Archive for October, 2010

>Passive Aggression & Politics: The Perfect Marriage?

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>With just seven days to go until the November mid-term elections, it’s politics as usual all over the United States.  In other words, passive aggressive behavior is running amuck this week.

Nowhere is passive aggressive behavior more prominent or virulent than in the so-called “civil” political arena where direct personal attacks (though becoming more common everyday) are still considered un-statesmanlike, but covert low-blows spread defamatory messages under the veneer of social appropriateness.

Case in point: the Oklahoma Governor’s race.  Have you heard the most recent uncivil discourse between the candidates?

In an interview with The Associated Press, Republican Representative Mary Fallin said that the two things that make her qualified to be her state’s next governor is that she is a wife and mother.  Her challenger, Lt. Governor Jari Askins, has never been married, and has no children.

On last night’s episode of The Joy Behar Show, political commentator Ron Reagan Jr. said that these comments by Fallin are a calculated part of her overall political strategy to paint her challenger as an “Other.”  Fallin’s touting of her own marital and motherhood status are a passive aggressive means of implying that her single, childless opponent must be different…defective…perhaps lesbian…all without ever actually saying any of these words.  Saying it without saying it is Fallin’s covertly hostile, purely passive aggressive way of casting doubts on her opponent’s personal worthiness in the minds of voters.

In a campaign that was already dirty, the Oklahoma Governor’s race just got fully mired in passive aggressive muck.

My Baby Clothes Boutique has partnered with me to provide articles to the parenting community. Check out their site the next time you need adorable baby clothes, photo perfect baby headbands, or even just a warm baby hat for winter. They have it all!

>Passive Aggression & Politics: The Perfect Marriage?

459

>With just seven days to go until the November mid-term elections, it’s politics as usual all over the United States.  In other words, passive aggressive behavior is running amuck this week.

Nowhere is passive aggressive behavior more prominent or virulent than in the so-called “civil” political arena where direct personal attacks (though becoming more common everyday) are still considered un-statesmanlike, but covert low-blows spread defamatory messages under the veneer of social appropriateness.

Case in point: the Oklahoma Governor’s race.  Have you heard the most recent uncivil discourse between the candidates?

In an interview with The Associated Press, Republican Representative Mary Fallin said that the two things that make her qualified to be her state’s next governor is that she is a wife and mother.  Her challenger, Lt. Governor Jari Askins, has never been married, and has no children.

On last night’s episode of The Joy Behar Show, political commentator Ron Reagan Jr. said that these comments by Fallin are a calculated part of her overall political strategy to paint her challenger as an “Other.”  Fallin’s touting of her own marital and motherhood status are a passive aggressive means of implying that her single, childless opponent must be different…defective…perhaps lesbian…all without ever actually saying any of these words.  Saying it without saying it is Fallin’s covertly hostile, purely passive aggressive way of casting doubts on her opponent’s personal worthiness in the minds of voters.

In a campaign that was already dirty, the Oklahoma Governor’s race just got fully mired in passive aggressive muck.

My Baby Clothes Boutique has partnered with me to provide articles to the parenting community. Check out their site the next time you need adorable baby clothes, photo perfect baby headbands, or even just a warm baby hat for winter. They have it all!

>10 Common Passive Aggressive Phrases to Avoid

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>This article was recently published on http://www.momitforward.com/:
 
Is there someone in your life who consistently makes you feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster? Do you know a person who is friendly one day but sulks and withdraws the next? Does a family member or friend consistently procrastinate, postpone, stall, and shut down any emotionally-laden conversations? Are you sometimes that person? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are you may be interacting with a passive aggressive person or showing signs of passive-aggressive behavior yourself.

Passive aggression is a deliberate and masked way of expressing covert feelings of anger (Long, Long & Whitson, 2008). It involves a range of behaviors designed to get back at another person without him recognizing the underlying anger. These ten common passive aggressive phrases can serve as an early-warning system for you, helping you recognize hidden hostility when it is being directed your way:

1. “I’m Not Mad.”

Denying feelings of anger is classic passive aggressive behavior. Rather than being upfront and honest when questioned about his feelings, the passive aggressive person insists, “I’m not mad” even when he is seething on the inside.

2. “Fine.” “Whatever.”

Sulking and withdrawing from arguments are primary strategies of the passive aggressive person. Since passive aggression is motivated by a person’s belief that expressing anger directly will only make his life worse (Long, Long & Whitson, 2008), the passive aggressive person uses phrases like “Fine” and “Whatever” to express anger indirectly and to shut down direct, emotionally honest communication.

3. “I’m Coming!”

