Passive-aggression can sometimes be better than immediate aggression, i.e. it rarely leads to fistfights, but it also tends to lead to retaliation in a similar fashion.
It may not be effective, but it is frequently hilarious (for us outside observers, anyway). Being on the receiving end can be much less fun, but sometimes it's just so ridiculous that you can't help but find it funny anyway.
Redditor Helperbobby asked:
A couple of these replies reminded me to be thankful that I live alone now, as I've had distinctly similar roommates.
Some replies edited for content or clarity.
Oh, That'll Definitely Help
Junior year of college my best friend convinced me to move into an on-campus house with him and 3 others (a couple and another friend). We all knew each and were friends so I didn't think much of it, in fact thought it could be fun.
There were multiple red flags beforehand, but the biggest passive-aggressive event happened one afternoon. I was making lunch, a couple sandwiches for my best friend and I. I took the bread (there were 2 bags) that I thought my best friend had purchased. Wrong.
When the couple returns to the house I hear her start to scream and hit the counter with her fists, "Who the f**k ate my bread?!" I fessed up right away, apologizing and explaining what happened, I even offered to buy her an entirely new loaf or give her $5 for the mistake (anything to shut her up).
Rather than just putting it behind her, she takes her label maker and labels EVERY SINGLE THING in the house that belongs to her and her boyfriend. Not just food, but the tables she owned, and everything in the bathroom, etc . And it wasn't just a one-time thing, she continued to label all the food she would buy, just to make sure I didn't make a simple mistake and take a couple pieces of bread from her.
My dad will tighten the jars in the kitchen after a fight with my mom
He got the idea from Reddit
Boundaries Are Important
Had a staff member who hated me for having held them accountable for letting the lines between personal and professional get publicly blurred with certain people they managed. Basically she had favorites and the rest of her team knew it, mainly b/c she’d post on social media about doing stuff w/fave ppl outside of work.
Her passive-aggressive actions with me started with vaguebook posts with links to articles like “when you have a boss who is a sociopath” and quotes about “being a professional is when you hate someone but rise above it to be nice to their face.”
Then she and her bestie coordinated scheduling meetings with our HR department head where they’d go in with identical complaints about me not being a clear communicator. They also went to managers in other departments to ask for advice on how to deal with me. Ironically, they never actually talked with me about it.
It was/is a bizarre form of bullying.
The thing that actually got me most though? Our work phones all have caller ID. I’d call her and she’d pick up, say the company name, “this is Ann, how can I help you?” I’d say “hi! It’s me, Jenn” and she’d reply in a monotone voice “oh. Hi.” Every. F**king. Time.
Never took the bait, just cheerfully asked if she had a moment to answer a question. Miserable brat of a human.
I lived with a roommate in a 2-bed place for almost a year. We were friends who had reacquainted a few years after high school and university, and were both looking for somewhere to live. Seemed perfect.
Cut to about 11 months into living together. I knew she was slightly passive aggressive - couldn't take any kind of roommate note, like 'can you please remember to pick up milk before you use it all and we run out?' (she'd sigh and walk off) and her 2 cats would pee all over my stuff (and she'd never offer to help clean it up) - but I was about to learn just how bad it could be.
On this particular occasion, I asked her in passing if she could kindly remove all of the dry dishes from the dish rack before putting new ones on - that morning I'd been buried under an avalanche of dishes when I slightly bumped the dish rack.
Immediately after this interaction I go away for the weekend. When I get back she has MOVED HERSELF OUT, including all of her furniture in our living and dining room.
The only thing she left me? A pint of milk on the counter.
Revenge From Starland
I had a super pompous roommate in college who became even more of a douche after he got his first girlfriend (random girl from Tinder). He’d bring her home at any random point in the day and they’d make obnoxiously loud noises from the bedroom for HOURS.
Finally, I turned my speaker on and blasted “Afternoon Delight” on repeat. I had to leave the house after hearing it the first 10 times - not sure how long after that they were able to put up with it.
A co-worker and I had to duck out of the office for a bit. On the way back, we swung through the drive-thru and picked up lunch. We had back into the office, take-out bags in hand, the boss looks at us expectantly and says, "Where's mine?"
We apologize, say we never thought to get one for her, and she just shrugs and says, "That's fine."
The next day, boss ducks out for a bit. She comes back, with a take-out bag from the same fast food place that me and my co-worker hit yesterday. She starts eating at her desk and loudly commenting to no one in particular about her cheeseburger. "This is the best cheeseburger I've ever had! And I only brought one for myself because THAT'S WHAT WE DO IN THIS OFFICE!"
Co-worker looks at me. "Did she seriously just go get herself a revenge cheeseburger?" Yes. Yes she did.
