Friday - - Behaviour -

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.

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