 Passive aggressive persons are known for verbally complying with a request, but behaviorally delaying its completion. If whenever you ask your child to clean his room, he cheerfully says, “Okay, I’m coming,” but then fails to show up to complete the chore, chances are he is practicing the fine passive aggressive art of temporary compliance.

4. “I Didn’t Know You Meant Now.”

On a related note, passive aggressive persons are master procrastinators. While all of us like to put off unpleasant tasks from time to time, people with passive aggressive personalities rely on procrastination as a way of frustrating others and/or getting out of certain chores without having to directly refuse them.

5. “You Just Want Everything to be Perfect.”

When procrastination is not an option, a more sophisticated passive aggressive strategy is to carry out tasks in a timely, but unacceptable manner. For example:

  • A student hands in sloppy homework
  • A husband prepares a well-done steak for his wife, though he knows she prefers to eat steak rare
  • An employee dramatically overspends his budget on an important project

In all of these instances, the passive aggressive person complies with a particular request, but carries it out in an intentionally inefficient way. When confronted, he defends his work, counter-accusing others of having rigid or perfectionist standards.

6. “I Thought You Knew.”

Sometimes, the perfect passive aggressive crime has to do with omission. Passive aggressive persons may express their anger covertly by choosing not to share information when it could prevent a problem. By claiming ignorance, the person defends his inaction, while taking pleasure in his foe’s trouble and anguish.

 7. “Sure, I’d be Happy To.”

 Have you ever been in a customer service situation where a seemingly concerned clerk or super-polite phone operator assures you that your problem will be solved. On the surface, the representative is cooperative, but beware of his angry smile; behind the scenes, he is filing your request in the trash and stamping your paperwork with “DENY.”

 8. “You’ve Done so Well for Someone with Your Education Level.”

The backhanded compliment is the ultimate socially acceptable means by which the passive aggressive person insults you to your core. If anyone has ever told you, “Don’t worry—you can still get braces even at your age” or “There are a lot of men out there who like plump women,” chances are you know how much “joy” a passive aggressive compliment can bring.

 9. “I Was Only Joking”

Like backhanded compliments, sarcasm is a common tool of a passive aggressive person who expresses his hostility aloud, but in socially acceptable, indirect ways. If you show that you are offended by biting, passive aggressive sarcasm, the hostile joke teller plays up his role as victim, asking, “Can’t you take a joke?”

 10. “Why Are You Getting So Upset?”

The passive aggressive person is a master at maintaining his calm and feigning shock when others, worn down by his indirect hostility, blow up in anger. In fact, he takes pleasure out of setting others up to lose their cool and then questioning their “overreactions.”

Signe Whitson is a licensed social worker and co-author of The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools, and Workplaces, 2nd ed. Her blog, Passive Aggressive Diaries, was designed to take a light-hearted look at the hilariously conniving ways in which people encounter and exude passive aggressive behavior in their everyday lives.  She also serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute.   Her work is brought to you by a baby clothes boutique in an effort give back to the parenting community.  Pay it forward – check out their adorable selection of baby accessories and shower gifts.

>10 Common Passive Aggressive Phrases to Avoid

630

>This article was recently published on http://www.momitforward.com/:
 
Is there someone in your life who consistently makes you feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster? Do you know a person who is friendly one day but sulks and withdraws the next? Does a family member or friend consistently procrastinate, postpone, stall, and shut down any emotionally-laden conversations? Are you sometimes that person? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are you may be interacting with a passive aggressive person or showing signs of passive-aggressive behavior yourself.

Passive aggression is a deliberate and masked way of expressing covert feelings of anger (Long, Long & Whitson, 2008). It involves a range of behaviors designed to get back at another person without him recognizing the underlying anger. These ten common passive aggressive phrases can serve as an early-warning system for you, helping you recognize hidden hostility when it is being directed your way:

1. “I’m Not Mad.”

Denying feelings of anger is classic passive aggressive behavior. Rather than being upfront and honest when questioned about his feelings, the passive aggressive person insists, “I’m not mad” even when he is seething on the inside.

2. “Fine.” “Whatever.”

Sulking and withdrawing from arguments are primary strategies of the passive aggressive person. Since passive aggression is motivated by a person’s belief that expressing anger directly will only make his life worse (Long, Long & Whitson, 2008), the passive aggressive person uses phrases like “Fine” and “Whatever” to express anger indirectly and to shut down direct, emotionally honest communication.

3. “I’m Coming!”

 Passive aggressive persons are known for verbally complying with a request, but behaviorally delaying its completion. If whenever you ask your child to clean his room, he cheerfully says, “Okay, I’m coming,” but then fails to show up to complete the chore, chances are he is practicing the fine passive aggressive art of temporary compliance.

