Rules of Passive Aggression

For guys, everything is simple. They either like you (most other guys fall into this category), like you a lot (reserved for a select special few, often categorized as an epic (and borderline homosexual) bromance), or they don’t like you and outside maybe a drunken bar brawl choose to avoid interaction altogether. This is easy, logical, and allows for absolutely no confusion. So naturally, girls want nothing to do with the social rules our counterparts follow. We have the girls we looooove, the girls we loooooove but like actually though, and we have frenemies. Why we can’t just openly hate someone? I don’t know…hate isn’t ladylike I guess, even though I think most girls hate each other until they have a reason not to. Because we’re basically sneaky bitches, we’ve developed and abide by a necessary evil: passive aggression. It comes in varying levels, and only the most perfectly passive aggressive women can pull them all off.

Level 1: “Whatever.”
“Whatever” is such an amateur move that it’s hardly passive aggressive at all. It’s mostly just aggressive. Still, though your tone, demeaner, and message are all very clear, you’re still technically saying one thing, while meaning another. This is acceptable in girl world. “Whatever” is usually reserved for people like your best friend, your mother, or your boyfriend with whom you’re not really trying to play games at all. You may choose to follow it up with something like “I mean…I thought you said you were going to go to that thing with me, but if this is more important to you than your prior engagements and the promise you made me, then fine. That’s on you.” You’ve made your message pretty clear, but you can still maybe pretend in your own head for five seconds that you weren’t being a demanding bitch.

Level 2: Subtweeting
For those of you who don’t know, a subtweet is a tweet which has a specific message (usually something bitchy) and a specific recipient, though neither are specifically addressed. An example of a subtweet may be something like “Hahaha, you think I’m jealous? You have white trash face and you’ve redefined ‘Daddy Issues,’ you whore. Get over yourself.” Though this is still largely aggressive, direct confrontation is still avoided, and it is more passive than “whatever.” This is probably the least mature form of passive aggression. Mastery of level 2 means you don’t really know how to mask your true feelings, so instead you only mask for whom they are intended. Level two also includes facebook statuses (which are even worse, somehow than subtweets in my opinion) and those obnoxious “anonymous” notes to your roommate. Most girls are guilty of this occasionally and tend to regret their childishness.

Level 3: “Sweetie,” “Honey,” and “Bless your heart.”
Level 3 passive aggression is as far as a lot of girls get. You think you’re so effing clever, but if you make a habit of using one of these, you might as well just quit and start telling people to go fuck themselves. Maybe it worked for your grandmother, but everyone knows what that means. It’s not smart, it’s not sneaky, and it’s not classy. You’re still very obviously being a cunt. If someone ever dared to utter the phrase “bless your heart” to me in real life, my response would be a quite aggressive “BLESS YOURS, BITCH” followed by an attack on her physical appearance and an empty threat to blow her boyfriend. Maybe that’s just me, but I just feel that phrases like these are poor disguises at kindness, and if you’re going to blatantly be a bitch, I’m going to even more blatantly be one right back. So, sweetie, if something condescending and snarky like this is all your precious little self can muster, THEN GO SHOVE A BOOMERANG LACED WITH ACID UP YOUR ASS. Oh, and bless your heart.

Level 4: The Back-handed compliment.
Before Level 4, it is my personal opinion, that there’s no reason to even try. I don’t care to pretend to be nice to someone if we’re still going to get all worked up about it and you still look like a giant douchebag. Might as well say what I really want to if the circumstances allow. The back-handed compliment is directed toward the girls who you’re not really allowed to hate (but still do), like a sister, or a female friend of your boyfriend. You’re a bitch if you’re openly mean to this person, so you have to be extra sneaky. The important thing to remember here, is the recipient of your “compliment” shouldn’t realize immediately that you’re being a bitch. Something like “that would be a cute skirt on my grandmother” won’t do. Instead I’d opt for something like “Omg I LOVE your skirt! I had one just like it freshman year of high school!” At a first glance, it seems like you’re being nice…but you really just told her she’s dressed like a 14 year-old. You might also try a simple statement like “Wow, you really like to wear a lot of paisley.” I enjoy these blanket statements because even if you didn’t say something mean…she will toil over her (maybe) excessively paisley wardrobe for quite some time all because of onnneee condescendingly over-emphasized word. Genius levels of bitchery sprinkled with class. Kudos for your mastery of level 4 passive aggression.

Level 5: “Oh.”
Level 5 passive aggression is an artform. It takes practice, to both detect and to execute. Here, we are definitely more passive than aggressive, and it’s not an easy task. When done correctly, the girl on the receiving end of your bitchery will never be quite sure you intended to be a bitch, but either way, you’ll put her the fuck in her place. She says something absolutely ridiculous, bitchy, stupid, slutty…whatever. What do you want to do? Rip her hair out and tell her off. What will get to her the most while keeping your dignity intact? A simple “oh.” Do you know how nuts a well-timed, perfectly condescending “oh” can drive someone. Tone is crucial. You can’t use a bitchy “oh,” a sarcastic “oh,” a questioning “oh,” an elongated “oh,” or an abbreviated “oh.” It needs to be polite, and make her rack her brains trying to figure out what was in your head when you said it. Also in this category is strategically liking something on facebook (some bitch is writing on your boyfriend’s wall? Nothing says “I’m watching you” like a casual thumbs up) retweeting her on twitter (want to make her feel like a moron? A RT to show the world what an idiot she is will do the trick), or the absolutely evil no-teeth smile. Are any of these things actually bitchy? Not in the slightest. And if she retaliates or complains to someone that you SMILED at her wrong…she’s a psycho. But the bottom line is you were trying to give her a message, it was well-received, and no one else in the world will ever know. It’s beautiful, really. If you can pull this off, I mean really pull it off, not just think you’re pulling it off, then I’ll probably be too impressed with you to be mad about it. Nice work.

Follow me on Twitter @HotPiece_TSM

Email this to a friend

Veronica Ruckh

Veronica (@VeronicaRuckh) is the Director of Total Sorority Move for Grandex, Inc. After having spent her undergraduate years drinking $4 double LITs on a patio and drunk texting away potential suitors, she managed to graduate with an impressive GPA and an unimpressive engagement ring -- so unimpressive, in fact, some might say it's not there at all. Veronica has since been fulfilling her duties as "America's big," a title she gave to herself with the help of her giant ego. She has recently switched from vodka to wine on weekdays. Email her at

For More Photos and Videos

Latest podcasts

New Stories

Load More