Passive Aggression

Passive and Aggressive behaviors should be mutually exclusive; they’re a true paradox, don’t you think?

passive AND aggressive

According to a printable worksheet regarding Passive and Agressive Behaviors that I read recently, Passive Communication is described as “When using passive communication an individual does not express their needs or feelings. Passive individuals often do not respond to hurtful situations, and instead allow themselves to be taken advantage of or to be treated unfairly.”

Passive aggressive

Traits that indicate passive communication include (but I’m sure couldn’t possibly be limited to…):

1.) avoidance of any direct human contact (this includes eye contact)


2.) failure to ever get one’s own way/perpetual dissatisfaction


3)  perfection of the art of muttering (aka being “soft spoken” or “shy”), gossiping to others about perceived problems, and/or using written notes as your only form of confrontation

facilitate that passive agression with these easy labels...

4.) consistant state of annoyance (due to ineffectiveness of methods)


5.) increased use of non-verbal expressions (i.e. the “silent treatment”)

silent treatment

According to that same resource, “aggressive communicators violate the rights of others when expressing their own feelings and needs. They may be verbally abusive to further their own interests.”

Passive Aggressive Notes

Traits of aggressive communication include (and yet, refuse to be limited to):

1.) use of criticism, humiliation, and domination towards anyone who might even marginally be construed as inconvenient or threatening


2.) frequent interruptions and failure to listen to others


3.) consistant state of annoyance (due to ineffectiveness of methods)


4.) loud expressions and/or an overbearing manner


If you’re between the ages of 12 and 55 and own a computer (my rough estimate),  you’ve probably chuckled at a few of the humorous passive aggressive moments circulating internet-ville. . . or maybe you’ve seen the books of passive aggressive notes now in circulation. Now, we might laugh, but this is an indicator of a serious problem: If there are enough examples to publish multiple books, then clearly there are too many passive aggressive people in this world. passive notes

As pointed out in an extremely funny explanation of the levels of passive aggression that I read recetly, passive aggressive notes are a level 2 Passive Aggressive move. . . and they are infamous. I’ve received a few of these over the years, actually. What I’ve noticed (as a veteran note-recipient myself) is that they just don’t work. 

They don't actually work.The problem with Passive Aggression (of any kind really) is that it is inherently flawed and utterly unproductive. Ultimately you just end up stewing over your own pet peeves until you explode at some unsuspecting offender – an act which guarantees a self-defense retaliation reaction and subsequent fight. When you can manage a level-headed confrontation, you can resolve issues/frustrations with a little bit of honesty, then move on and quit it with all of the inner annoyed-ness over things gone by . . . 

drop it

Careful, though! Just because you’re annoyed at people, don’t go in the direction of the aggressive communicator, you shouldn’t just spew nastiness at people in the name of “being honest” and “confrontational”. Sometimes you are actually the one being unreasonable. This is why you have to work on perfecting a very specific skill. I like to think of it as:

keep it in

Sometimes people are frustrating. Welcome to the human race, glad you could make it. People’s frustrating aspects do not, however, give you the right to bulldoze them verbally with your frustrations. Remember that you need to cut people slack sometimes. Have the discernment to know when you should engage, and when you should smile, nod, and move on. Try to keep in mind that attitudes (yours included) are just a nasty bit of business occasionally. Allow for grace, particularly if you know the person at fault has other stuff going on. Lets face it, people who irrationally piss everyone around them off? They usually have some underlying stuff that they’re trying to deal with. . . Which leads us to another relevant truth.


So, strive to be happy with your life, and try to approach people with a gracious attitude when they might be taking out their own unhappiness on you. When your snarling inner beast rears its ugly, toothy, rabid head, remember: don't!

You can keep yourself in check and deal with conflict situations like an adult – by approaching someone with honesty and caring. Lets face it, if you don’t care about the person you are addressing, you are in a conflict for only your benefit and aren’t thinking about the entire situation at hand. You have to force yourself to consider both sides of the story (NOT stew internally while gossiping with everyone else you can find) and then keep yourself from going all wolf-tastic and attacking your unsuspecting prey. Ultimately,  if you have legitimate frustrations to address (i.e. so-n-so always forgets to ____, even though they know it’s a safety concern), there is a way to deal with them like a grown up . . . don’t let your anger make you act like an idiot. Not only is is both unattractive and immature, it’s unproductive.

Soda Shoppe Sock Hop!

sock hop?!

Its a Soda Shoppe Sock Hop!!!


What better way to brighten up the winter months than with the charming colors of the fifties and the sweet classical feel of a soda shoppe? Think  of young Jimmy Stewart serving up soda fountain drinks. . .

    georgebailey via

Now, as my three student Dance Committee volunteers and I sat reading off the list of suggested themes from a list, I saw that common ideas for the impending winter formal included:

  A. Winter in Paris

  B. Masquerade

  C. 50s

  D. Pokemon

It was safe to say that option D was out (the middle schoolers were attempting sabotage of the HS dance) . . .  and we decided Masquerade was a little too formal for the winter semi-formal. Lacking enthusiasm for attempting to reconstruct the Eiffel Tower in order to effectively achieve Winter in Paris, we turned to our final option: The 50s. As I sat across the table from a sophomore and two juniors, all born in the 1990s,  trying to explain the lovely Era in question, I mostly encountered confusion. I gave up explaining context and wound up listing random things that typified the fabulous fifties.