4. “I Didn’t Know You Meant Now.”

On a related note, passive aggressive persons are master procrastinators. While all of us like to put off unpleasant tasks from time to time, people with passive aggressive personalities rely on procrastination as a way of frustrating others and/or getting out of certain chores without having to directly refuse them.

5. “You Just Want Everything to be Perfect.”

When procrastination is not an option, a more sophisticated passive aggressive strategy is to carry out tasks in a timely, but unacceptable manner. For example:

  • A student hands in sloppy homework
  • A husband prepares a well-done steak for his wife, though he knows she prefers to eat steak rare
  • An employee dramatically overspends his budget on an important project

In all of these instances, the passive aggressive person complies with a particular request, but carries it out in an intentionally inefficient way. When confronted, he defends his work, counter-accusing others of having rigid or perfectionist standards.

6. “I Thought You Knew.”

Sometimes, the perfect passive aggressive crime has to do with omission. Passive aggressive persons may express their anger covertly by choosing not to share information when it could prevent a problem. By claiming ignorance, the person defends his inaction, while taking pleasure in his foe’s trouble and anguish.

 7. “Sure, I’d be Happy To.”

 Have you ever been in a customer service situation where a seemingly concerned clerk or super-polite phone operator assures you that your problem will be solved. On the surface, the representative is cooperative, but beware of his angry smile; behind the scenes, he is filing your request in the trash and stamping your paperwork with “DENY.”

 8. “You’ve Done so Well for Someone with Your Education Level.”

The backhanded compliment is the ultimate socially acceptable means by which the passive aggressive person insults you to your core. If anyone has ever told you, “Don’t worry—you can still get braces even at your age” or “There are a lot of men out there who like plump women,” chances are you know how much “joy” a passive aggressive compliment can bring.

 9. “I Was Only Joking”

Like backhanded compliments, sarcasm is a common tool of a passive aggressive person who expresses his hostility aloud, but in socially acceptable, indirect ways. If you show that you are offended by biting, passive aggressive sarcasm, the hostile joke teller plays up his role as victim, asking, “Can’t you take a joke?”

 10. “Why Are You Getting So Upset?”

The passive aggressive person is a master at maintaining his calm and feigning shock when others, worn down by his indirect hostility, blow up in anger. In fact, he takes pleasure out of setting others up to lose their cool and then questioning their “overreactions.”

Signe Whitson is a licensed social worker and co-author of The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools, and Workplaces, 2nd ed. Her blog, Passive Aggressive Diaries, was designed to take a light-hearted look at the hilariously conniving ways in which people encounter and exude passive aggressive behavior in their everyday lives.  She also serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute.   Her work is brought to you by a baby clothes boutique in an effort give back to the parenting community.  Pay it forward – check out their adorable selection of baby accessories and shower gifts.

>Sticks and Stones: Anderson Cooper on Bullying and the Power of Words

7

>When I was a child, most adults had this automatic answer to reports from kids about name-calling and teasing: Stick and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.  We’ve learned a lot about the painful impact of bullying in recent years and this clip from Anderson Cooper, in an interview on the Ellen DeGeneres show, reveals how words can truly devastate: 

http://wbads.vo.llnwd.net/o25/u/telepixtv/ellen/us/video/player/embed.swf

 
  I heard my daughter explain to a peer the other day, “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can really hurt too, so be careful what you say.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

My Baby Clothes Boutique is an online retailer of unique baby clothes.  They have partnered with me to provide articles as a service to their parenting community.  If you are in the market for newborn hats, infant headbands, or baby tutus, please check them out!

>Sticks and Stones: Anderson Cooper on Bullying and the Power of Words

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>When I was a child, most adults had this automatic answer to reports from kids about name-calling and teasing: Stick and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.  We’ve learned a lot about the painful impact of bullying in recent years and this clip from Anderson Cooper, in an interview on the Ellen DeGeneres show, reveals how words can truly devastate: 

http://wbads.vo.llnwd.net/o25/u/telepixtv/ellen/us/video/player/embed.swf

 
  I heard my daughter explain to a peer the other day, “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can really hurt too, so be careful what you say.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

My Baby Clothes Boutique is an online retailer of unique baby clothes.  They have partnered with me to provide articles as a service to their parenting community.  If you are in the market for newborn hats, infant headbands, or baby tutus, please check them out!

>Jenny McCarthy Proves the Bullies Wrong – The Ellen DeGeneres Show#comments#comments#comments

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>Jenny McCarthy Proves the Bullies Wrong – The Ellen DeGeneres Show#comments#comments#comments

Here is another timely clip on the subject of why kids feel like they can’t talk about bullying. Watch Ellen’s interview on 10/5/10 with Jenny McCarthy, as Jenny talks about why she never told her mom about the bullying she endured for years.

