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This is a question The passive-aggressive guilt trip

My mother is an expert in the guilt-trip. Last week she phoned to say "Happy Birthday" and, after a 10 minute conversation, finished with, "Well, I hope you have a nicer time than I did on the day you were born."

She also stated that she was going to kill herself when she reached 65. On Christmas Day morning. Having rung up to see if there was anything she could bring for lunch.

I think it's just a mother thing, but how good are your relatives and friends at the passive-aggessive?

(, Thu 13 Oct 2005, 9:52)
Pages: Popular, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

A childhood and adolescence spent in a convent school in rural County Down
had obviously taught my ex girlfriend a lot about guilt and she had absolutely no qualms in organising guilt laden experiences for others.
Aside from the atypical "Of course I have no problem with you seeing your friends" dichotomy - indicating that a more serious problem lay elsewhere and that I was a mean and ignorant man for not knowing where (or even what) - she also liked to fall back on the old and trusted victim statement as in.."it's not you Rondolpho - it's me". She once sent me a postcard from her home town in Northern Ireland whilst on a random visit to her parents, telling me that she saw a clear need for us to spend time apart so that we could appreciate each other more when we were together, and hoped that I could trust that she wasn't spending time with any of her old flames (?). I had gone to a friends birthday party one night (in the same city as where we were living at the time!)and although I knew she wasn't particularly comfortable with me going (see -"Of course I have no problem with you seeing your friends" above -) i wasn't expecting her to FO back to Ireland and then make out that i had somehow indicated we should 'go on a break'.
Still - a childhood and adolescence spent in a dark wooden box being prodded by needles and fed offal had taught me to be a sociopath and successfully rendered me free of any feelings of guilt in connection with anything at all! So no harm done there then.
(, Sat 15 Oct 2005, 14:53, Reply)
Last night
I went out for a friend's birthday, at the bar the food poisoning from the chinese takeaway I'd eaten began to kick in so I told her I was gonna go home and give the club a miss.

To which she replied, "Of all nights this is the worst thing that could happen, Tom got mugged in Leeds so he can't make it, Sarah's grandma has just died and Louise has flu and now you're ill... no one has turned up, I put 53 people on the guest list." There were actually about 20 people there anyway so it wasn't that bad.

Then she hugged me for about 10 minutes, and I'm 5"9 and shes about 5"2 so I just felt really awkward with this little midget woman attached to my waist whilst I was shivering and having cold sweats. In the end out of guilt/pity, I stayed until 2am
(, Sat 15 Oct 2005, 14:21, Reply)
After two years at Uni I finally gave up the ghost and decided to quit - there were several things about it that didn't sit well with me.

Anyway, I told this to my mother under the impression that it would be best to do what I want in my life, rather than what her and dad had planned for.

Not so.

This was the conversation after I told her I was quitting (it wasn't helped by the fact I was undertaking a bet to speak with an australian/south african medley accent for a week):

Her (more to herself than me): Oh well, oh well, we'll have to see.
Me: Erm, have to see what?
Her: Well your father and I had planned for you to stay at Uni for another two years, I mean, we've put a lot of time and money into this.
Me: Yes I realise that, and I do appreciate it, it's just I'm not happy, so surely I should do something that makes me happy?
Her: It's only another two years though, do you not think you could just do it? And then you'd be out of there! (bear in mind I had already been at Uni for two years and was generally unhappy (with Uni itself) through most of it)
Me: No.
Her: Well, I'll have to talk with your father about it.
Me (getting exasperated): Mum, talk to him about what - I'm not going back.
Her: Yes, well, I'll talk with your father and we'll see then.
Me: No mum, I...am...not...going...back.
Her: Well that's rather selfish of you isn't it? I mean what about me and your father, our plans?
Me: To be honest mum, it's not really anything to do with you.

I soon ended up for the first time in my life hanging up on my mother after she called me a cheeky (I think that was the accent), ungrateful bastard. Sorry, I thought for a second life was about being happy rather than dancing to someone else's tune.

Of course, to try and persuade me to go back to Uni, they have left me paying my own rent over the summer since I "have a full time job now." Which I would have had over the summer if I had been going back to Uni. Saddled with debt, nearly exceeding my overdraft this didn't go down well with me. Neither did the repeated phonecalls every week telling me I should go back to Uni, had I thought it out, what about doing a three year degree, had I really thought it out and so on.

