I spent part of the holidays in Florida with my youngest daughter and her family. Her 12-year-old daughter had just received her first two C’s ever, on her report card. It was her first time dealing with seven periods, multiple teachers, and the chaos of middle school. She also had missed some school and misunderstood the make up system. Regardless, she got her first C’s. It wasn’t something her mother would be passive aggressive about.

On a Train to Nowhere Going Someplace

She was reminded of her grades at the Tampa Aquarium we visited when her younger brother’s grades qualified him for free admission. She didn’t qualify. Her mom paid for her ticket. There were several reminders, including one as we waited on a delayed train. My granddaughter told her mom to stop being passive aggressive about her grades. Her mother explained she was being aggressive about the grades. However, there was nothing passive about it. She was straightforward and to the point. If the grades didn’t come up then outside activities would go down.

My daughter is an award-winning AP macroeconomic high school teacher. She will help her daughter, and if her daughter doesn’t take the help, mom will hold her to the consequences.

My daughter didn’t mention the grades to my wife or me out of context. She didn’t come to us passively aggressively complaining about her daughter’s grades. We become aware of the two C’s through conversation between mother and daughter.

Quit Complaining and Do Something About it

Here’s my point. How many times we all, self included, complained to others, griped about a situation without taking action, or become angry with no plan other than being mad.  Was my daughter concerned, disappointed, maybe even upset? Of course she was, but she didn’t hide behind her anger she did something about. As she told her daughter, there was nothing passive about her reaction to the grades.

Take Action

  • When you’re concerned, upset, or disappointed, do something about it. And I don’t mean wallow in your anger. Take action.
  • If you perceive someone has done harm to you or your reputation tell them. Don’t do it with anger, try this method, The Pinch Method of Conflict Management
  • Don’t involve others that have nothing to do with the circumstance. When you do that it becomes gossip and you become a viscous gossiper.
  • Take action – if there’s a solution make it happen, and if there isn’t a ready solution work on creating one.

Stop Being Passive 

Quit being passive about passive-aggressive behavior; It doesn’t help, it doesn’t fix anything, and it might make things worse. Rather than hold it in and develop ulcers let it out, but let it out to the right people in a calm manner.

Photo by Sweet One on Foter.com / CC BY-SA