This is a great clip to share with kids, not only to teach them about the importance of talking to a trustworthy adult about bullying (see blog post below for specific steps on how to do so) but also teaching kids to take a “long view,” when it comes to bullying.

It is important for kids to know that although the bullying that occurs in the moment is intense and overwhelming, it is also temporary and fleeting. Both McCarthy and Ellen’s next guest, The Social Network actor Armie Hammer, explain why living for the future, instead of “in the moment” is one of the best ways to endure and overcome the painful impact of bullying.  See Armie’s clip here:

http://ellen.warnerbros.com/2010/10/armie_hammer_bullying_1005.php?adid=widget_armie_hammer_bullying_1005

>Jenny McCarthy Proves the Bullies Wrong – The Ellen DeGeneres Show#comments#comments#comments

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>Jenny McCarthy Proves the Bullies Wrong – The Ellen DeGeneres Show#comments#comments#comments

Here is another timely clip on the subject of why kids feel like they can’t talk about bullying. Watch Ellen’s interview on 10/5/10 with Jenny McCarthy, as Jenny talks about why she never told her mom about the bullying she endured for years.

This is a great clip to share with kids, not only to teach them about the importance of talking to a trustworthy adult about bullying (see blog post below for specific steps on how to do so) but also teaching kids to take a “long view,” when it comes to bullying.

It is important for kids to know that although the bullying that occurs in the moment is intense and overwhelming, it is also temporary and fleeting. Both McCarthy and Ellen’s next guest, The Social Network actor Armie Hammer, explain why living for the future, instead of “in the moment” is one of the best ways to endure and overcome the painful impact of bullying.  See Armie’s clip here:

http://ellen.warnerbros.com/2010/10/armie_hammer_bullying_1005.php?adid=widget_armie_hammer_bullying_1005

>Encouraging Your Child to Talk About Bullying

7

>On September 3rd, bus-cam video was featured on all of the TV news channels, framing the story of a father who stormed his 12-year old daughter’s school bus and went off on a curse-laden tirade against the youngsters who were accused of bullying his child. With a little media spin and a lot of repetition of a context-free video clip, James Jones looked like a hot-head. Indeed, the had-it-up-to-here dad had exceeded his limit of tolerance for the out-of-control verbal and physical abuse his daughter, Chatari Jones, had been experiencing on the bus. Admittedly, his response was not ideal.

But there was something powerful about watching Jones, interviewed along with his wife and daughter on NBC’s The Today Show, that revealed the complexity of emotion behind Jones’ unsophisticated rant:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/39497160#39497160

There is so much I want to say about this news story—and so much that has already been written about the epidemic of bullying amongst today’s young people. What struck me perhaps the most, however, was this young victim’s delay in telling her parents about the abuse. Chatari Jones explained to Matt Lauer that at first, she didn’t tell her parents about kids on the bus who smacked her on the head, twisted her ear, and shouted rude comments at her, because she was worried about being called a “tattletale” and fearful that the bullying would worsen.

Like Chatari, most young people hesitate to tell adults about physical violence, threats of harm, rumor-spreading, or any of the behaviors that fall along the painful continuum of bullying. How can you help make sure that your child talks with you promptly about incidents of bullying?

Create Awareness in Kids

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bullying occurs when a person or group repeatedly tries to harm someone who is weaker. Bullies victimize others in order to gain power and control. They typically select targets who are unlikely or unable to fight back.

From an early age, make sure that your son or daughter recognizes bully behavior in all of its various forms. Bullying includes overt physical actions like hitting and kicking along with “relational aggression” in the forms of social exclusion and public humiliation (including the publicly broadcast video of a private sexual encounter that contributed to the recent suicide of a promising young man at Rutgers University.)

Create Awareness in Adults

Encourage your child to tell trustworthy adults about any instances of bully behavior, either in his own life or that he sees occurring with a peer. Sometimes kids feel like adults never do anything—so why even bother to tell them? Though some parents, teachers, or other adults may fail to recognize the seriousness a bullying situation, more often, grown-ups are unaware of harassment on the bus, locker-room taunts, cafeteria exclusions, and cyber-bullying. Make sure your child knows that it is his job to create awareness.

Telling vs. Tattling

Does your child worry that if he “tattles,” the bullying will worsen? Help him to realize that this is exactly what the bully wants him to think! Isolation is how the bully operates. It is only by telling an adult that your child can end the isolation that the bully has begun.

