Having planned the menus for the next few days, I’m heading out to stock up before our friends arrive for a visit. We just got home yesterday from two weeks away, so the larder is bare. I stop to smile sweetly at the Big Guy, engrossed in his tablet.
“Do you want to get the wine, or do you want me to do that too?”
Who says I don’t know what time it is? It’s Work-to-Rule Wednesday: my favourite day of the passive-aggressive week.
Passive-aggressive behavior is “a type of behaviour … characterized by indirect resistance to the demands of others and an avoidance of direct confrontation.” . . . The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) revision IV describes passive-aggressive personality disorder as a “pervasive pattern of negativistic attitudes and passive resistance to demands for adequate performance in social and occupational situations.” – Wiki
Is it playing the victim—something we usually reserve for Fridays—to note that referring to a “disorder” is a bit judgmental? It certainly seems fair to comment that the definition doesn’t capture this behaviour in its full glory. I mean, think about Sullen Mondays, Silent-Treatment Tuesdays, and Sarcastic Saturdays: all the old familiar interpersonal stand-bys.
I’ve recently been asked schedule noncooperation in this busy week. While finding a day is a pragmatic challenge, I have to consider the conceptual ones too. I mustn’t muddle the noncooperation that is an essential element of the negativistic passive resistance that underlies passive-aggressiveness (Whew! Still with me?) with the noncooperation that represents the principled passive resistance of civil disobedience.
Me, I suspect that some people won’t go along with Noncooperation Thursdays, for unknown and, of course, unspoken reasons. Getting people on board will be a big job.
Do you want to handle it, or would you like me to do that too?
Enjoy the Fed-Ex passive-aggressive ad, here. (Only 0:30.)