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How To Be Passive-Aggressive For Beginners

Jerilyn, the East Coast Transplant Says...
Hey Corey, I hate to brake it to you, but Minnesotans are pretty passive-aggressive.

Corey, the Minnesota Native Says...
Oh gosh noooo, we’re not passive-aggressive... Oh, by the way Jerilyn, did you know you have a typo in the previous sentence?

Jerilyn, the East Coast Transplant Says...
Oh lord.  Well, here’s my philosophy - If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  Even though you haven’t had years of practice, you can still pick up some great tips from our Minnesotan friends.  Ready to become a Master Passive-Aggessive?  Read on:

Step 1: Never ever ever, ever show that you’re angry or frustrated. Even if you are SEETHING inside it is imperative that you maintain a blank face and your regular posture.  And heavens, do not let your words betray you either.  Don’t worry, you will get your revenge later.   This is the most important of all tips and ties in closely to the next tip.

Step 2: Avoid conflict at all costs. Even if you hate the person’s idea or are repulsed by a person’s actions, avoid, avoid, avoid conflict.  Talking about it will just make it worse.

Step 3: Let your anger and frustration out only with your friends (from preschool, of course) and family.  At that point, let it rip.  Tear apart the offender, limb by limb.  Go for it!

Step 4: If you didn’t think of it yourself, or had a hand in making it, or grow up with it, be highly sceptical.  Doubt that it could ever work.  Doubt the idea is any good.  Skepticism makes you brilliant.  

Step 5: And if you doubt something could work, don’t bother with it.  Just wait it out and eventually the person will forget about it or fail at it and you can go on with your life.

Step 6: Likewise, if someone at work tells you what to do, or how to do it, or gives you a time frame, by all means ignore it.  Do it your own way, even if it takes longer.  Your way has worked well up to now and you don’t want to mess up a reasonably good thing.  

Step 7: Embrace your hopelessness.  There’s really nothing you can do about x, y, or z anyway, so just learn to live with it.  

Step 8: Performance review tomorrow?  Cough, cough, consider a sudden illness coming on.  Better stay home and take it easy tomorrow.

Step 9: Whoops, a colleague doing something incorrectly?  Shooting themselves in the foot?  This should be interesting; sit back and watch the show (and by all means don’t say anything to them or help them out!).  

Step 10: And finally, by all means, if you’re the one who made a mistake, cover it up, quick!  You’ve definitely got to keep looking good (not too good, but pretty good at least) so sweep it under the rug before anyone notices.

Master these 10 easy-to-implement steps and you should be an ace passive-aggressive, earning your seat at the table next to the best of them!

Now, if you’re really still an amateur and clueless about how to deal with other people’s more finely tuned passive-aggressive behavior you might want to read “8 Tips for Dealing with Passive-Aggressive Colleagues, Friends and Neighbors.” 

Ready for Your Advanced Passive-Aggressive Class?

Get even more tips and approaches to help you on this website.  And, if you’re Minnesotan and recognize some Minnesota Nice in yourself, jump over to the Minnesotan’s Corner.  

© Jerilyn Veldof and Corey Bonnema