Be clear in teaching your child that telling an adult about bullying is not a mark of cowardice, but rather a bold, powerful move. When the bully realizes that his intended victim is brave enough to connect with others, he loses his stronghold.

Act Quickly

The longer a bully has power over a victim, the stronger the hold becomes. Oftentimes, bullying begins in a relatively mild form—name calling, teasing, or minor physical aggression. After the bully has tested the waters and confirmed that a victim is not going to fight back, the aggression worsens. Name calling becomes public humiliation. Teasing grows into group ostracism. Pushing and shoving escalates to punches and assault.

Teach your child that when he lets bullying behavior go on unchecked, he lets his power slip away steadily. Taking action against the bully—and taking it sooner rather than later—is the best way to re-balance the power dynamic.

A designer clothes boutique has partnered with me to help bring articles about parenting, bullying, and anger-expression styles to their community.  The next time you are in the market for trendy baby clothing, including unique headbands, baby hats, and fashion-forward pettiskirts and tutus for little ones, please check them out.

>Encouraging Your Child to Talk About Bullying

1148

>On September 3rd, bus-cam video was featured on all of the TV news channels, framing the story of a father who stormed his 12-year old daughter’s school bus and went off on a curse-laden tirade against the youngsters who were accused of bullying his child. With a little media spin and a lot of repetition of a context-free video clip, James Jones looked like a hot-head. Indeed, the had-it-up-to-here dad had exceeded his limit of tolerance for the out-of-control verbal and physical abuse his daughter, Chatari Jones, had been experiencing on the bus. Admittedly, his response was not ideal.

But there was something powerful about watching Jones, interviewed along with his wife and daughter on NBC’s The Today Show, that revealed the complexity of emotion behind Jones’ unsophisticated rant:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/39497160#39497160

There is so much I want to say about this news story—and so much that has already been written about the epidemic of bullying amongst today’s young people. What struck me perhaps the most, however, was this young victim’s delay in telling her parents about the abuse. Chatari Jones explained to Matt Lauer that at first, she didn’t tell her parents about kids on the bus who smacked her on the head, twisted her ear, and shouted rude comments at her, because she was worried about being called a “tattletale” and fearful that the bullying would worsen.

Like Chatari, most young people hesitate to tell adults about physical violence, threats of harm, rumor-spreading, or any of the behaviors that fall along the painful continuum of bullying. How can you help make sure that your child talks with you promptly about incidents of bullying?

Create Awareness in Kids

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bullying occurs when a person or group repeatedly tries to harm someone who is weaker. Bullies victimize others in order to gain power and control. They typically select targets who are unlikely or unable to fight back.

From an early age, make sure that your son or daughter recognizes bully behavior in all of its various forms. Bullying includes overt physical actions like hitting and kicking along with “relational aggression” in the forms of social exclusion and public humiliation (including the publicly broadcast video of a private sexual encounter that contributed to the recent suicide of a promising young man at Rutgers University.)

Create Awareness in Adults

Encourage your child to tell trustworthy adults about any instances of bully behavior, either in his own life or that he sees occurring with a peer. Sometimes kids feel like adults never do anything—so why even bother to tell them? Though some parents, teachers, or other adults may fail to recognize the seriousness a bullying situation, more often, grown-ups are unaware of harassment on the bus, locker-room taunts, cafeteria exclusions, and cyber-bullying. Make sure your child knows that it is his job to create awareness.

Telling vs. Tattling

Does your child worry that if he “tattles,” the bullying will worsen? Help him to realize that this is exactly what the bully wants him to think! Isolation is how the bully operates. It is only by telling an adult that your child can end the isolation that the bully has begun.

Be clear in teaching your child that telling an adult about bullying is not a mark of cowardice, but rather a bold, powerful move. When the bully realizes that his intended victim is brave enough to connect with others, he loses his stronghold.

Act Quickly

The longer a bully has power over a victim, the stronger the hold becomes. Oftentimes, bullying begins in a relatively mild form—name calling, teasing, or minor physical aggression. After the bully has tested the waters and confirmed that a victim is not going to fight back, the aggression worsens. Name calling becomes public humiliation. Teasing grows into group ostracism. Pushing and shoving escalates to punches and assault.

Teach your child that when he lets bullying behavior go on unchecked, he lets his power slip away steadily. Taking action against the bully—and taking it sooner rather than later—is the best way to re-balance the power dynamic.

A designer clothes boutique has partnered with me to help bring articles about parenting, bullying, and anger-expression styles to their community.  The next time you are in the market for trendy baby clothing, including unique headbands, baby hats, and fashion-forward pettiskirts and tutus for little ones, please check them out.

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