Still, I have just about managed to survive (thanks to understanding friends and a sympathetic landlord), and seeing I am not going back they (she) are feeling guilty about not paying my rent to the point she got Tesco to deliver food round to the flat the other day.
(, Sat 15 Oct 2005, 14:04, Reply)
when i work myself into this i probly deserve it...
so, i go round girlfriends on a thursday nite, the day after her brother comes back from the old US of A. now her bro is a top bloke and i know most of the guys he hangs around with. As it's his homecoming, he gets a group round and they prepare to go out on the lash.
*tactless b/f moment* 'Miss Ting? can i go too?'
so yeah that didnt end up too well. now i'd got myself here there was no way out...
she'd said yes in the most reluctant of ways, so i started getting ready, but then i came back to her to talk to her as in 'are you sure it's ok?' type thing and we came to the conclusion that if i didnt go now, things would be awkward.
cue more silence of the aforementioned type and i REALLY wanted to back out and stay with her, but her mood was getting more and more hostile.
so along came the taxi. having taken the advice that she gave me that i should go, i went outside. i was really backing out at this point so the taxi driver said 'are you coming, tom?' and everyone was looking at me - 4 people in the taxi, 1 unimpressed girlfriend at the door, and probly most of birchington high street.
'.......erm.......yeah' i STUPIDLY said.
*cue slamming of front door, and me having to explain i'm going back in to take on the impossible task of making things up.*
luckily, i admitted my defeat, and we went out on the lash with her mum and mums fiancee. much drinkage and falling about ensued, til we got back home and got down with the inevitable...
if you were me, what would you have done (other than not be a tactless prick and ask to go in the first place)?
(, Sat 15 Oct 2005, 12:38, Reply)
When Sunday lunch is underway,
my nan has incredibly annoying passive-aggressive tencencies - serving herself scraps from the meat, deliberately sitting on the wobbly stool, setting her plate on the odd placemat etc... To sum up, she's the sort of person who says "It's only me" - as if by martyring herself and trying to be small she'll somehow become more likeable.

If I were in charge of Sunday lunches, I'd give her a taste of her own medicine and not serve her at all; maybe then she'd stop acting the gom. (Either that or she'd starve to death.) I just can't stand people like that.

Okay, that story was fecking boring, how about this one?

The other day I was riding on a bus with a bag, on the top deck. (It was an open-topped bus.) Seeing as it’s an open-topped bus and - well - open, I decide to have a quick and peaceful cigarette and not disturb anyone’s sensitive nostrils, taking advantage of the open top as a smoke-disperser. No such luck. Within a minute of lighting up, this big and porky man - he’s about 30, wearing spectacles with fashionably quadrilateral frames and has a face the colour of raw steak - comes up to me and burbles,
"Mate. Sorry, mate. There no smoking on the bus, mate. Look, mate. There’s a sign there, mate -" pointing to a sign which proved this was indeed the case. (I think he has variant Tourette’s or something.)
I say, "Oh. I see," and extinguish the cigarette. Tourette’s Guy then goes back to his seat at the other end of the bus.
With my plans for a quick smoke thoroughly foiled, I turn to plan B, which I’d prepared in case of this eventuality. I get out a big heatproof mat - the sort you put Bunsen burners on at school - rake some coal over it, and set up a spit. I put some firelighters (they’re wax-type jobbies used to light fires) on the coal and used one of my matches to ignite the lot. With much blowing and cursing, I eventually have a nice smoky fire going. I then take two prize herrings out of the bag (it’s a big bag) and hang them on the spit over the smoke. Sure enough, Tourette’s Guy comes over again.
"Mate. Didn’t you hear me, mate? No smoking on the bus, mate."
"That’s only for tobacco products - it doesn’t say anything about fish."
"No, mate - that is true."
"Well, then."
"Mate, just a question, mate. What are you smoking, mate?"
"Herring, mate?"
"Mate, why are you smoking herring on a bus, mate?"
"Because I haven’t got any pilchards."

Sod relevance, I just kept going for the length!
(, Sat 15 Oct 2005, 1:38, Reply)
My A-level maths teacher was fantastic. A proper good teacher and a fun bloke to be taught by. However, every month or so he'd have a big rant and use his passive aggressive tone in his working class Lancashire accent:

"Anybody who's not prepared to pay attention and do th'work might as well just leave now because I'm sick of teaching to students who won't put th'effort in"

This was a really bad time for me to leave for a careers interview.
(, Sat 15 Oct 2005, 1:01, Reply)
Damnit, Janet's mom.
I knew Janet about two years ago. Her dad's a priest, her mom's just as religious, and both of them are very suspicious of the goings-on in their daughter's free time.

Whenever me, my other friend and her met up to do stuff, Janet's mother would pull me to the side.

"Thank you so much for hanging out with Janet and keeping her out of trouble, oh God bless you."

As soon as she drove off Janet would pull a lighter and joint out of her purse and run into the bowling alley bathroom with the other friend giggling all the way, while I pace around outside contemplating the difference between right and wrong and imagining what it's like in hell.

So anyhow, I'm over that now, but poor Janet ran away to Mexico last year and nobody's heard from her since.
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 23:55, Reply)
my dear mother
I live 3,500 miles away from my parents. They're lovely people, but my mother gets incredibly intense, and we can't cope with it for more than a few days at a time.

