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People Who Whine about Passive Aggression

YYW
Posts: 36,252
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12/31/2015 4:56:40 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Passive-aggressive behavior is the indirect expression of hostility, such as through procrastination, stubbornness, sullen behavior, or deliberate or repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible. Psychologists (for what little that is worth) describe passive aggressive behavior as negativistic attitudes and passive resistance to demands for adequate performance in social and occupational situations. Wikipedia tells us that passive aggression manifests as procrastination, forgetfulness, purposeful inefficacy and similar behaviors made in response to demands by authority figures or in interpersonal contexts.

Most of the whining on DDO about passive aggression doesn't even touch this definition; which is the standard and accepted definition among the professionals who claim to have knowledge of this kind of thing. However, the vast majority of people who whine on DDO use the term "passive aggression" to describe behavior which is more consistent with what conflict theory has to say on the subject.

Conflict theory posits that passive aggression can take the form of catty bitchiness, consisting of deliberate, active, but carefully veiled hostile acts which are distinctively different in character from the non-assertive style of passive resistance.This is like by definition not passive aggression, though. It's veiled and subtle aggression; there is nothing "passive" about it. #irony

But the line between perceived passive aggression and delusional paranoia is a tough cookie to crumble, especially if your perception of a person's actions (like, the subject individual whom you're calling or describing as "passive aggressive" is blighted by animosity, hate, or other negative feelings/emotions) is a precarious and muddy one. If you hate a person, and a person is present around you, and you think that the person whom you hate also hates you, then you're going to be predisposed to inventing certain fantasies of behavioral meaning from those circumstances. This is especially the case if you have another person or group of people who are subtly influencing your interpretation of a person's actions, for their own purposes... but I digress.

For example, say a person wrote a thread about a subject of which that person has an interest, and the subject is relevant to a discussion or discussions that other members have engaged in, but one user just hates the user who wrote the thread: the latter who read the thread is necessarily going to be more inclined to subjectively, arbitrarily and incorrectly draw inferences of what that thread's meaning is because that person is going to "fill in the gaps of known unknowns" with their animosity, to reach the entirely unsupported conclusion that a thread was meant as a veiled attack, consistent with conflict theory's stupid definition of passive aggression.

It's a natural human inclination to "fill in the gaps" between what we know and what we think with background information, but when filling in the gaps means "reading the worst possible meaning into human behavior" in tandem with "concluding that another person is out to get you," then you've got a problem. The problem may be that you have succumbed to the influence of others... and you're not thinking clearly, or for yourself, to try to go through the intellectual labor of what is really going on. Or the problem may be that you're in the early stages of a very disconcerting onset of a mental breakdown.

The whole problem is that when people talk about "passive aggression" --especially on this forum-- the only reason that comes up is because people are NOT talking through their issues with other people, or, even if they are talking, when a person makes it clear that nothing another person says is going to change that person's perception of another's behavior, then all hope is lost in its entirety. Not only will whatever conflict that exists NEVER be resolved, but the person laboring under such delusions is going to continue succumb to ignorance and fantasy, rather than having their perception of the world grounded in reality.
Tsar of DDO
RyuuKyuzo
Posts: 3,074
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12/31/2015 5:02:13 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
I look at passive-aggressiveness as acting in bad-faith. If you're deliberately sabotaging an argument by insisting on the least charitable interpretation of your opponent's argument you can get away with, you're being passive-agressive in my eyes.
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