Did an emo kid crawl up your ass and cry itself to death?*

And to continue borrowing from the same source, I finally figured out why I have such a big problem with passive-aggressive behavior. “You know better. There’s nothing passive about my aggression.”

I have a great respect for those who speak their minds without playing mindgames. It’s direct and open, and refreshing due to its rarity.

There is such a thing as too much, obviously. Some truths don’t need to be spoken, for there is nothing gained, at least in any discernible positive sense. Not that I think that lies should be told; I’m just advocating a don’t tell if not asked policy in such situations. If you confront me, I’ll give you honest answers to any questions you might have; just don’t expect me to volunteer said answers if there’s no point behind it.

But this isn’t so much about honesty as it is directness. It’s about telling friends or family or lovers or coworkers that you have problems with them or their behaviors, instead of telling everyone else and potentially doing unnecessary damage to their reputations. It’s about knowing that most of the people around you aren’t mind readers, and aren’t going to magically figure out what’s pissing you off. It’s about treating your fellow person with respect.

Confrontation is not fun. Passing bad news to someone is not something that most of us would ever choose to do; firing someone from a job, breaking up with your significant other, evicting someone, sentencing someone — very few of these things are matters that any of us look forward to doing. It automatically puts you, at least in the eyes of the recipient, in the role of the bad guy, and very few of us dream of the day we get to finally put on our black hat and march out to the scorn of the world.

But a passive-aggressive approach to such situations doesn’t help anyone. In fact, it only prolongs the pain, for both parties, in the meanwhile doing nothing to advance toward a solution.

You can pull the glass out of the wound quickly, suffer through the pain, and let the healing begin. You can avoid it altogether and hope for a bit of luck, some natural healing and no infection (on balance, though, you risk more pain and worse damage in the long run). And then, alternately but seemingly the most popular option all too often, you can go at the glass in your foot by reaching through the chest and trying to sneak up on it, or by picking at your toes with a knife until your foot decides to get angry enough to get the glass out itself.

Okay, fine. So the analogy falls completely fucking apart. Which, I think, just goes a step or two toward proving my point for me, that being direct is the best policy. As such:

Stop being passive-aggressive. It’s a really ugly look, and serves to accomplish little more than pissing a lot of people around you off. You don’t want to be the bad guy? That sort of behavior makes you worse: the snivelling underling of the villain, too cowardly to ever be of any real consequence.

That, and you start sounding like an emo kid crawled up your ass and cried itself to death.

* Blantantly stolen from R.K. Milholland’s Something Positive. If you’re not reading this every day, you’re missing out on what is, hands down, the best ever webcomic for snarky, so-unhip-you’re-hip-again nerd types ever. Ever. Seriously. Stop doubting me, or I’ll shove a Dungeon Master’s Guide in your eye socket.

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