Archive for October, 2009

>"You Should Just Make Being Home Really Miserable for Him…"

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>I got some classic passive aggressive advice from a friend today. We were chatting at our kids’ morning bus stop and comparing notes about the ways in which our husbands get on our nerves (sorry, honey!) My complaint was about how my husband has had too much time on his hands recently, so he has this annoying little habit of looking over my shoulder whenever I am on the computer. Reading my e-mails, browsing my Facebook photos, even scanning my work…it’s not that he’s checking up on me and not that I have anyting to hide; he’s just passing time and I cringe when he does it!

So, my friends exact words were, “You should just make being home really miserable for him.” She started to tell me that she had been thinking about some ideas for how to do so…but the bus came. For the sake of my marriage, I think I am glad not to be armed with ideas! But what do you think she would have said?

How many of you have expressed your frustration in your relationship through passive aggressive means? I’m sure a lot of your tales would be funny…I’ll bet if the bus hadn’t interrupted us, my neighbor would have had some hilariously conniving tips to rid me of my over-the-shoulder computer loiterer. Do tell what you have done!

>”You Should Just Make Being Home Really Miserable for Him…”

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>I got some classic passive aggressive advice from a friend today. We were chatting at our kids’ morning bus stop and comparing notes about the ways in which our husbands get on our nerves (sorry, honey!) My complaint was about how my husband has had too much time on his hands recently, so he has this annoying little habit of looking over my shoulder whenever I am on the computer. Reading my e-mails, browsing my Facebook photos, even scanning my work…it’s not that he’s checking up on me and not that I have anyting to hide; he’s just passing time and I cringe when he does it!

So, my friends exact words were, “You should just make being home really miserable for him.” She started to tell me that she had been thinking about some ideas for how to do so…but the bus came. For the sake of my marriage, I think I am glad not to be armed with ideas! But what do you think she would have said?

How many of you have expressed your frustration in your relationship through passive aggressive means? I’m sure a lot of your tales would be funny…I’ll bet if the bus hadn’t interrupted us, my neighbor would have had some hilariously conniving tips to rid me of my over-the-shoulder computer loiterer. Do tell what you have done!

>Passive Aggression as a Cultural Norm

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>In The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools and Workplaces, 2nd ed., we identify four reasons why people behave passive aggressively. One of those reasons has to do with a child’s socialization within the norms of his cultural and/or ethnic group.

In short, some cultures and ethnic groups set absolute standards for the need to be polite and charming, regardless of internal feelings. Children are taught to swallow their anger and never to debate, argue, confront, or even assertively express their emotions. The suppression of anger toward elders may create a level of civility and politeness that is admirable, but it can also create a reservoir of unexpressed hostile feelings and the development of passive aggressive behaviors as a means of self-expression.

Do you have any stories of passive aggressive behavior as a response to strict cultural and ethnic norms? Please share them here.

Below, please find an example posted by Donna Bee on 10/4/09:

There was no expressing of anything in our family. We are of Finnish background, for God’s sake. Anger, openly expressed, forget about it. One year, I forget how old I was, but I was mad about a million infractions on my human pshyche so I took a razor blade and cut the back end seams of my Dad’s cotton/polyester boxer short underwear…do not know if he or my Mom ever noticed, but I sure felt better….temporarily.

>Passive Aggression as a Cultural Norm

503

>In The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools and Workplaces, 2nd ed., we identify four reasons why people behave passive aggressively. One of those reasons has to do with a child’s socialization within the norms of his cultural and/or ethnic group.

In short, some cultures and ethnic groups set absolute standards for the need to be polite and charming, regardless of internal feelings. Children are taught to swallow their anger and never to debate, argue, confront, or even assertively express their emotions. The suppression of anger toward elders may create a level of civility and politeness that is admirable, but it can also create a reservoir of unexpressed hostile feelings and the development of passive aggressive behaviors as a means of self-expression.

Do you have any stories of passive aggressive behavior as a response to strict cultural and ethnic norms? Please share them here.

Below, please find an example posted by Donna Bee on 10/4/09:

There was no expressing of anything in our family. We are of Finnish background, for God’s sake. Anger, openly expressed, forget about it. One year, I forget how old I was, but I was mad about a million infractions on my human pshyche so I took a razor blade and cut the back end seams of my Dad’s cotton/polyester boxer short underwear…do not know if he or my Mom ever noticed, but I sure felt better….temporarily.

