The Elephant in the Room

I wrote this one a while ago. It starting out as a passive aggressive blog but then morphed into something else. My mind really is a beautiful thing at times. I saved it as a draft to revisit it while I collected my thoughts. Apparently just by writing it out, my thoughts were collected on it and I moved on. Yes, writing does that for me. A very close friend suggested I revisit this one and hit the publish button on it. So, while it was written a while ago, it still holds some very true statements. I hope you enjoy…



Keeping in mind I am not a therapist or a trained professional in any way shape or form on this one… but passive aggressive people piss me off!

You know the ones. On Twitter, the posts are known as a subtweet. On Facebook, the little sayings complete with pictures. It’s not sent out to anyone directly, just put out there for all to see. They are pissed or hurt about something, but don’t bring it to an individual’s attention. Nope, just a quote or angry hurtful words are thrown out to release the negativity. In real life they smile at you, yet say shit behind your back to others.

I, being the type of person I am, of course Googled the term passive aggressive and a whole host of websites popped up. Everything from what it is, to how to deal with it if you are presented with a passive aggressive person. Urban dictionary explains it this way:

passive aggressive
A defense mechanism that allows people who aren’t comfortable being openly aggressive get what they want under the guise of still trying to please others. They want their way, but they also want everyone to still like them.

I would love to say I have never done this. But oh I have. I think we all have. Just my opinion of course, but I think the internet and social media has made this ok, very easy in fact. You can sit behind your computer or phone screen and throw it all out there for the world to see. Well, at least you aren’t holding it in, so I guess that is the positive side of things. Me being me, I have no problem bringing issues up with a person directly. Mind you, it does not always roll off my tongue in the most eloquent of ways, but I don’t just post a tweet or Facebook status and leave it at that. I am ok bringing up an issue that needs to be discussed, the elephant in the room so to speak. I have worked very hard to be able to recognize when I post a passive aggressive statement and I ensure that it is not left there. I bring it up to the person that it needs to be brought up to. I continue to work hard to overcome just posting some random messages.

I would like to think that I am not an aggressive person. I wouldn’t physically attack someone (well, I don’t think I would but maybe I just haven’t been pushed far enough). But I have been known to be a passive aggressive person even though I have been taught the ‘I’ statement (see there are good things about therapy!). The one where you state your problem in terms of what you’re not getting out of a situation…

I am hurt because…
I felt angry when…
I needed…

But that is only the beginning of the sentence. Those words can’t be used and then a ‘when you’ follows them. It has to keep in the ‘I’ statement format. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I think that is because it is so easy to place the blame outside ourselves. So easy to take the personal responsibility away from myself and direct it at an outside source. I have to really practice at this technique to get it. But while practicing it I really have had to look inside myself. Why was I hurt? Why did the actions of another cause me to be hurt? Yes, something outside of me caused the feelings to surface and exploring what I didn’t get that I needed to make me feel that way is how it needs to be looked at. So more like this…

I am hurt because I didn’t feel heard.
I felt angry when my message was misunderstood.
I needed to feel like I was being listened to.

No where in those statements does blame get placed on someone else. No where does it say because of YOU I feel the way I do. Taking responsibility for my own feelings is the desired outcome. More often than not the other person is now forming a defence in their head. I know, because I’ve done it. What do you mean you didn’t feel heard? I was right here listening to you! I heard every word you were saying! Not my problem that you feel this way! But what if instead of forming that defense, I replied with a sorry. Sorry I didn’t hear you the way you intended. Sorry I didn’t ask the questions I could have so I understood the problem better. Sorry I hurt you. How can I make this better? As the saying goes… it takes two to tango. But on both sides of that same coin, YOU are taking responsibility for YOUR actions. Can you see it??

Imagine the difference this would make. Imagine what would happen if we all starting taking responsibility for the way we were feeling instead of blaming. Think back to the last misunderstanding or argument you had. Think of how it might have turned out differently if you had tried this. The results would have been drastically different, don’t ya think?

Again, don’t think for one minute that I have perfected this. No way in hell! But I do try. I try to be responsible for my feelings. I can’t force someone to feel anything. But I can take a step back and figure out why I feel the way I do. So yes, someone’s actions may have caused me to feel hurt or feel angry, but it was the actions not them directly.

So as I travel through on this journey of mine, it is something I strive for. To own my own feelings and to not throw around passive aggressive statements. Still a work in progress on my end but it is getting easier.

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Debbi Serafinchon Written by:

Just an average ordinary woman being herself on this crazy ride we call life. I say what I mean and mean what I say. I chose to bring along 4 crazy side kicks on this journey, my 4 kids. The actual realization of my journey began after my divorce. Hindsight being what it is, I realized before my divorce I was just going through the steps. My eyes are now wide open to the path ahead of me.

One Comment

  1. SumGuy
    November 3

    I agree with everything you have said

    but for me personally Twitter at least is an outlet – I release some very dark negative thoughts there
    BUT… they are not subtweets… they are not going to ever be read by the person who may have created those thoughts in my head…. it is just a release for various reasons

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