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Old 05-29-2012, 02:26 PM
 
1,785 posts, read 2,921,016 times
Reputation: 3061

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I absolutely despise the term or label "passive/aggressive". I think I involuntarily roll my eyes whenever I hear it. It's like Dr. Phil Psycho Babble 101. A "label" for someone to slap on someone else when you are frustrated by their individual behavior. Seriously - what does it mean? It has always struck me as some sort of West Coast mumbo jumbo speak. The first time I heard it, it was while working for a West Coast based firm (and no - sorry - but it wasn't directed at me. ). Maybe it's me, but the only people I hear who use that term are West Coast people. What is that aboot?

Just looking at that past few posts on this page, all of you look like your agreeing with each other - but you've all described completely different situations/behavior - and yet labeled it the dreaded "Passive/Aggressive".

- People who don't make their own decisions, but then hold the actual decision holders responsible for the final decision.
- Someone who doesn't look for true friends.
- Someone who doesn't like to hear the truth.
- Very negative people (which one would assume if someone else were complaining about them)
- Very little eye contact.
- Limited verbally.
- Terrible listening skills.
- It's always someone else's fault.
- Apparently liars and back-stabbers.

I can see the first definition as being seen as passive - but the rest ... ? No. The rest are just terrible traits, but nothing passive about them.

When precisely did this "label" become so popular and overly used (and apparently misused)? I would call around 2007 when I first heard it. I seriously didn't get it then - and I still don't get it now. Is it largely a West Coast term? I would guess that if being passive/aggressive is a thing, then perhaps Ruth4Truth came the closest to defining it?
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:57 PM
 
3,269 posts, read 4,660,436 times
Reputation: 1373
Quote:
Originally Posted by cokatie View Post
I absolutely despise the term or label "passive/aggressive". I think I involuntarily roll my eyes whenever I hear it. It's like Dr. Phil Psycho Babble 101. A "label" for someone to slap on someone else when you are frustrated by their individual behavior. Seriously - what does it mean? It has always struck me as some sort of West Coast mumbo jumbo speak. The first time I heard it, it was while working for a West Coast based firm (and no - sorry - but it wasn't directed at me. ). Maybe it's me, but the only people I hear who use that term are West Coast people. What is that aboot?

Just looking at that past few posts on this page, all of you look like your agreeing with each other - but you've all described completely different situations/behavior - and yet labeled it the dreaded "Passive/Aggressive".

- People who don't make their own decisions, but then hold the actual decision holders responsible for the final decision.
- Someone who doesn't look for true friends.
- Someone who doesn't like to hear the truth.

- Very negative people (which one would assume if someone else were complaining about them)
- Very little eye contact.
- Limited verbally.
- Terrible listening skills.

- It's always someone else's fault.
- Apparently liars and back-stabbers.
cokatie I first heard the label in the late 1990's in New York City perhaps earlier. The person who used it who I remmbr was a NY'er. The stuff I said in post #20 (also colored magenta above) are traits belonging to... aw hell I'll say his name: Billy (a friend's friend) and he is not passive-aggressive.

What he is is histrionic-neurotic. And that's no exaggeration. I was simply telling the poster of #19 that I knew someone who was like that and added that nobody who knows him (me included) calls him passive-aggressive. They would, however, agree in a heartbeat with the histrionic-neurotic label for him.

The other stuff I said earlier than post #20 (colored green above) are what I consider hallmarks of a passive-aggressive person. This is based on personal experiences with them. I think their lack of verbal eloquence frustrates them to a degree, which feeds the passive aggression. I also think it (it= ineptitude in communication) is sometimes a hallmark of a slow brain. I have utter contempt for passive-aggressive people. That's why it's so easy for me to feed them their own medicine and one-up them if I'm in the mood. They absolutely hate me; tee-hee. I have never lost a battle to a passive-aggressive person and I do not ever intend to. I consider them inferior and I have no respect for them. I remember my boss back in '99 asked if it was sensible to cut a certain job in tandem with a round of corporate layoffs. Not only was it sensible, but I gleefully gave my recommendation because the person who eventually got cut was a p.a. bistch who tried to push my buttons for about 18 months but always lost. Sorry if this sounds too heated. Maybe it's the weather today 87 degrees! Well, I should say if they wanna be p.a. with other people, fine, I don't care, but they always lose when they try to pull that ish on me.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:10 PM
 
3,269 posts, read 4,660,436 times
Reputation: 1373
P.S. - Had she been a nicer person, I would've saved her job by simply telling the boss that the position should not be cut. I didn't and have no regrets.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:19 PM
 
1,785 posts, read 2,921,016 times
Reputation: 3061
So wait - wouldn't putting in your recommendation to a supervisor to have a position cut being considered "passive/aggressive" in this case? The supervisor was asking your opinion based on what made sense for the BUSINESS - but you used it as an excuse (passively) to get rid of someone (aggressive) you didn't like personally. Whether or not it made sense from a corporate viewpoint was not your main goal. Having someone else (passive) do the dirty work (aggressive) for you was.

Or am I missing the point? Seriously - I just don't get it. Wait - it IS the 87 degree weather (I'm here too!) frying my brain. Right before I posted I re-read your post (I really DO want to understand this label). You are stating that you used the same medicine on an passive/aggressive person. Got it.

But here's the thing - I have utter contempt for bigots. A total lack of respect for them. But since I so despise the act of bigotry, I can't see me ever using it on another human being. It would be too distasteful.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:28 PM
 
3,269 posts, read 4,660,436 times
Reputation: 1373
Quote:
Originally Posted by cokatie View Post
But here's the thing - I have utter contempt for bigots. A total lack of respect for them. But since I so despise the act of bigotry, I can't see me ever using it on another human being. It would be too distasteful.
It's possible you're a better person than me. When it comes to p.a. people, I have no hesitation to give them a taste of their own medicine. They bring out the worst in me. Everyone else gets my best!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cokatie View Post
Whether or not it made sense from a corporate viewpoint was not your main goal.
It was my top goal because I loved that job. I never wanted that position created in the first place. (In other words, before I ever met this woman, I did not want her position created. It was created because my colleague said it was "very necessary". It wasn't. And to add salt to my wound, not too long after he said the job was "necessary", he moved on to greener pastures, uggggh. Nice dude but that was one of his few blunders.)

When I said I would've saved her job had she been nice, yup, I would've. It was a mega corporation (35,000 employees or something) so it wouldn't have been a burden for the corporation to keep her and they were too huge to even notice. I wasn't a manager so I didn't need to "answer" to anybody in terms of HR
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