02251: I Thought You Were Made Of Sterner Stuff

Fewer passive aggressive notices, m'kay? by Paul Downey

The sad consequence of how "polite" a lot of Asian cultures are is how refined we've developed the art of passive-aggressiveness. Instead of bringing issues out in the open, we bury them behind policy, polite small talk, political correctness and what not. People rarely say what they really feel but they eventually make their feelings felt in one way or another. You can't just bottle these things up. They eventually find a way to get out.

I'm not saying that outright aggression or physical violence is the solution. But we do need a bit more honesty and we need to own up to our feelings - even the negative ones. If we see something bad, we talk about it and process what to do next. Bottling up negative feelings towards others becomes a band-aid situation - do you take it off very slowly or do you just yank it off quickly in one go? Either way it's going to hurt and you have the potential to look very ridiculous.

Even the best of us can give into this tendency. I know I have as well on more than one occasion and I regret that. We need to get away from such shadow operations or whatever you want to call them and just open up a bit more, especially to those we consider to be friends or those we deal with on a very regular basis.

PS - The title of this blog post is a reference, albeit one that is unrelated.