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RoseRed135

Passive Agression

61 posts in this topic

13 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

Hmmm... bean dipping as passive aggressive?

I assumed that "bean dip" was a polite euphemism for "mind your own business" when one hears a personal/private matter type question/statement. Many things commonly mentioned here are private, rude, or intrusive:  When is the due date? Is the baby a girl? Will you bottle or breast feed? What name have you selected? Why are you having another child? Can you not count? I want to come to the ultra sound/delivery/Baptism. I want to babysit, to be alone with the baby. I want pictures.

In my opinion, it's always more pleasant, in real life, to say "Oh look, a balloon, where do you suppose they found all that hot air?"
followed by "Would you like me to fetch you some of Hilda's world famous Bean dip?" More polite than the alternatives. But, we are both passive, not terribly direct, generally preferring to wait as long as it takes for things to work out without fussing.

 

Edited by JanelleK
spell
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I don't think "bean dipping" or giving a non answer when an intrusive question has been asked is passive aggressive.  I think it is a gentler way to enforce a boundary instead of a more direct way such as saying, "it's none of your business what I make a year".  We live in a civilized society, (although at times it doesn't feel that way), and if we adopted a standard of just saying what came to our mind when it came to our mind regardless of how harsh it was to hear - because to not do so would be "passive aggressive" - society would begin to unravel and chaos ensue.   Civil behavior calls for bean dipping at times or a non answer to a question, etc.. 

When deciding passive aggressive vs. civil behavior, I believe the intent needs to be examined.  The more the intention behind the behavior is unexpressed anger or resentment, etc. the more it looks like passive aggressive behavior.  The more it is just benign or a gentler approach to enforcing a boundary, the more it is civil behavior. 

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Skipped-

It sounds like your issue is different from mine.  Your family seems to get much further along in discussions about times you will see each other and then the confusions come up.  My issues are much earlier in the process - things like the ever popular "We haven't seen you in SOO long. . . " comment (usually followed by the big sigh) rather than an actual invitation to dinner or suggestion of a specific get together.

I agree that a self invite is a bad idea but I think too many people latch onto that as an excuse.  To me a self invite is "I plan to come to your house on X day at Y time" or "I am coming to town and plan to stay at your place."  A suggestion to your kids about a get together is NOT a self invite.  I expect both sides to carry the weight of maintaining the relationship.  Hinting that you would like to do something doesn't fly as all the effort is still left on us.  Either side should be able to propose a plan with the understanding that the other may not say yes.  That is not (in my mind) a self invite.  A self invite is usually an imposition coupled with the expectation that the other side will automatically say yes.  Then add hurt feelings when they say no and you have created a bad situation.

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1 hour ago, BSW said:

I don't think "bean dipping" or giving a non answer when an intrusive question has been asked is passive aggressive.  I think it is a gentler way to enforce a boundary instead of a more direct way such as saying, "it's none of your business what I make a year".  We live in a civilized society, (although at times it doesn't feel that way), and if we adopted a standard of just saying what came to our mind when it came to our mind regardless of how harsh it was to hear - because to not do so would be "passive aggressive" - society would begin to unravel and chaos ensue.   Civil behavior calls for bean dipping at times or a non answer to a question, etc.. 

When deciding passive aggressive vs. civil behavior, I believe the intent needs to be examined.  The more the intention behind the behavior is unexpressed anger or resentment, etc. the more it looks like passive aggressive behavior.  The more it is just benign or a gentler approach to enforcing a boundary, the more it is civil behavior. 

Yep.

I mean, which is preferable? "That's absolutely none of your business." or, "We have it covered, thanks. Oh, look at what Jr is doing..."

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Or you can just put them on the spot "Why do you ask?" with a very bland tone and a blank look.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mame925 said:

Or you can just put them on the spot "Why do you ask?" with a very bland tone and a blank look.

 

 

My MIL decided she just HAD to know how much money I get (disabled due to workplace incident). I bean dipped over and over again, before finally asking why it mattered to her. "I'm Wolf's mother! I need to know!" So, I asked her how much money HER pensions are. Well! Gasp! Rude! Yep, so is asking you how much money *I* have coming in, tyvm.

MIL doesn't, has never, will never, support us financially. She doesn't pay for *anything* for us. She sends a cheque for birthdays, for us to buy gifts for the kids from her at Christmas, that's it. There is absolutely no Earthly reason for her to know what my income is.

Nor any reason to know how much of a downpayment we put on our house, (Wolf: "Enough to get us the house.")  what our mortgage, taxes, or insurance are (Wolf: "We can afford it."). She's not a cosigner on anything. 

Doesn't stop her from *asking* though. At least now I don't have to be the one she hounds for the info.

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My behavior ran the gamut with my IL's from preemptive measures I would take before my IL's arrived came to my home to protect my boundaries to passive/micro aggressive behavior that yes, I am guilty as charged of doing towards my IL's although it didn't happen often.  One preemptive measure I took was putting a tablecloth on my dinner table before my IL's arrived, because prior to that my MIL would bring a tablecloth with her, and when I left the room, I would come back to find it on my table - perfectly pressed and scented and laid out.  The last time it happened, I removed it, and put mine on instead but to avoid the awkwardness of this, I started putting the tablecloth before my IL's arrived. 

My passive aggressive behavior was out of sheer frustration towards my IL's.  The rat story I've told before, but with purpose I planted my kids' pet rats in my laundry room knowing my MIL was deathly afraid of rats.  I wanted her out of my laundry room and up to that point asking her not to do my laundry did not work.  The rats worked.  She never went into my laundry room again.   I do recall losing it a bit with them as well which I am not proud of.  It was always over the same thing - which was their meddling.  I think the last time this happened was over my ODD's college choice.  They just wouldn't stop with their quest for ODD to stay home and commute to college, and would not let it go especially with DH as they probably thought if they worked on him enough he would really try to convince ODD to stay home.  I had enough of it one day, and told them in a louder than usual and firm voice to stop - that ODD was going far away to college - and there was nothing more to talk about. 