In the meantime, I get a daily e-mail that has somewhere buried in it a reference to how it would all be so much easier/better/happier if I lived closer/we got to see you more often.
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 23:52, Reply)
I would, but I'm slowly training her to make me breakfast now....it's working. Little steps first, little steps.

Good food too, not deathly stuff. I am quite surprised!

Really do need to teach myself the art of the guilt trip though. It's just not something I can get the hang of. I always giggle or get irate.
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 21:56, Reply)
Never mind the human passive-aggresive techniques.
Let's discuss cats.
Our cats are hideously spoiled, and if we are on our way out one of them will come running up to hubby and smacks him with his paw. This results in hubby petting the dogfood until he purrs and is happy.
When we come back, the cats turn their backs on us, until the vocal one decides he's hungry. Then they're all cute and meowy until we feed them. They then stay happy again until hubby and I decide to have sex or a conversation, at which point they start meowing at us until such time as we either feed them again or give up our conversation/sex life to talk to them and pet them.
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 21:49, Reply)
Everyone does it ...
My last boyfriend ... "What? Oh .. its just you seem to prefer talking to my friends... than talking to me. But that's alright.." *sad face* "... No, its fine, you go and talk to them and I'll just sit here and make sad little faces at you." (When the only reason I'd been talking to them had been because he'd left me alone for an hour or so while he did his own bloody thing.) Besides this, I was quite good friends with some of them as well but whenever I went near them ... *sad face*. Occasionally tears.

My parents are masters. "Oh, no, don't worry. I'll make myself a cup of tea... I've only been at work all day." Until it gets to the "Hang on - " "Yes?" "Would you make me one too?" =)

Can't say I don't use it myself. Muahahahahaha.
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 20:22, Reply)
Sharing in adversity.
I have a certain soft-spot for one of my mates as both of our girlfriends (independantly of one another) have adopted the exact same Passive Aggressive Tactic.

Acting slightly upset or bothered but when approached about said mood taking the following approach which basically consists of any variation on the theme of "I am unhappy about our relationship/something else that might possibly be your fault/something completely different (eg Family issues that YOU should be more supportive/differently supportive bout/listen to me complain about but not listen to or carry out any suggestions you have for improving said situation) ect feck". This ofcourse sends any man into a complete panic and instantly makes the best of us jump into line and try our damdest to be the most amazing partners anyone could possibly have, cancelling any plans to be with them, phoning her every evening to listen to her NOT TALK!

And then never properly sorting out the situation, just letting the whole eruption fizzle out.

But its always there under the surface keeping us on our Toes.

Fortunately I have grown wise to tactic and have confronted my other half about it. This has almost completely resolved the situation as she is (besides this tiny flaw) the Most amazing woman I have ever met.

My mate on the other hand is Whipped. His gf is a dominating bitch most of the time and out of his undying (and slightly misguided) love for her will do anything she asks.

He's slowly realising the situation he is in but it's hard to tell your mate his girlfriend doesnt have enough respect for him.

mandatory length girth apology
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 20:18, Reply)
Ah,my sister-in-law,the chav.
Not content with depriving my husband of a happy childhood,she's done all she can to take every ounce of parental attention away from him now that he's an adult,too.

Does she whine,cry or throw fits? Oh,no. Much better. . .

. . .she has babies!
Single,no degree and on the dole,she has 'em because (and I quote,honestly) 'The government will pay for them',and nothing appeals to parents quite like grandchildren,apparently.

When my husband got his degree,she spent the entire party talking loudly about her pregnancy and sulking visibly whenever anyone tried to offer my husband congratulations,never mind that she'd had *two* baby showers of her own.

When we got engaged,I bet him that his sister would be pregnant before the wedding and that she'd do it in time to show by the wedding date.
Guess who won that bet?
Oh,how furious she was during the reception when all the massed relatives didn't spend every second fawning over her ability to reproduce!

Never mind that she doesn't actually like being a parent;babies get her lots and lots of attention and besides,Mummy will watch them whenever she wants to go out and party with her little druggie friends.

We're currently buying a house. I have a fiver that says she'll be knocked up again by Christmas.
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 19:03, Reply)
I've learn't my lesson now
Not long after I got married my wife and I were sat watching a telly program (can't remember what one now). It must have had a quite pretty young lady on it and I remember my wife asking "do you think she's pretty?"

When I answered to the affimative I got "SO WHAT'S SO FUCKING GOOD ABOUT HER, THAT MAKES HER SO MUCH BETTER THAN ME......." and on.

