't wait to see that" with a hint of a snigger in her voice.

She doesn't upset me, I just ignore her comments or I make out that I think she was complimenting me "Oh I'm so glad you think the veneers will look nice, I can't wait to show them to you as I know you'll love them". But there just seem to be so many passive aggressive people around, and I find them irritating. Surely it stops them from having good friendships as people are either put off by the nasty comments or dont' find them genuine as a person.

Rant over!

youarekidding Thu 23-Jun-11 10:37:19

I had (notice the past tense) a friend like this.

I used to play the dim card to an extent. BUT in the meantime went out and made more friends, joined groups and made a life for myself. It started with her asking for playdates and me refusing when busy and getting pass agg answers about the activity.

Soon, like as you said above she went out and did her own groups etc. She stopped asking for meet ups and eventually our friendship dwindled. It took me 6 months to realise how relaxed I'd become since our 'split'.

Had recently heard she's not very happy and had a limited circle of friends - one can only assume she pushed the rest away? And of course the compassionate part of me invited her agroup meet up - I explained the reason I had stopped meeting her in the first place. She was great fun, very much liked my friends and very much the 'old' her before the pass aggresiveness.

My point is that your doing well for yourself and making something of yourself and its bringing out your friends insecurities. Either tell her it hurts and she stops or she'll have to accept theres no room for people like her in your life.

YANBU btw.

BobbaFettBountyHunter Thu 23-Jun-11 10:42:14

I also hate people like this and have noticed it more and more, most probably because I used to be passive aggressive. Anyway, smile sweetly, tell her maybe she should think about veneers too.

Incidently I did the school run the other day and had one particular 'friend' who spent the entire time sniggering at my hair just because i've had it re styled. I can only assume it makes her feel better about her 5 o'cock shadow issues. Brush it off.

kennypowers Thu 23-Jun-11 10:45:34

At least passive/aggressive has comedy value

Animation Thu 23-Jun-11 10:47:49

I agree - they are the worst! hmm

Give me 'direct' aggression anytime.

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Thu 23-Jun-11 10:51:28

I am loving the passive aggressive notes, Kennypowers!

I think the thing with direct aggression is that at least you know where you stand. So if someone says "I hate your haircut" you a) know what their true opinion is and can b) probably come to the conclusion that they're not a proper friend and cut them out of your life, pronto.

Passive aggressive friends give the illusion of being a friend, but with all the little nasty stings in the tail, determined to break you down.

kennypowers Thu 23-Jun-11 10:52:48

I've wasted many a half hour looking at passiveaggressivenotes! There's a link on there (bottom of page I think) for Postcards From Yo Momma which is also very entertaining.

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Thu 23-Jun-11 10:54:29

will take a look!

Birdsgottafly Thu 23-Jun-11 11:02:27

I think that you should always challenge passive aggressiveness (or any other bad behaviour). My DM used to be very passive aggressive but didn't realise because she had always got away with it. She isn't a nice person generally. I had to teach myself to not do what she had done as i was growing up, if you are brought up with it in the family you sometimes don't realise that it is not the way to communicate, it becomes second nature. I think that the only way to stop it is to tell the person straight.

Animation Thu 23-Jun-11 11:03:40

It's hard to challenge though because they deny they're being aggressive.

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Thu 23-Jun-11 11:04:24

My mum is also quite passive aggressive, thinking about it. Lots of huffing, puffing, muttering under her breath, and nasty comments

Birdsgottafly Thu 23-Jun-11 11:07:45

You don't have to try to explain what passive aggressive means just challenge their use of words. So if someone says that is interesting quite innoccently ask 'intersting in what way?' or similar. I don't allow muttering under breath without saying, 'sorry i carn't hear you, what are you saying?'. People have their own personality problems but you don't have to allow them to be taken out on you.

