Trying not to be passive-aggressive, part 2, revisited 

Upon further reflection, maybe there are a couple more possible subconscious passive-aggressive behaviors I have used.

5. “You just want everything to be perfect.” “When procrastination is not an option, a more sophisticated passive aggressive strategy is to carry out tasks in a timely, but unacceptable manner.” I didn’t think this one was applicable, but maybe it is. TL has long told me to fully scrub all dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. I have often said I would do so, only to later get sloppy and stop doing so — or to stop doing it thoroughly. I didn’t do this to spite her. But, I think I did it because I valued my laziness more than I valued her rule.  

7. “Sure, I’d be happy to.” Again, maybe I did do this. I believe I have stopped. But, in years past, I had a habit of offering to get together with someone socially, to host something, or to get the tab at a restaurant while assuming, and perhaps hoping, the listener would politely decline. Maybe this was also a subconscious passive-aggressive behavior. I don’t know. I had always thought it was just a bad habit, learned partly from my patents. When it comes to paying the tab at a restaurant, I learned my lesson about that long ago, on my own. But, I suspect it did take me longer to learn to not offer social commitments insincerely. In any case, I don’t do this anymore

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5 thoughts on “Trying not to be passive-aggressive, part 2, revisited 

  1. The only passive aggressive behavior I had was giving the “silent treatment.” I learned that from my mama but I used it because Loser was ALWAYS right and if anything happened, it was MY fault. He expected me to get over something in a flash and when I didn’t he got mad at me…..so I shut up.
    He brought that up years later during our divorce…..”I like strong, self-confident women who push back and all you ever did was shut up.” Ha.
    But I’m a little confused. When I did finally start pushing back, I was a “vindictive, fucking bitch.”
    Now, when that WTC gave him the silent treatment when he talked to me or saw me….that was what? True love?
    So…asshole….which one is the REAL person you want?

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    1. When she gave him the silent treatment for him talking to you, it was more truly the p/a variety, trying to control his behavior. Whereas with you, it sounds to me more like your actions in both cases were more about protecting yourself from abuse. He doesn’t like any measure you took to do that.

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  2. I must admit, I’m not sure if the d/w issue is PA or simply one of my own obsessions. I am very particular about how it is loaded. MC tends to just put the dishes in any which way, whereas I am very organized about how it is done because I find this allows me to fit almost twice as many dishes as MC can fit in, meaning one load instead of two.

    As far as the rinsing, my contention is that our d/w does not have a garbage disposal and it’s not like any homes we live in have the latest and greatest models. And, if you leave sticky gobs of things that attract bugs and don’t run it right away, you will have bugs. It doesn’t have to be rinsed clean, just get off the excess crap, scrape it into the garbage if you prefer, and don’t let dirty dishes sit.

    So, perhaps, this is just one of those petty normal married couple arguments. I just find it aggravating that he will say he understands and agrees, and then not follow through, which makes more work for me when I do that unnecessary second load or find myself with dishes that are not coming out fully clean, have dried on food on them, and needing to be redone.

    I am typically the one who does the dishes, and he typically puts them away. So, it is not like this is an everyday problem. But, when he tries to help by loading, it just doesn’t really feel like help and, so, it made me wonder P/A or not???

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