I have never been a passive aggressive girl. Assertive? I try. Passive? On a very rare occasion. Aggressive? I’ve been known to terrify a pledge class or two, but I’ve always seen passive aggressiveness as one of the worst qualities a person can possess. It’s immature, it’s catty, and most importantly, it doesn’t fix anything. I’ve never understood it.
Let’s paint a picture.
If you passive aggressively let the trash pile up because you’re mad at the roommate who never takes it out, guess what happens. The trash still doesn’t fucking get taken out. Instead, you get madder and madder as it piles higher and higher. You talk to everyone about how ridiculous the situation is, as you sit in silence as she throws out the Chinese delivery, which she shouldn’t have been eating anyway.
“God, how does she live like this?”
“She’s doing this on purpose.”
“She’s a fucking dirty slut. I can’t even.”
You let it consume you. When, finally, she ties up the bag, places it beside the door, turns on The Little Couple and asks you where you want to have dinner as if she has NO idea what a little bitch she’s being. It’s at this point that you will LOSE IT. You begin plotting ways to ruin her life. You’d start with her army of skanks, but you’re part of her army of skanks, so you’re just going to have to resort to some good, old-fashioned Nair to the shampoo bottle, and through-the-grapevine reputation-tarnishing. Sure, it’s mean, but she deserves this. She’s the one who refused to take out the trash, and SHE. MUST. PAY.
Hate to break it to you, toots, but your girl is not only not doing this to be the spiteful bitch you think she is, but she probably doesn’t even know you’re upset. When she eventually does notice your passive aggressiveness, the only function it serves is to piss her off, making her unwilling to accommodate you. The reason she never takes out the trash isn’t because she doesn’t want to be the one to have to do it, or because she’s secretly leading a heist, the purpose of which is to destroy you, it’s because she’s type B. It doesn’t bother her if it’s there for a little longer than it should be, and she assumes she’ll take it out the next time she leaves the house, at which time she forgets. Of course, when you called her a filthy dirtbag behind her back, you were right, but that’s your friend, and there’s no reason to let her flaws freak you out. Your attitude is doing nothing to alleviate the situation. All it’s doing is cyclically pissing you off more and more.
Why would one take that route? Why not, instead, just say, “You’re such a pain in my ass sometimes, you know that? Take out the damn trash, or I will post that picture of you from Crush Party on Facebook. This is not a drill.” Of course, addressing your friends quite that sweetly probably only works in social circles like mine, which, in the girliest way possible, could be described as “practically dudes,” but I promise you, if you address the issue, your roommate will tell you she didn’t even realize you’d always been the one doing it, and she’ll try to be more conscious of it. And then it’s over. You told her, and the issue was immediately resolved. No three weeks of staring at garbage. No unnecessary anger. No drama.
I’m a “let’s talk about it” person, through and through, and I can’t understand why anyone would choose to handle a situation any other way. I see no value in half pretending a problem doesn’t exist, when three bags of trash, or one piece of trashy bitch tells you that it does. Recently, a friend of mine explained to me that being passive aggressive was more “polite” and “classy” than bitching someone out.
I’m sorry, what?! It’s the rudest thing you can do! Pretending to be nice, when you’re actually being mean is meaner than just being mean. It leads to all of these “but what did she really mean?” paranoia complexes. It’s insincere. It’s fake. It’s stupid. It’s (one of) the reason(s) your boyfriend thinks you’re crazy.
I understand that some people are afraid of confrontation. No one likes confrontation. It’s awkward and uncomfortable, and your Klonopin is supposed to be “in case of emergencies.” I also understand that not everyone is comfortable holding onto all of their fucks for safekeeping, as it’s much easier for women to give them out, but in no way is it “classier” to act like a child and hurl sideways remark after sideways remark at a person for months, or even years. Neither is it more polite. If you’re being mean, you’re being mean. No one thinks you’re a sweet girl, just because you hid your insult behind a backhanded compliment. The difference between aggressiveness and passive aggressiveness is the difference between being a bitch, and being a cunt. Point blank.
Why would anyone think it’s more polite to gently, but snidely say, “I’ll get out of your way. I know you need a lot of room” when someone knocks into them than to say, “Umm. Ow, watch it,” which will be followed by an apology. What’s polite about bitterly closed-mouth smiling (the official “fuck you” smile) at your rival as you tell her some variation of “Love your dress. It actually makes you look thinner,” followed by the obligatory vent sesh about her bitchy response every time you see her? How is it not better to just indulge in the more aggressive, one-time “Look. I don’t like you. You don’t like me. Let’s just be adults about this, and never speak again, okay? Fuck you.” “Fuck you, too. Goodbye.” Sure, the issue comes to a head in that one moment, instead of hovering right below the point of explosion forever, but once things blow up, it allows them to eventually settle, and then it’s over forever. You never have to get mad again. You never have to waste any space in your brain on that shitty person ever again. Being angry takes so much energy, so WHY wouldn’t you want to do what you can not to have to feel that way?
Do what you want, of course, ladies, but you look stupid, you sound like an asshole, and no one thinks you’re better for it. I say express yourself. Let it out. Curse off the girl who stole your boyfriend, bitch out the boyfriend, and move the fuck on with your life. Maybe it is more outwardly bitchy, and less seemingly classy, but Britney Spearsing as you get out of a car isn’t classy either, yet you wouldn’t be caught dead with pantylines. Do you, make it work, but personally, I’d rather be happy than classy, and a real bitch than a fake one.