and, ‘Oh, nothing, I’m just thinking,’ makes for a maddening blend of evasiveness and contrition, and the more ingrained, the more in denial subjects tend to be. ccording to Fiona Arrigo, a biodynamic psychotherapist, passive-aggressive behaviour in intimate relationships proves we ‘don’t have the skills or haven’t learnt to express ourselves properly. We withhold, we create atmospheres, we sulk. It’s lifeannihilating.’ In the worst cases, it could be called abusive. However, she believes we’re coming into an age of transparency. ‘People are becoming aware, and what we’re noticing is that there’s this other bit that is subversive, that, to their detriment, encourage passive-aggressive behaviour. When the offers for his book on the subject to be translated into other languages came flooding in – from Germany, China, Russia and Japan among others – he noted the curious lack of interest from Latin countries.
‘They’re more expressive about their emotions, they’re more willing to say when they’re annoyed,’ he says, meaning they don’t need to hide their hostility behind a smile.
There you have it. No more superficial bravado. No more defeatist talk. This is not an attack, and we’re not trying to upset anyone. But perhaps, sweetie darling, it’s time we all quit self-contradicting and were a little more up front about things.