I have been dealing with the issue of passivity in some people close to me lately and I find it quite maddening.
Yesterday, I had the awareness that passivity is not a “thing” in-and-of-itself. It is a by-product. This is why it is so difficult to deal with – because it is not real. It is like trying to swat a fly that is not really there.
Passivity is really an outgrowth of a con.
Living and working with addicts for many years, I get many opportunities to learn about the many facets of cons.
I did not grow up in a family or sub-culture where cons were the major way of dealing with the world and perhaps have been a bit “retarded” in learning about cons and how to deal with them.
I grew up in a family and sub-culture where speaking the truth and trying to be as clear as possible about who you are and what you want was highly valued.
I remember, when I went off to college, calling my parents and saying to them “You have not prepared me for this culture!” And, I realize that I have been learning daily for these almost eight-one years what “this culture” is and how I – my essence – is different from it.
From my earlier/younger perspective, “cons” were convicts and snake-oil salesmen who I rarely encountered, and over the years, I have had painfully to learn that for many “normal” people, conning is everyday and a way of life.
This has been a difficult and painful learning with many facets like a diamond on a string turning in the sunlight.
As a Cherokee woman, I have never been passive. “Go for it!” and “Seize the day” have always been a way of life for me. My head had been “bloody but unbowed.” I believe being an Aries helps. At age twenty-one, I concluded that I had “lived more” than most people do in a lifetime so if I died then, it would have been a full time. I will be eighty-one in two months. The Creator had a long, full life in mind for me, it seems.
Now, back to passivity.
Not only is it maddening to live with, it is completely disrespectful and also violent.
In fact, passivity is difficult to deal with as violence because it is like trying to grab a shadow.
Yet, when it is seen as a by-product of a con, it is easier to work with.
From what I have experienced, it is one way a con tries to “work” others and get what she/he wants without 1) having to admit they want something (to themselves or others), 2) not exposing themselves to a “no”, 3) trying to figure out how to extract what they want from others by pre-figuring out what the other wants to hear and what will work to get what they want, 4) basing their mode of interactions on keeping “safe” and, at the same time, “working” others to get exactly what they want.
Not only is conning and being passive disrespectful, it, in its “working” of others, is violent and mean and, from what I have seen, covers up a lot of rage and anger.
I can understand why people feel anger when they give their power away and then resent others having it and, at the same time, feel like a victim. Passive people are very angry – especially when it works. Passivity is always, always very dishonestly active.
With conning and passivity, everyone loses.