Curing the Passive Aggressive Poison
Congratulations, you’ve made it through your first “hell week” of the semester! The seven days you just suffered through have been arguably more terrifying than that horrible dream you had last semester where you slept through your final exam and failed your PE class. You just finished your third exam in two days, and you finally submitted that gigantic project you’ve been feverishly writing and editing over the last 24 hours (even though you had over a month to work on it).
Exhausted, you lumber into your apartment and collapse for a much needed nap. Upon waking, you crawl towards the freezer, where a delicious cookies and cream reward awaits you. However, as you reach towards the handle, you notice this beauty occupying your freezer’s prime magnet space:
After a short chuckle and a brief moment of pondering whether or not the hell you faced this week was even real, you realize this little meme could possibly be directed at you. Your already meager attempts at cleanliness have been completely consumed by the flames of hell week, and there was absolutely no way you could have done those dishes. However, you also realize that different, somewhat aggressive memes have been appearing on your fridge just about every week for the last month.
My dear friend, it appears as if your beloved housemate may be suffering from a case of passive aggressive poison. Never fear, doctors have recently developed a cure. Allow me to write a prescription for you:
Evaluate Yourself – Ask yourself (as objectively as you can) the following questions: have I really been a good roommate recently? What habit or action have I been doing that has caused my housemate(s) to be upset with me? What is the best course of action to reconcile this situation?
Don’t Get Angry – Passive aggressive comments or actions can undoubtedly create a lot of friction, and it’s very easy to respond in anger. However, getting angry will not resolve the situation, but will likely cause further harm.
If You’re in the Wrong, Apologize – I know, I know – you probably didn’t (and still don’t) think it (whatever it is) was a big deal, and you may be right. However, it was a big enough deal to your roommate for him or her to take the time and print out this fancy new fridge decoration. So be mature, approach them, and offer a sincere apology. You’ll be amazed and thrilled with the results, I promise.
If You Don’t Know What You Did Wrong, Just Ask – Sometimes the things we do just get on other people’s nerves without our ever realizing it. If you’ve evaluated yourself and sincerely can’t figure out what your roommate might be upset about, pull them aside and humbly ask them what is bothering them.
Finally, Establish an Open Line of Communication – To prevent frustrations from boiling over into passive-aggressive actions in the future, establish some method of consistently evaluating how things are going with each of your roommates. Whether that’s a weekly meeting, a text every now and then, or some other method, the point is to continue working towards the mutual goal of a positive shared living experience.
Follow this prescription to the tee, and you’ll likely see a full recovery from the passive aggressive poison. Also, don’t be afraid to mention that you just had the worst week of your life – not as an excuse, but hey, maybe they’ll have some compassion! It’s easy to let small acts of aggression pass uncontested, but I can guarantee you’ll be glad if you address them head on rather than pretending they don’t exist. Then again, maybe none of this actually exists and we’re all living batteries for a crazy robot world…