Now, I solemnly swear this was not something I necessarily intended to be taken at face value…but one of the girls heard me say “Soda Shoppe” and the idea was a hit!

Without further ado, we undertook some fancy  fixings!

Soda is a Favor(ite!)

Soda seemed like the thing to do when it came to favors, and there were some darling little straws I found on Etsy that seemed like just the right touch of colorful detail!

Our next step? Centerpiece Planning…

I started to meander through the world of clever arrangements and stumbled across this image:

ice cream carnations!Carnations I can handle, it seemed like the right place to start was collecting soda glasses. Thankfully, these seem to little the aisles of thrift-shops like newspapers in an episode of hoarders! It only took two trips!

Ice Cream Shoppe LOVE\

After that, it was a cinch to arrange the carnations the-day-of!

Ice Cream?

Next on the list? Accumulating an obscene amount of Records!

Mysteriously WONDERFUL!


There is a magical place in Gloucester, MA called Mystery Train Records. . .  where there is actually a wall of records that they allow you to take for free.! Sure, you can only take 5 at a time, but with enough trips, or a decent enough crew of friends, it can be done cost-free in just a trip or two! As much as they are magical finds in and of themselves, I lack a record player to truly do them justice, so I settled for using them as foundational pieces for some attractive centerpieces and table decor!

2013-02-01_18-21-25_29  2013-02-01_18-20-56_939

It made for a really charming background! Especially when we add in the Candy Jars!


That’s right, I said Candy Jars


Seeing as how soda fountains also doubled as sweet-shoppes, it was only appropriate to include a hefty amount of colorful sugar for the centerpieces!

Centerpiece Candy!

Mad libs are always a nice touch – a cherry on top!


Mad libs are just a great ice-breaker!

Madlibs as usual!

Sometimes Madlibs can be the key to easing the social interactions at the start of an evening – you know, just the thing to get everyone laughing and goofy, even if they are always somewhat inappropriate!

Then there was the question of music!

What would a dance be without music, no? In lieu of the snazzy jukebox one might actually have found in a fabulous fifties Soda Shoppe, we instead went with the more popular option of a DJ. . . it was not likely we would find a jukebox with Gangnam Style in it. One of my artsy student helpers put together this lovely painted jukebox to lend to the decor.

The Jukebox!  Requests

We used it to point people towards the request list, which students kept filled up all night long!2013-02-01_18-18-47_825

Overall, the event was a success,

Ready to Sock Hop

I got to wear a petticoat, the decor was adorably effective, and the students had fun! There were fewer moments of chaos and mayhem amid the planning than usual, and everyone had a lovely time! Even the catered food was delicious, which is pretty darn amazing!

One Sweet Evening

I hope the next dance is equally as fun to plan and organize!


Stay tuned, it sounds like the prom will be masquerade-themed, so throw me any ideas that might be inspiring as they come!!!

This One Is For You. Yes, you.

“But what if there really were two paths? I want to be on the one that leads to AWESOME!”




In case you need another little encouragement example . . .



LOVE-ly Ideas!

V is for Valentine


Top Ten Inspirational Ideas for VALENTINE’S DAY!

#1: Make & Share the best medicine

love is the best medicine

via and via

#2: Walk in Love

heart walk





#4: Give Caffeine To Those You Truly Love

Valentines Warmthvia

(go to “Eat Drink Chic” for the free printable)

plus, if you are feeling especially loving, and can bake, you can include these!

#5: Sweeten that Coffee (or tea) with LOVE




#6: Wear your heart on your . . . legs.



#7: Say it with FROSTING!

Hidden Messages


#8: Hand-deliver any secret messages with some lacey flaire!

doilies doilies everywhere!


#9: Watch and revel in as many romantic or happy relationship (including Friendship) movies as possible!

Oh Rhett Butler, you suave charmer, you!


#10: Send small messages without inducing cavities!

Healthy Love!


And, whatever you do, don’t stop with just Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Afterparty!


Four on the Fourth

Today in Random Review

1.) Does nobody else find it weird that Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus grow more physically similar by the day?

bieber2012 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

justin – via, miley – via

2.) Today (the 4th) involved the most incredible and ridiculous  news story of the year, and it’s only February.

Flying BEAR

3.) I found out that one of my students’ big sister is the lead accountant for Etsy today. I am jealous. It’s probably right after ice cream taste tester on my list of most-coveted jobs.

i scream, you scream . . .



4.) Today, everyone in the lunch room was talking about their impending, foreseen or hypothetical maternity leave. Do I need to explain?