Saturday, September 03, 2011

Yes - No - Three Bags Full

 OR - passive/aggressive behaviour............ 

I have been dealing with a whole mess of people just lately who are driving me NUTS.  It started off in my personal life - and then at work.  My mother used to say "the whole world can't be wrong and you be right!!"  So I had begun to think that I wasn't as patient and understanding or caring as maybe I should be.  

This week - when I was chatting with my principal about some weird shit (my definition) that I was noticing - she laughed and said "OH MY GOD!!  they are SO passive/aggressive".

I remembered the term - after all I used to teach "difficult children" ......... BUT it has been - ok never mind - just believe me - it has been YEARS since I took my psychology degree.  So this morning I went back and found the definition  of passive/aggressive behaviours.  (I'll move on to "how to deal with it" later)

Do you even know what I am talking about?? I am gonna bet you know at least one person who is passive/aggressive.  

The definition of passive/aggressive (in layman's language is)
A person who is openly passive - but secretly negative and resistant.  This behaviour usually manifests itself as learned helplessness, procastination, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or deliberately failing to complete tasks for which they are responsible - usually blaming something or someone else for their mistakes or inabilities.

You know someone like that don't you??!!  

Well I have a whole mess of people like that filling my world.

W has been amazing at dealing with the one p/a who is in our personal relationship....... and in the process has made me feel loved and cared for .. and truly His number 1 !!!  He has put his foot down with this person........ and has been very clear that certain behaviours and blaming me will just not cut it anymore with him.  

The interesting thing to me is that now she is all over me in a game I play (on line).  In the past she said she found it boring and would never play it - but since W's talk with her - she is now all over the game and me in the game............trying to help me.. trying to be nice to me..   ugh....... Passive/aggressive.

Ok - here's perhaps a better example.  

Last Monday I had a meeting with all my staff.  I was very clear about the schedule for this year.  I was also very clear that all 6 groups would be doing the same thing at the same time.  Example - at 3:30 every child in the building would go outside for some free play time... they would be encouraged to run around - be kids - and blow off steam.  At 4:00 they were all to come inside to do homework.  I asked my staff if they all got it?? any questions?? I looked around the table and everyone was nodding and agreeing.  Good - it seemed pretty clear to me.

On Wednesday - our first day with the kiddies - at 4:10 one of my staff was in the big room fishing out balls and outside play equipment.  I left my office and asked her what she needed the toys for???   She looked at me like I had grown two heads and said "well we are going outside to play and the children need the outdoor toys".  I bit my tongue..... I bit it HARD.  Then I took her aside and asked if she had forgotten the schedule I had set out on Monday - just two days ago???? She looked at me like I was a big meany.......... and started blaming me for a stupid schedule.  (shrug) I played my trump card.  I told her I was the 'boss' and it was my schedule and she would stick to it... like it or not.

In my opinion and in my experience - passive/aggressive sorts will try and wear you down........... they will continue to defy the rules - blame others - and refuse to take responsibility.    When caught they will cry and beg forgiveness - they might even "suck up" for a while - but eventually the old passive/aggressive behaviours will be back.......... 

When I read further in my books on what to do with these sorts (other than tear your hair out - or kill them) I'll test it out and let you all know - eventually - if anything works.

For now though........... what is working for me is deep breathing ............ and biting my tongue........ 

Oh and if you are interested in what I did to further the understanding of my "rules" I printed up THE schedule and gave everyone a copy - this way no one can say they didn't understand.


Anonymous said...

I was going to comment on this post earlier but I didn't because some inept person made a mistake.

selkie said...

Frankly, I find passive-aggressive people incredibly aggrevating and frustrating to deal with. I have found that the way to deal with them is EXACTLY as you have - LABEL the behaviour, be firm and make no concessions - and yet matter of fact. Biggest thing? CALL it. Good luck!

Fallen Angel said...

sounds a lot like my mother-in-law, drives me NUTS!

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