41 – Beware Passive Aggression

Calmness and kindness are nothing alike; equating them serves to mask hatred. The ability to sense concealed rage requires thick skin, a virtue of chivalry.

Among the greater harbors of hatred, beware the angry pacifist who never learns.

He confronts every challenge by quietly “punishing” others—even if only in his own mind—until they stop trying to “change” him. All the while, he pretends to accept everything through his quiet, calm, amiable silence.

If he mumbles, he expects instant agreement from everyone he imagines heard his mumble, whether his mumble was audible or not. When others don’t change, he placates and internalizes his rage. It never occurs to him to evaluate whether he is right or whether he has something to learn. When his rage boils over, he “blames himself” for not “taking responsibility”, which really means spinning his wheels and despising others even more than before. He decides to triple his efforts, but not reconsider his methods. When adding elbow grease to his failing methods fails again, he blames others.

He confronts through writing, gossip, and administration, never face to face, so he can think he “won”.

He needs chivalry, fierce friendship skills, and speaking candidly enough to learn when in error.

If this is you, your life is in peril; halt all your plans and reconnoiter your ways.

If you see this in your friend, minimize that friendship. Be cordial, pray, provide what you should if this is a family member, but that’s all.

I was once given advice by a self-made, successful Black lady in Chicago. She worked diligently, against privilege, to buy a full-sized house in the downtown district, but wouldn’t sell it when high rise projects offered her more than its value, in 2002 priced at six million. “You can’t help everyone,” she said. “Some people just want to stay the same and they’ll waste your time. The problem is that you always like ’em.”

The angry pacifist is the most difficult to move on from. If you can move on from him, you can move on from anyone.

Don’t buy the lie that “kind tone” is all it takes to be loving. When someone else does, move on.

Proverbs 17:17