Since then when asked a potentially loaded question I retort "sorry, wasn't really paying attention"

I'm shagging her best mate anyway
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 17:19, Reply)
Here we go again...
I was 18 just this week and I'm having a big party for it tomorrow. I was just this minute reading these replies when my mum walks in. Here is a perfect example of the passive-aggressive vs the passive-aggressive

Me: 'Hey mum on saturday night I'm going out into town after my party finishes with my friends'
My Mum: 'But it'll be nighttime, everywhere will be closed'
Me: '...um the pubs and clubs wont'
My mum: 'Oh I don't like you going out wandering the streets at night'
Me: 'Ok well then I guess I'll just go home on my own and go to bed then'
My mum: 'Well if that's what you really want to do but I didn't think you were like that..'

...and so it goes on
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 17:05, Reply)
My name is StrangeKristine and im the ex from hell.
I pity my potential ex husband to be. when i go all psychoesque i really go psychoesque.

last year, was livng in guernsey and my bf at the time said lhe was moving to australiia. I said fine if you move we spilt up now. He said eh didnt want to cause it wa sonly for a year. i said he had no choice. He then decided to cancel his tickets . Bye Bye 1400 quid. Then i tol dhim if he REALLY really really wanted to go id wait for hi,m. Execting him to say no. Few weeks later of he toddles to sydney. three days after he gets there i fone him and tell him hes to come home. He says no. I say ok. There days later i phone and tell him if he dosnt come home il "go get merryily ratarsed with your m8 rob. you know rob? horny rob? the one that feels me up when your not looking?" that was on the friday and he was home on the tuesday morning. He then takes out a bank loan to pay my flight over to australia. I get there. last three days then split up with him. Headfuck moi???
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 16:52, Reply)
I know what you're trying to do, but it's OK. Guilt-tripping and emotional blackmail don't bother me. Honestly. I've had it all my life. Twenty-six years, man and boy! Mum and Dad said that if it wasn't for me having a bath every Sunday then there would be enough water for them to drink, instead of having to drink alcohol all the time. Even when they died they shared a coffin because they couldn't afford one each due to my school uniform being so expensive.

So carry on. I can take it. Say what you want to me. At least somebody is talking to me. I know it's all my fault anyway. I'll just fade away now. You probably won't hear from me again. I'll be OK. Honestly. I'll be OK.

I'll be OK.
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 16:22, Reply)
Hi, my name's Jaffafairy and -
- I AM the passive-agressive girlfriend!

I apologise to you all on behalf of passive-agressive girlfriends everywhere - we only do it because cosmo told us to!!

Seriously - silent phone-sulking, guilt-tripping into making dinner, constant reminders of various mistakes and infidelities as emotional blackmail - I've done it all...

But don't worry - I'm going to the meetings and hope to get better soon :)
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 16:19, Reply)
Once again, Mothers Are Best
My beloved Ma:

Blamed me for my Dad leaving her (after a 7 year separation FFS), once accused me of abusing my girlfriends based on the appalling way I treated her (I had objected to being reviled), told my sister that she was the unwanted result of my Dad raping her, continually questions why we're so much worse than all her friends' children and regularly manages to offend all three of her kids on a pretty regular basis whenever we visit. Wonder why Dad left...

When we try to explain what the problem is, she denies all knowledge - largely because she's
a) usually drunk, and
b) in complete denial

It's not funny, big or clever, but weirdly, I feel better for having mentioned it :-)

I see her about once every three months. For about an hour. And then I run away.
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 16:03, Reply)
Me: "Mum, I'm going on holiday to cancun in a few weeks"
Mum: "BindiBaji! you be careful have you had all your jabs"
Me: "Yes, had them yesterday"
Mum: "you will be careful though take some mossy repellent"
Me: "How about 'That's nice dear I heard it's nice there'"
Mum: "Well BindiBaji, you never tell me anything, we don't talk these days not a proper conversation."
Me: "Ok, I got pissed last weeked lost my glasses and feel asleep by the side of the road somewhere in New Cross "
Mum: "Oh BindiBaji!"
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 15:43, Reply)
Ok. thats fine. dont post anymore. I mean i did enjoy reading your posts, along with alot of other people. But your happiness is more important. Im sure I will manage, and you shouldnt feel any guilt at all for stopping.

(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 15:25, Reply)
I say "Shall we see whats on the box?"
She says "Yeah, I love curling up in front of the TV with you"

I say "What shall we watch then?"

She says "I don't mind darling, you choose!"

*Flicks channel

She screams "Oh no, I'm not facking watchin this shit you facking pathetic little cunt rag!"

I say "Ok then, you choose?"

She says "look, just watch anything but this shite!"

*flicks channel

She screams "Oh for sake of a fuck... I'm not watching this pap you useless fucking toss piece!"

*I turn TV Off

She says "What did you do that for I was watching that darling!"

Enough said.
(, Fri 14 Oct 2005, 15:14, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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