This is post two in the What I Like About: series. For today’s post, I’ll need to first take you somewhere I don’t love to go on the interwebs: into racial/cultural stereotypes.
I’ve more-than-once recalled that I didn’t experience passive aggression until I went to college. The short explanation I gave was “I’m Latin. Latin people aren’t passive aggressive, they are just aggressive. If something is wrong, you’ll know it.”
Now, I have to admit, that statement falls short of truth. I mean, yes, Latin culture is known for being demonstrative, for expression, for…not holding back. But my hillbilly side was just as rowdy and forthcoming with their issues as well. (Except for my dad. My dad is an open book, just one with very few words and no pictures.) ANYwhoodle-doodles, point being, I don’t mean to be brazenly racists to the unknowning interwebs, but I do mean it when I say I can’t remember ever experiencing passive aggression until I met my first college roommate. Then I became quickly, intimately acquainted. (S’alright, y’all, we talked about it.)
It’s just hard for me in a world where someone could be upset, but say they are fine. I don’t get it. It’s LYING for one thing, (and GOD IN HEAVEN I hate lying and it’s going to take some serious growth before I ever come up with a WILA: lying), and it’s just plumb counter-productive. Unless you want to make someone work for the answer (even though they already have, cause they just ASKED YOU IF SOMETHING WAS WRONG).
Plus, in my rarely-humble opinion, it’s immature. If someone’s actions have your chones in a wad (anyone else grow up with that expression?) and you don’t tell them? Slim chance they’ll change, so you’ll just have to keep pulling out your wedgie. Yes, i said that. But if you tell the offending party what is wrong there is at least a CHANCE for change. But then you’d have to take responsibility for your words, thoughts, and feelings. HEAVEN FORBID! (that’s sarcasm)
Here’s what I think p.a. is- it’s fighting dirty. It is attacking someone from behind when they have no hope of defense. It’s sending out barbs and refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. It’s hypocritical and homie don’t have time for that crap.
Just to sum it up, let me say this: I have little patience and even less compassion for passive aggression. Makes my blood boil. I could slap a wench. With my hands. That’s how I feel about passive aggression. (See: earlier statements about just being aggressive.)
Which is what i like about passive aggression. There aren’t a lot of things that plain ole tick me off, and this is one of them. When some one is obviously taking out their issues on me, and NOT giving me a chance to collaborate is the process of healing (or even protect myself), it gets me right on the edge of screaming, slapping retaliation. (Which, for the record, is nothing like the edge of glory. Fair warning: the woman in the linked video is wearing leather and not much of it but it’s a catchy tune.)
And all that emotion shows me what a patient, caring, humble, loving, kind person i can NOT be, so often.
When someone is passive aggressive, I have to look at the situation and make a pleading effort to God for the strength to not bash them in the face, much less to, oh, i dunno, stay in relationship, love them, care for them, tend to their probably-hurting-hearts.
When someone is passive aggressive, I am forced into this spot where I see my heart wants to bail. I want to throw my hands up and yes, “Fine, fix it your own dang self!” But I know that’s not what God does when I refuse to let him in. His love is ever lasting and more patient and strong than mine. And someone’s passive-aggression gives me a chance to love when it’s not easy. To put my money where my mouth is with this whole Christianity thin, so to speak (which, putting your money in your mouth is an awful decision because money is filthy, but you get the point).
In short, i like that when people are passive-aggressive, it takes me out of my comfort zone while simultaneously giving me a great opportunity to see God work where clearly, I cannot.
Are you passive aggressive? STOP IT! (oh any maybe are there any insight you want to share about why you are passive aggresive and how we can best love you when you are?) Are you just aggressive? Do you have any tips on how to be patient in displaying loving-kindness, but still representing the truth of the Gospel well?