Silly little moods,
Seems there’s a problem right here,
Not sure what to do,
Challenge what’s true?
Whatever, just challenge the fear.
We can very well understand why people enter into the resistance of passive aggressiveness. It may be the only way they know how to respond. Or, it might be the choice of response, given both their conflict management style and the history they share with the other party – who could be us!
It’s a good thing to quietly, proactively challenge the presence of passive aggressiveness – either indirectly or directly; whichever way may peaceably work.
Being passive aggressive – smiling through gritted teeth – is a relational nemesis. We need to build a bridge of reconciliation if we are to realise God’s will between two people.
The poem at top is best understood by the arrangement of the cold shoulder against us, or maybe propagated by us. Silence broods between two parties and it may not initially be all that perceptible, but it’s there alright. (We have to be careful, also, just to make sure that we aren’t reading relational dynamics that aren’t there.)
What underlies the silence is a ‘silly little mood’, but all these so-called moods are generated for rational reasons that are justifiable from the person’s viewpoint that holds them. We might call them moods, but they are better described as attitudinal plans deployed.
The moment of acceptance is the moment of realisation; a problem exists, but now what to do? Do we challenge what is true? Is it a real problem they or we have? Whatever the issue, there is an unhealthy dynamic that can be challenged, if that can be done in love. Sometimes we need to bow to a relational dynamic that won’t easily be fixed. But at other times we can ask from a gentle even submissively assertive standpoint, “Are we okay?”
Making it clear what we hold dear is the responsible way of operating relationally in life. What point is there in holding onto matters of conflict when those matters might be resolved toward peace?
Getting to a point in strained relationships where we can call the conflict for what it is; that’s a brave move – risky to a point – but where there’s no risk to make the relationship better it will become no better.
Being clear about where we stand with others, and allowing them to communicate their feelings in clarity; this is what’s needed.
Clear communication is about honesty and trust, and both involve courage.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.