Oh, those passive-aggressive comments. Do they niggle you too? I was on the receiving end of one today, and I felt myself shrivel from the me who was having a great, productive morning to someone really grumpy and defensive. That's no way to be, but… But. I defended myself. I tried to smooth it over, help the person see how it wasn't quite that way…to no avail. She kept her line as I kept mine, and my frustration grew. It wasn't a pleasant spiral. I wanted out of that feeling, but I couldn't quite get there.
Later, I ran into a friend who is a reliable optimist, so I asked how she responds to the passive-aggressive comment. She admitted that they really get under her skin too…if she doesn't work fast to stop them. If she can gather the presence of mind, she will remind herself that (truthfully) she is a happy person, her family life and fortunately even her work life is right where feels good, everyone is healthy and things are great...but this must not be true for the other person, at least not in that moment. If she acts fast to remind herself of this core truth, passive-aggressive comments almost make her feel sorry for the person who said them. Then she laughed and admitted that feeling pity for that person might be passive-aggressive in its own way, but she can live with that. She just rides that passive-aggressive ticket to the Happy Train.
I love wise friends.