>Recognizing Passive Aggression in the Workplace

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>In addition to Passive Aggressive Diaries, I have been Blogging for Psychology Today.com. Here’s an item I recently posted there on passive aggressive behavior in the workplace:

His workplace resume reads something like this:

Work History

• Avoiding responsibility for tasks
• Doing less when asked for more
• Missing deadlines
• Withholding information

Professional Activities
• Leaving notes and using e-mail to avoid face-to-face communication
• Arriving late to work; extending lunch break
• Using sick days during major team projects
• Resisting suggestions for change or improvement

Special Qualifications
• “Forgetting” and “misplacing” important documents
• Embarrassing co-workers during meetings and presentations
• Justifying behavior with plausible explanations
• Consistently behaving this way across most workplace situations

Does someone in your office boast these passive aggressive credentials?

Passive aggression is a deliberate and masked way of expressing hidden anger. In many workplace settings, where adults spend the majority of their waking hours and corporate hierarchies inhibit direct expression of feelings, the passive aggressive employee is able to sabotage everything from individual deadlines to department morale to organizational productivity. It is critical that employers be able to recognize passive aggressive behaviors in the workplace before they negatively impact output and efficiency. Do any of your workers exhibit these common tactics of passive aggressive workers?

Temporary Compliance
The passive aggressive employee often feels underappreciated and expresses his underlying anger through temporary compliance. Though he verbally agrees to a task, he behaviorally delays its completion, by procrastinating, “forgetting” important deadlines, “misplacing” documents, or arriving late. For the passive aggressive worker who feels under-acknowledged by colleagues and management, acts of temporary compliance are most satisfying.


Intentional Inefficiency

The passive aggressive worker feels it is more important to express his covert hostility than to maintain his appearance of professional competence. He uses intentional inefficiency to complete work in a purposefully unacceptable way:

Tom felt snubbed when passed over for a promotion. He decided to go about his job in a new way; the quantity of his output did not change, but his work became marred with missed details, important omissions, and critical errors. Though Tom never missed a deadline and took on every requested assignment, the quality of his final product had a way of creating embarrassing moments for unsuspecting supervisors caught presenting misinformation.

To protect your office from the passive aggressive saboteur, look out for employees whose work is consistently at or below minimum standards, who insists “no one told me,” and who personalizes any confrontations from authority, playing up their role as victim.

Letting a Problem Escalate
Teamwork and communication are key to productivity in the workplace. When a passive aggressive employee withholds important information or deliberately fails to stop a momentary glitch from turning into an irreversible gaffe, entire operations can be halted or even shut down. The (mis)use of sick days is an area of particular vulnerability in the workplace:

Brenda called in sick the day before a major deadline, knowing that her presence was critical to her department’s success. She took great pleasure in single-handedly foiling the quarterly report and in the resulting company-wide affirmation that without her, the department could not succeed.

Sabotage is the name of the game for the passive aggressive employee who justifies her characteristic crimes of omission by saying, “I didn’t do anything.”

Hidden but Conscious Revenge
In contrast to the inaction that marks the previous tactic, some workers use covert actions to get back at superiors against whom they hold a grudge. The passive aggressive employee is keenly aware that the person with whom he is angry has enough power and authority to make his professional life miserable, so he decides it is not safe to confront him directly. Whether it be through spreading gossip that maligns the boss’s reputation or planting a computer virus that shuts down office IT systems for a week, the passive aggressive employee feels justified in taking secret revenge in the workplace.

By the nature of their covert acts, passive aggressive employees are skilled at evading the long arm of the workplace law. Unchecked, a compliant rule-breaker can have a major impact on an organization’s productivity and morale. When employers understand the warning signs and quickly recognize passive aggressive patterns, they can protect their workplaces from being the unwitting victim of this ideal office crime.

>Recognizing Passive Aggression in the Workplace

1166

>In addition to Passive Aggressive Diaries, I have been Blogging for Psychology Today.com. Here’s an item I recently posted there on passive aggressive behavior in the workplace:

His workplace resume reads something like this:

Work History

• Avoiding responsibility for tasks
• Doing less when asked for more
• Missing deadlines
• Withholding information

Professional Activities
• Leaving notes and using e-mail to avoid face-to-face communication
• Arriving late to work; extending lunch break
• Using sick days during major team projects
• Resisting suggestions for change or improvement

Special Qualifications
• “Forgetting” and “misplacing” important documents
• Embarrassing co-workers during meetings and presentations
• Justifying behavior with plausible explanations
• Consistently behaving this way across most workplace situations

Does someone in your office boast these passive aggressive credentials?