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2 hours ago, BSW said:

My behavior ran the gamut with my IL's from preemptive measures I would take before my IL's arrived came to my home to protect my boundaries to passive/micro aggressive behavior that yes, I am guilty as charged of doing towards my IL's although it didn't happen often.  One preemptive measure I took was putting a tablecloth on my dinner table before my IL's arrived, because prior to that my MIL would bring a tablecloth with her, and when I left the room, I would come back to find it on my table - perfectly pressed and scented and laid out.  The last time it happened, I removed it, and put mine on instead but to avoid the awkwardness of this, I started putting the tablecloth before my IL's arrived. 

"Preemptive" is good, IMO, when past experience has shown you what someone is likely to do. Neither "passive" nor "aggressive," in my book - just a way to prevent problems before they start.

My passive aggressive behavior was out of sheer frustration towards my IL's.  The rat story I've told before, but with purpose I planted my kids' pet rats in my laundry room knowing my MIL was deathly afraid of rats.  I wanted her out of my laundry room and up to that point asking her not to do my laundry did not work.  The rats worked.  She never went into my laundry room again.  I recall this story. But rats? Not sure how "passive" that is. "Indirect" definitely. But regardless, I get your point.  I do recall losing it a bit with them as well which I am not proud of.  It was always over the same thing - which was their meddling.  I think the last time this happened was over my ODD's college choice.  They just wouldn't stop with their quest for ODD to stay home and commute to college, and would not let it go especially with DH as they probably thought if they worked on him enough he would really try to convince ODD to stay home.  I had enough of it one day, and told them in a louder than usual and firm voice to stop - that ODD was going far away to college - and there was nothing more to talk about. IMO, this is more "assertive" than anything else. "Passive?" Not at all in my view. . "Aggressive?" Maybe a little since you raised your voice. But I don't blame you, and, apparently, it worked.

 

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3 hours ago, BSW said:

My behavior ran the gamut with my IL's from preemptive measures I would take before my IL's arrived came to my home to protect my boundaries to passive/micro aggressive behavior that yes, I am guilty as charged of doing towards my IL's although it didn't happen often.  One preemptive measure I took was putting a tablecloth on my dinner table before my IL's arrived, because prior to that my MIL would bring a tablecloth with her, and when I left the room, I would come back to find it on my table - perfectly pressed and scented and laid out.  The last time it happened, I removed it, and put mine on instead but to avoid the awkwardness of this, I started putting the tablecloth before my IL's arrived. 

My passive aggressive behavior was out of sheer frustration towards my IL's.  The rat story I've told before, but with purpose I planted my kids' pet rats in my laundry room knowing my MIL was deathly afraid of rats.  I wanted her out of my laundry room and up to that point asking her not to do my laundry did not work.  The rats worked.  She never went into my laundry room again.   I do recall losing it a bit with them as well which I am not proud of.  It was always over the same thing - which was their meddling.  I think the last time this happened was over my ODD's college choice.  They just wouldn't stop with their quest for ODD to stay home and commute to college, and would not let it go especially with DH as they probably thought if they worked on him enough he would really try to convince ODD to stay home.  I had enough of it one day, and told them in a louder than usual and firm voice to stop - that ODD was going far away to college - and there was nothing more to talk about. 

I'm with Rose. I don't see anything wrong with the bolded. You'd answered this, repeatedly. They continued to ignore your boundaries (and your dd's) by nagging and pushing. Which was a completely ridiculous thing for them to do, given it was *your* daughter and *her* college and *her* future.

Not something they should have thought they got a vote in to start with, let alone continuous pushing about.

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10 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

"Preemptive" is good, IMO, when past experience has shown you what someone is likely to do. Neither "passive" nor "aggressive," in my book - just a way to prevent problems before they start.

Yes, I highly recommend preemptive measures when dealing with difficult person(s) who will be visiting.  It is akin to child proofing a home when a toddler is visiting.  It minimizes the stress of the visit as you prevent problems from arising based on past experiences.   It is not a catch all as I learned with my IL's as they just did what they did, but it protected some of my boundaries. 

I do think that the more preemptive measures and bean dipping and non answers and passive aggressive behavior, etc. that you have to do the more that relationship needs to be examined concerning this person's presence in your life.  I should have made the changes much earlier than I finally did and stopped seeing my IL's in my home for sure and maybe offered to visit them with DH at a restaurant a couple times a year if that. 

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On 15/09/2017 at 11:19 AM, BSW said:

Yes, I highly recommend preemptive measures when dealing with difficult person(s) who will be visiting.  It is akin to child proofing a home when a toddler is visiting.  It minimizes the stress of the visit as you prevent problems from arising based on past experiences.   It is not a catch all as I learned with my IL's as they just did what they did, but it protected some of my boundaries. 

I do think that the more preemptive measures and bean dipping and non answers and passive aggressive behavior, etc. that you have to do the more that relationship needs to be examined concerning this person's presence in your life.  I should have made the changes much earlier than I finally did and stopped seeing my IL's in my home for sure and maybe offered to visit them with DH at a restaurant a couple times a year if that. 

I did this with a few things with my MIL, making sure things she got into before, that I had asked her stay out of were put away, cleaned out etc. It worked for a while, but then it started to make me angry that I even had to go around my home MIL-proofing it at all, because it's my home and if I ask her to stay out of something, she should just darn well listen. 

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