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what does the term 'passive-aggressive' mean to you?

 
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Jeremy Baker wrote:A passive person can just be a cautious person. I often respond late on threads. Could that even be viewed by someone as passive aggressive and all it really is is timing? Or caution? I have often wondered about the true meaning of this nebulous sounding term and it’s implications. This thread was useful to me but as a immigrant I’m not satisfied.  I see a lot of familial references and anecdotes and a little cultural anecdote but not a lot of cultural anecdote. And I see circumstantial anecdotes. But not in my context.  I’m going to look for threads in a forum for immigrants. Ive also considered asking Permies if there can be a private forum for immigrants. We have a unique perspective.
For example, one thing popping to mind is the concept of the chameleon. Blending in might be taken as passive. But is it useful and positive?  Taken too far and it might be negative? What if the chameleon just has a headache one day, is a confused immigrant the next day, and concerned about being deported the day after that? Then gets a head injury the day after that. Or they keep quiet as a immigrant afraid they will say something offensive by mistake. If something weird happens , like a altercation with someone with Aspergers Syndrome and getting into a scuffle, or a road rage encounter, then there’s potential to get deported. What if the immigrant was brought over as a child and knows no other country but then gets deported to their “home” country where they know nobody? There’s lots potential for a pattern of being passive? It’s far from a simple subject. No wonder a lot of immigrants flock together. Thanks for the good read.



Yes, there is some confusion, in this phrase. 'Passive-agressive' and simply 'passive' are two entirely different things. Many people are passive, or seem passive, as you describe, and it's not a bad thing, at all. The term 'passive-agressive' is essentially a verbally and, or emotionally aggressive comment that is veiled behind deceptive or deceptively sweet words.
 
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I received a passive aggressive note at the home improvement store once, I kept it, it is absolutely wonderful.
"Only ignorant people park up behind a pickup truck at this store!" Written on a cedar shingle, and left tucked under my windshield wiper.
I assume that he hoped to have free access to the bed of his truck, yet he parked with the back facing towards the other row of parking spaces, instead of facing towards the aisle.
Wow. I don't know what he had expected to happen, he certainly hadn't thought it all through very well.

For me, passive aggressive behavior is a show of disapproval that is either "the silent treatment" or some sort of "while you were gone/not looking action" (notes, things moved/thrown in trash/damaged/placed in your way), without resorting to actual aggression or violence.
It is often in response to not doing what one says they will do; or doing something thoughtless, ignorant, or even willfully, that is a hardship for someone else (like a bad parking spot): or as a part of refusing to do what someone else demands/expects to be done.

As a one-off event, it's usually a snarky note, or depending on circumstance, it's an action intended to make the recipient feel some sort of inconvenience equal to that imposed.

As chronic behavior it's more like finding your coat on the floor in the other room, because you left it on the sofa again, rather than either one of you just hanging it in the closet.

 
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Jeremy Baker wrote:immigrants.... We have a unique perspective.


Indeed we do, and for a variety of reasons we may be very, very cautious (particularly since other immigrants, at least the ones that share my background, tend to not care at all and be loud, embarrassing, etc). Observing in order to make as little impact as possible (when it`s undesirable) can make us good permies.
 
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Tereza Okava wrote:

Jeremy Baker wrote:immigrants.... We have a unique perspective.


Indeed we do, and for a variety of reasons we may be very, very cautious (particularly since other immigrants, at least the ones that share my background, tend to not care at all and be loud, embarrassing, etc). Observing in order to make as little impact as possible (when it`s undesirable) can make us good permies.



Yes, I didn’t comment  much about the loud side.........which can possibly  be construed as being aggressive??! Ive noticed that many English immigrants blend in and chameleon with Americans. They don’t bunch up generally as I sometimes see with Mexicans, Asians, Russians,...?  I’m generalizing to make a point. It’s easier for a English language speaker to blend in. The children of English as a second language immigrants tend to blend in easier.
 Anyway I don’t want to steal this abandoned thread. I’m not sure where to write about it in a Permaculture context. My point is I still feel like a alien around Americans. I’m much more comfortable with other immigrants. But English tend to be loners here. My siblings all mostly loners here. Ive looked at intentional communities, etc. To no avail.  I think a multicultural city like New York would be great but I’m not a city person. The redneck rural West was a disaster lol. Eugene, Oregon was pretty good all in all. Anywhere liberal minded has been ok. Conservative areas not so much lol.
Good point you make, Teresa, about immigrants being potentially good Permaculture observers.
 
Tereza Okava
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Make a thread, Jeremy! maybe just in the general "community" forum. There do seem to be a lot of people making a go at permaculture in places that are not their own, all over the place, for an array of reasons.

The experience of being the stranger in the strange land is daunting, to be sure, and the internet is a great place to find the three other people who feel the same way you do, especially when you also happen to feel like a weed-eating poop-tea-brewing oddball who has little in common with (or to do with) immigrants from your own country.......
(then again, Americans abroad tend to not use the word immigrants, but that is a whole 'nother conversation, and probably more of a pet peeve of mine....)
 
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Passive aggressive:

In California when someone says "Have a nice day," but the real meaning is, "I'm tired of talking to you now, so get out of my face."
 
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