My real life bestie, Ewa, has a goal in life to rid the workplace (and possibly the world) of sarcasm. Usually sarcasm is used to cause someone else discomfort and/or pain. It is often used in the office to “keep people in their place” or to let someone know that they behaved wrongly by trying to make it into a joke.
The first time she told me about this, I was like.. Wha?!? Really? I am sarcastic – it’s funny!
Then I started paying attention. I use sarcasm when I want to get under someone’s skin. It’s a great tool for me to tell someone what they did wrong but make it seem like it didn’t matter to me at the same time. It causes discomfort for both of us and rarely ends up solving anything. People just think I’m being a jerk… because, well, I am.
Last week, my therapist asked me if I am passive aggressive. My first answer was an automatic no – and then I started getting honest about my behavior. Because I have a hard time accepting that something might be troublesome for me, I don’t validate my own feelings. If my feelings aren’t valid, then I have no reason to raise a complaint. When there is no space to raise a complaint, I have no way to share that I was hurt or bothered. So… I shoot thorns at whoever is standing close enough to get them.
I don’t believe I am alone in this behavior. The more I pay attention, the more I see it. Passive aggressive behavior is floating among us all the time and we are doing our best to ignore it.
This article gives a 8 good examples but what I really want is to share my own mistakes because that’s how I learn best. This past week was vacation week and my husband and I shared a house with his family in Tuscany. The surroundings were beautiful and the house was great. There were 9 people in the house and naturally, we ran out of hot water a few times. After having been there for 6 days, I had yet to have a warm shower. This was starting to annoy me, but not enough to get up earlier and shower before everyone else. It annoyed me just enough to ask everyone before they left for a day trip
“Hey guys, what do you think the chances are that I’ll get a warm shower today?”
Which was met with disbelief and annoyance (rightfully so) and could have been avoided if I
- Got up earlier to shower
- Asked them the day before to keep it quick so that there is enough water for everyone
But since, I wasn’t acting like an adult, they left the house annoyed and I felt like a jerk.
So, what does passive aggressive speak have to do with the thyroid?
If you follow my facebook page, you probably know that last year I found out I had hypothyroidism. I did a Whole30, I took a bunch of supplements, I chanted and meditated, I had acupuncture – I did All. The. Stuff. And it worked. After about 6 months, my hormones were back within normal range and I was started to find my writing voice because I decided that not speaking out was part of my thyroid issue.
I feel better. I love to write and I think this part of my life was missing before. Now that writing is a steady part of what I do, it’s time for another layer of “finding my voice”. In comes therapy. So far, I am working on recognizing my feelings (instead of ignoring them) but the next step is to start actually SHARING them. This step is where I am stumbling now. Since I don’t know how to do this, I try going the ‘safe’ route… being passive aggressive. Because sharing what I feel is so uncomfortable, I try to do it in a way that I think is less harmful. BUUUUTTT… it’s not less harmful at all. It causes annoyance and feelings of guilt in other people and shame and guilt for me.
That’s an emotional soup that I’d like to avoid in the future if I can. It doesn’t taste good going down and the leftovers suck too. It’s literally HARD TO SWALLOW. Getting the thyroid connection yet?
So – I am making a promise to myself this week to catch myself before spewing passive aggressive bullshit.
[tweet_dis]Call me out. Tell me to tell the truth. Call yourself out. Tell yourself the truth.[/tweet_dis]
Is being passive aggressive affecting your health??
Let me know.