Whether it’s because they are shy, afraid or don’t want to offend others, passive-aggressive people express their negative feelings indirectly. Such (normally subconscious) techniques can be quite childlike and frustrating for the person on the receiving end.
Passive-aggressive behaviour can be manifested in many forms. Here are a few Maltese-style manifestations:
1. The Silent Treatment
Nothing highlights major pissed-offedness more than the silent treatment.
You suddenly go quiet and morose in order to make your partner feel guilty and realise that you are not OK with him telling you ‘x’ġisem għandha‘. Everybody has been on either side of this one; if you are female, you have likely complemented the silent treatment with a raised eyebrow. If you are male, you have experienced the scariest of silences you will ever experience.
2. Intentional Inefficiency
Waiters who can’t be arsed to deal with dissatisfied customers’ complaints sometimes resort to passive-aggression. They walk back to the kitchen extra slowly to have your burnt pizza changed and go out of their way to be annoying or ignore you for the remainder of your time in the establishment.
‘Il-wirdiena fis-soppa b’xejn, ta.’
3. ‘The Look’
You are finally at the cinema, watching that movie you’ve been waiting for. Despite your mental warning screams, the protagonist is of course walking down to the basement, alone, in the dark. The scene is tense and so is every muscle in your body. Yet the douchebags behind you seem to have better things to do in life than watch the movie they paid to watch. Things like kicking your seat and chatting loudly.
You try to mentally block out the noise but you fail. Highly irritated, you turn around and give them ‘The look’, assuming they will see you. Care, even.
‘Ħa nbellalu l-ġobon tan-nachos jekk ma jagħlaqx ħalqu!’
4. Facebook Statuses
You post a (not so) cryptic status or quote in the hopes of getting the message across to that ex of yours.
‘Don’t look at what you can’t afford!’
5. Shitty Backhanded Compliments
It’s an insult to your core, disguised as a compliment or word of encouragement. Like that time that asshole friend comments on your Facebook photo: ‘You look great in this photo!’
‘There are many men who are into chubby women, ta! Tħabbilx is-suf hunbabe!’
6. Indirect Requests
You want your partner to pull his socks up and make more of an effort but you won’t ask for it directly.
‘Kemm hu romantikk ir-raġel ta’ Grace-Anne, jixtrilha l-fjuri kull ġimgħa…’
7. Backing Out
Backing out of something last minute by giving a lame ass excuse as to why you can’t make it. In reality, you never intended on going in the first place but you are too passive-aggressive to turn down an invitation from the start.
‘Qas temmen x’waħda ġratli! Kieku taf kemm xtaqt niġi jaħasra!’
By now you should be more aware of your passive-aggression. Or not. Whatever, really.