Passive aggression is a deliberate and masked way of expressing hidden anger. In many workplace settings, where adults spend the majority of their waking hours and corporate hierarchies inhibit direct expression of feelings, the passive aggressive employee is able to sabotage everything from individual deadlines to department morale to organizational productivity. It is critical that employers be able to recognize passive aggressive behaviors in the workplace before they negatively impact output and efficiency. Do any of your workers exhibit these common tactics of passive aggressive workers?

Temporary Compliance
The passive aggressive employee often feels underappreciated and expresses his underlying anger through temporary compliance. Though he verbally agrees to a task, he behaviorally delays its completion, by procrastinating, “forgetting” important deadlines, “misplacing” documents, or arriving late. For the passive aggressive worker who feels under-acknowledged by colleagues and management, acts of temporary compliance are most satisfying.


Intentional Inefficiency

The passive aggressive worker feels it is more important to express his covert hostility than to maintain his appearance of professional competence. He uses intentional inefficiency to complete work in a purposefully unacceptable way:

Tom felt snubbed when passed over for a promotion. He decided to go about his job in a new way; the quantity of his output did not change, but his work became marred with missed details, important omissions, and critical errors. Though Tom never missed a deadline and took on every requested assignment, the quality of his final product had a way of creating embarrassing moments for unsuspecting supervisors caught presenting misinformation.

To protect your office from the passive aggressive saboteur, look out for employees whose work is consistently at or below minimum standards, who insists “no one told me,” and who personalizes any confrontations from authority, playing up their role as victim.

Letting a Problem Escalate
Teamwork and communication are key to productivity in the workplace. When a passive aggressive employee withholds important information or deliberately fails to stop a momentary glitch from turning into an irreversible gaffe, entire operations can be halted or even shut down. The (mis)use of sick days is an area of particular vulnerability in the workplace:

Brenda called in sick the day before a major deadline, knowing that her presence was critical to her department’s success. She took great pleasure in single-handedly foiling the quarterly report and in the resulting company-wide affirmation that without her, the department could not succeed.

Sabotage is the name of the game for the passive aggressive employee who justifies her characteristic crimes of omission by saying, “I didn’t do anything.”

Hidden but Conscious Revenge
In contrast to the inaction that marks the previous tactic, some workers use covert actions to get back at superiors against whom they hold a grudge. The passive aggressive employee is keenly aware that the person with whom he is angry has enough power and authority to make his professional life miserable, so he decides it is not safe to confront him directly. Whether it be through spreading gossip that maligns the boss’s reputation or planting a computer virus that shuts down office IT systems for a week, the passive aggressive employee feels justified in taking secret revenge in the workplace.

By the nature of their covert acts, passive aggressive employees are skilled at evading the long arm of the workplace law. Unchecked, a compliant rule-breaker can have a major impact on an organization’s productivity and morale. When employers understand the warning signs and quickly recognize passive aggressive patterns, they can protect their workplaces from being the unwitting victim of this ideal office crime.

>John & Kate & a lot of Hate

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>So, do you think John Gosselin’s being a little bit passive aggressive these days? Calling a 90-day halt to the divorce proceedings and draining the joint bank account right after he gets cut out of the TV show?

How about Kate’s PA behavior–making the rounds of the TV talk shows, badmouthing John, while claiming that she’s “only stating the facts…” and “just doing it so that her kids know the truth.”

Is Kate a great example of the type of personality that elicits passive aggressive behavior from others? In older episodes, do you recall seeing John’s passive aggression?

Share examples from episodes here…

>John & Kate & a lot of Hate

992

>So, do you think John Gosselin’s being a little bit passive aggressive these days? Calling a 90-day halt to the divorce proceedings and draining the joint bank account right after he gets cut out of the TV show?

How about Kate’s PA behavior–making the rounds of the TV talk shows, badmouthing John, while claiming that she’s “only stating the facts…” and “just doing it so that her kids know the truth.”

Is Kate a great example of the type of personality that elicits passive aggressive behavior from others? In older episodes, do you recall seeing John’s passive aggression?

Share examples from episodes here…

>Passive Aggressive E-mail Boxing

4

>Check out this great video from YouTube…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgfIaR8_ALE

Have any examples of your own PA e-mail exchanges?? Share them here!

>Passive Aggressive E-mail Boxing

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>Check out this great video from YouTube…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgfIaR8_ALE

Have any examples of your own PA e-mail exchanges?? Share them here!

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