Confrontation sucks. A little side eye, some ignored text messages and avoidance can get the point across without actually telling someone something's wrong.
Thanks to social media, being passive aggressive has become an art, and no one bothers to tell people when he or she is pissed anymore.
It's much easier to favorite a subtweet, hit unfollow and, my personal favorite, screenshot everything and send it to your friends.
We've let it go so far that if you're not hypersensitive to your notifications and followers, half the people you know could be mad without you realizing.
When did not liking someone's Instagram post become the best way to say "I'm not over it?"
More importantly, how do we resist the temptation to hide behind our phones instead of just being straight up with each other?
This new epidemic is something I like to refer to as being a passive aggressive bitch, or a PAB. We all know someone who is guilty of being a PAB, and most likely, we engage in this behavior ourselves.
Social media and our phones make it so easy that we may not even realize how passive we're being.
Some of the worst PAB-move enablers are as follows:
Public Subtweets and Statuses
This is talking about someone on social media without tagging or using his or her name directly.
This is as simple as it sounds. It is the digital equivalent to spreading rumors and talking behind someone’s back, and it is the originator of being passive aggressive online.
Throwing Favorites and Likes
This is liking a photo, status or tweet you truly despise, just to let the creator know you see what he or she is doing. PABs love this.
It’s the passive-aggressive response to passive aggressiveness.
This refers to the newest trend of tagging your friends in popular Instagram posts that completely relate to an experience about another friend.
This is both horrible and fantastic.
While you only tag one person in a post about "that one friend who’s too codependent to function," don’t forget Instagram allows your followers to see it.
Everyone sees you making an obvious reference to someone behind his or her back (including the person).
Curse of Read Receipts
This is your smartphone’s best tool to say, "I see what you said, but now I am blatantly ignoring you."
This one actually isn’t so bad. In the end, saying I saw your message and am purposely not responding is straight forward, and your frenemy might even get the hint.
But no, once again, technology is turning what could be the new-age silence treatment into a total PAB move.
Because the person on the other end of that blue message is thinking, “Did they not see it? Am I overanalyzing it? Maybe they just forgot to respond.”
And it is this agony of wondering if they are being ignored that is the result of pure passive aggressiveness.
Snap Story Horror
This is when you deliberately avoid watching someone’s Snap story so they know something's up.
Snapchat used to be the most transparent thing going. You could see who watched your story, when someone opened it and, even better, who everyone else was Snapchatting.
I mean, the "Best Friends" feature was basically a relationship reality show; everyone knew who was with who and who wasn’t.
But, to keep in fashion, PABs found a way to use it to their advantage. Not watching someone’s Snap story is serious, and if you notice someone doing this to you, beware.
This means someone is so pissed at you, he or she would rather endure the stupid purple notification than give you the satisfaction of watching your story.
The tragedy in all these things we do on the daily, is there is no outcome, except more passive aggressiveness.
It is an exhausting cycle that keeps repeating until eventually, it destroys your friendship, reputation or even how you view yourself.
Being passive aggressive is so easy; it comes to us like breathing. But, we need to stop doing this before it goes too far and fix it if it already has.
The time and energy saved by biting the bullet and telling someone directly when you're mad is nothing, compared to the euphoric feeling that follows.
It is refreshing to not dance digital circles around people hoping they pick up on your hints and apologize before you say a word.
When you’re pissed off, when you have resentment, when you feel secret anger building up, go to the person and explain three things right off the bat: Tell him or her how you’re feeling, why you feel that way and how you think it could get fixed.
So elementary, I know, but come on, it sure beats torturing people in mazes wondering what’s going on.
Next time you feel the PAB temptation while checking your news feed, take a minute to think if you’re liking that photo because someone annoys the hell out of you, or if you are actually mad at him or her.
And, if it’s the latter, save everyone the social media drama, put on your big boy pants and tell them.
Confrontation’s only a bitch when we make it one.