We all know those people in our lives that deal out passive aggression like a Vegas shark. The people who make comments and then say that they’re “just kidding” or back handed compliments that leave your head spinning. These people are always the ones that leave you confused about your interaction and second guessing your emotions.. these people are assholes.
I know.. that’s a tough word, but it’s accurate. These people are cowards. They don’t want to say what they are really thinking or they want to make you feel like what you’re doing is wrong, because they don’t have the courage to do things themselves. These are the same people who compliment your dress while saying something like, “Oh, you’re wearing that? I’d never think to wear that myself, but if you think it looks good.”.
Repeat after Megan Trainor.. No.. my name is no.. my sign is.. NO. These are not the people that you need in your life. When you ask them if they can do you a favor and they “kid” with you about how much you’re willing to pay them, or how you’re going to return the favor and it leaves you not sure if they are even willing to help you in the first place? Find your help somewhere else.
Ambiguity is way more toxic than a full on assault. These “friends” are supposed to be your safe space, and instead they leave you feeling more defeated than those who attack you straight on. If someone walks up to you and says, “You are an idiot, I can’t believe how badly you messed up that report” you have something to defend. You have a clear and present danger in your sights. If someone walks up to you and says, “I saw your report… are you done with it? Is that really the work you want to hand in? I mean, if it is, great… well done.. but if you want to work on it more.. that’d be fine too”… ummm. what? Is there something wrong, did I miss something? You have no idea where you stand.
People have friends for support. They lean on them when things are hard. They ask their advice when things are confusing. They depend on them when they are unsure of themselves. Passive aggressive “friends” prey on this. They look for the weak moments and they mess with your head. They aren’t looking out for your best interest, they are looking for a way to make you feel bad so they can feel good.. and then call it a joke so they don’t look like the bad guy.
These people are not worth the energy that you put into your decoder ring. You have enough of your own garbage floating around in your head, you don’t need theirs. Next time you feel like you’re being manipulated by “jokes” or the back hand.. ask the person straight out what they mean.. or just call them out on their “return favor” slight. Tell them, “Clearly you are not interested in… I’ll be more than happy to look elsewhere”. Or “Yes, I am finished with my project, if there is something specific you find issue with I’d more than welcome the feedback, otherwise I’ll assume you agree with more whole-heartedly.”. Don’t let their obscurity control your world. It’s all their problem.