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Thu 23-Jun-11 11:14:13

I totally agree, Birdsgottafly. Also passive aggressive people hate it when others are secure and happy in themselves, so if for example they make a comment about their child being more intelligent than yours, it's best to agree with them. They have nowhere to go from there, if someone gets defensive back then the passive aggressive person knows they have got to them, which is what they want. They can't cope with people that are happy in themselves.

OTheHugeManatee Thu 23-Jun-11 11:14:55

I thought about trying to post a joke passive-aggressive response to the OP and then realised that pretty much by definition the joke wouldn't be obvious or funny.


Dozer Thu 23-Jun-11 11:20:19

Have a friend like this, passive/aggressive and attention-seeking, but in subtle ways.

For example, I invited her round to dinner and, knowing that she's picky about food, asked her what she did / didn't like in advance. Told her what would be cooking, she said it'd be fine. When the evening came, she picked at her meal saying that she couldn't eat X, Y and Z "for health reasons", "but don't worry, do you have any X, Y, Z [healthy specialist items] oh really, I thought you would" etc.

When am with her have the constant feeling that ought to be apologising for something, but try hard not to as my head says it is her, not me!

On the haircut thing, I really hate it when people say nothing at all about it and just pretend not to notice!

youarekidding Thu 23-Jun-11 11:28:56

Or just say 'oh, ou've had your hair cut' and leave you wondering about what they think of it. As lets face it we think the worst as if they liked it they say so -surely?!

Dozer Thu 23-Jun-11 11:37:07

Oh yes, that too! In fact, I always say I like new haircuts even if I don't, is just polite.

ILoveYouToo Thu 23-Jun-11 13:09:09

I am shock at how many of you are saying 'oh yes I have a friend who does this'... if any of my friends behaved like that, they wouldn't be my friend any more. I wouldn't challenge them, ignore them etc, I just wouldn't have anything more to do with them.

sunshineandbooks Thu 23-Jun-11 14:02:00

Passive aggression is irritating definitely. I think it's worth remembering though that for some people it's not something they can help. If someone has grown up with very domineering parents or has an abusive or domineering partner PA behaviour is quite a common coping mechanism that arises in response. Likewise, if someone is being bullied in the short-term (whether at work or school) PA behaviour can result. Basically it is a common way of mounting opposition in a situation where you feel you have no power.

Unfortunately, it is not a particularly healthy response if it continues long-term, and sometimes while it may be the best response for a particular situation (eg a bullying boss) it can spill into other areas of your life where it is harmful.

If you have friends who have done this always, they are unlikely to change and TBH life is too short. However, if it's a more recent thing, I think it's always worth calling them on it and trying to see if there's a reason for it. Sometimes that's all it takes to get rid of it.

Dozer Thu 23-Jun-11 14:04:49

That's interesting sunshineandbooks, and think it may apply in my friend's case (domineering mother).

Kalinda Thu 23-Jun-11 14:07:43

Well if that's how you feel, OP, there's nothing I can possibly say to change your mind.


I should introduce you to my father, he's the master of passive aggression. My mother's just aggressive, much more straightforward to deal with.

QueenofDreams Thu 23-Jun-11 14:15:34

Um. I mutter under my breath sometimes. blush usually when I know I'm being unreasonable though so it's best to vent under my breath rather than making a fool of myself and being unreasonable in a way that's actually audible to anyone else!

Is sulking considered passive aggressive? I'm talking about giving the cold shoulder, monosyllabic grunting, 'fine' as the answer to every question etc

Dozer Thu 23-Jun-11 14:19:34

Um, yes, sulking is definitely aggressive in some way!

Muttering under breath would be too, but depends whether it really is just to yourself or noticeable!

I do eye-rolling but am trying to stop!

revolutionscoop Thu 23-Jun-11 14:26:52

Just to return to the veneers for a moment op, how many teeth did you get done? Just the front two, or eight or ten? Was it expensive? Sorry, just interested in veneers ATM blush

QueenofDreams Thu 23-Jun-11 15:03:39

Just to clarify I'm not the sulker. That would be my mum. She's been known to keep it up for days!

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