We’re often faced with a variety of people in our lives – and that’s great. I love having open dialogues, being transparent and having respectful (key word) disagreements – where I can learn something new. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about those passive-aggressive (P/A) people who hid behind the mask of the smiling “it’s fine” or acting like what we say is worthy, when they really don’t feel it is. I’ve got a couple in my life right now.
In their own minds, the P/A person believes they are really nice, easy to please, everybody likes them, they’re hard workers and always willing to help. Sounds easy to get along with, right? But these people are personal and professional martyrs. They are not transparent, genuine or honest — with themselves or us. It’s frustrating and often hurtful.
P/As love to give of themselves. Yet, if you know one, their giving comes at a price; If they do something for you, they expect and demand the same in return or they will remind you how much they gave up for you.
I used to say that P/A behavior was negative (we often see the same behavior in narcissist people – which can be very dangerous), but I’m trying to look at this differently. Although I’m really not going to allow these people to be front and center in my life, I can see that they (sadly) live their lives behind a mask. A mask of fear and insecurity – that we’ll see what they truly are like, and we’ll leave or reject them.
First let me say, I’m thankful I don’t have that mask and that those people I now surround myself with don’t have them either. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to feel compassion for those that I know that are P/A. I want to try and focus on how fragile they must feel inside – how scared. I’m not perfect (totally not perfect!), and I often get frustrated with these people and allow their behavior to color how I feel about them. But, for the most part, I’m trying to be more compassionate.
So, in this cold period of the year, when we have a tendency to be a bit quick-tempered and just plain tired of the cold, lets use our positive energy toward people we know are too afraid to be transparent and open. Lets allow all negative comments flow off us like water over stone. I get that this simile means that if it goes on too long, the water will eventually wear us down, and we might have to leave. But maybe our love and positive energy will change one person – or at least help them see that we’re more likely to love them without the mask.
Have a great day today!