I’m writing this after reading a passive aggressive text message from my sister in-law. Though my husband says there’s not anything passive about it. At the same time, I can hear the radio blaring opera very loudly from next door. My neighbour’s passive aggressive response to our dog barking at the cat who teases him from high up on the fence. And so, I’ve been thinking a lot about passive aggression and my reaction to it.
My father was quite passive aggressive. He learnt from the best. By that I mean his mother, the Queen of Passive Aggression and Guilt Trips. For that reason, my Passive Aggression Radar is quite fine tuned. I pick up on it quite easily, even if it’s very subtle. So, it’s not that I don’t understand it, it’s that I just can’t stand it.
Say it to my face and I’ll have more time for you. Tell me I’m arrogant, that I’m a bitch. I might even apologise and try to change.
But talk about me behind my back, play mind games, play the martyr, make me cry with poison letters, and you will bring out the worst in me. I will do the things that annoy you just to spite you. That, I take after my mother. Even if it takes me years, I will go after you. Like my mother used to say about herself : ‘I’m like an elephant, I never forget’.
[ image of a large grey elephant on a white background. Above the elephant are words written in black: Like an elephant, I never forget… The image contains a watermark of the word ‘Canva’.]