My favorite example of passive-aggressive behavior: a wife is harboring anger or animosity toward her husband, and instead of talking to him about how she feels, she burns his breakfast. “Here is your breakfast, darling,” she says, as she sets down a plate of charred, black pancakes in front of him. The husband then chooses to eat the pancakes and avoid having to ask his wife what’s wrong, or all hell breaks loose when he mutters something about being sick of having to starve in his own home because his wife can’t cook.
What happened to the days when people were able to express their hurt, discontent, animosity, or good old pissed feelings by using their words? When did saying, “I’m upset with you, because…” become a phrase that should be avoided? Is it possible that I’ve missed the last train to ‘Pleasant Town’, where everyone smiles and no one is ever upset (but the pancakes taste awful)? No – that can’t be it; I take Zoloft. If ‘Pleasant Town’ were a real place, I’d be it’s mayor.
I am by no means innocent of this sort of behavior, but because I’m emotional and overly verbal (and lacking basic impulse control), I typically say how I feel. Isn’t letting someone know they’ve upset you the more mature, adult way to handle these situations when they arise? Does anyone really want to go to the trouble of making pancakes, only to burn them? I, for one, do not. If I get up early to make pancakes, count on those babies being delicious.