Sometimes Waiting Is Faster
I did this. I was in a small elevator at a big hotel one time. The elevator was full because people had luggage and sh!t. I was first on the elevator, so I am by the buttons. Everyone is going down to the lobby to check out. We stop at a floor, person looks, frowns, no room. Other person pushes on and it is now so uncomfortable/borderline painful. It takes a good three minutes of people jamming themselves together to make room so the door can close, because she is not getting off but also not fitting in. We finally get the door closed and she says sorry, but she is in a rush. So I pressed the button for every floor beneath us and we stopped at every floor on our way down to the lobby. It was like four or five floors, but still I think the passive aggressive point was made. I also didn't press the door close button when we stopped at the floors.
Just Buy Another One
My roommate in college was a super neat freak and was very passive aggressive regarding what I did to pitch in. He would arrange furniture a certain way to make sure I noticed he vacuumed, and I'd move things back. He'd leave open the entryway closet so that I saw that he hung all jackets and Winter scarves, etc. My favorite was when he would leave the kitchen trash can in the middle of the kitchen but without putting in a new trash bag, he wanted me to put in a new bag so I would be aware that he took the trash out. I didn't find it necessary to take out the trash *every day* and I found that a waste of trash bags. So, I went out one day and bought a new trash can and put it in the trash cupboard, leaving the other one in the middle of the kitchen.
That's A Good One, That Is
Girlfriend was upset with me over not cleaning something. I asked her for a glass of water and she brought me a glass of ice and told me to wait.
Silence Is Too Noisy
I had an upstairs neighbor who would do crazy loud sh*t at 1am- hammer on walls, vacuum, etc- and we would, of course, ask him to quiet down. After awhile of this, he would start walking around the balcony upstairs, trying to peer into my living room to see if my tv was on, and if it was, he would come down and bitch at me to turn the volume down because he worked from home. After the first few times of him getting sh!tty with me, I would put it on mute, and he would come down anyway because it wasn't about the sound, but sticking it to me like the loser he was (and probably still is).
Had a falling-out with a housemate, asked her to move out. Left to do some shopping -- came back home after nightfall to find she had removed every single lightbulb in the downstairs area (our part of the house, not hers) because "she paid for them." We lived in a remote, rural area with no 24hr stores. Lived in the dark till morning.
The next day, as I was making breakfast for both my child and my housemate's child (both the same age, in grade school), I had toast cooking in both toasters (mine and hers) to save time. She swept downstairs, took the toast out of her toaster and threw it on the counter, unplugged her toaster, and swept back upstairs with it, without one word.
The day she moved out, we celebrated like we won the lottery.
Weed is legal now here in Canada but there is still a bit of red tape in some provinces. This meaning in places like Ontario any dispensaries can not operate legally until April 2019. In my city we had a raid on a dispensary after legalization. Any product they had could not be legally sold. However here you can legally gift someone weed as long as they are above the legal age. So they ran a can and coat drive for local charities and gave away free joins to people that donated. They literally gave away pounds (to many poeple) and got so many donations that they were asked not to collect any more coats.
Cops said they couldn't sell their weed but it was perfectly legal to give away.
Looks Like A Seat To Me
I was both the victim and perpetrator of passive aggression at a coach station the other day. Some old dude had a bag on the only available seat, so I smiled at him and politely asked if the seat was taken. He gave me a death stare and said that it wasn't taken, and so I waited for him to move his bag. He didn't. He then said "well, sit there, then!" and I realised that he was so pissed off with me for having the audacity to ask him to move his bag off the seat that he expected me to move it for him. So I sat on the bag.
Make Up Your Mind
She reported me for not smiling at her when I passed her in the hall. A week later, she reported me for smiling at her as I passed her in the hall.
Something that I am currently doing: I work at a law firm and we live off coffee. I like having cute things around so I bought my own coffee mug that I liked and have been using it for more than a year at my office. Several months ago a new paralegal was hired and I started noticing that my mug was missing. Now, I don't mind if someone uses my mug once in a while. All the mugs are kept together in the kitchen. It's an unspoken rule that some people prefer certain mugs and we all tend to know who uses what. There are also a ton of simple mugs that everyone uses. So, after two weeks without seeing my mug anywhere, I do a little snooping and find out that the new paralegal has been using it. Ok, fine. But even after mentioning how it was my mug that I bought, she still uses it. She's a little on the weird side, but whatever. I decide that I'll just make coffee a few minutes before she does, so that I'll get the mug before her. That worked for a few days, in which she was very confused and complained to several people that mugs had started going missing. Then she starts getting to work early (by at least 20 minutes!) and making coffee first thing. By the time I got to the office the mug would be long gone. This weekend I had to go into the office for something. The mug was in the kitchen. I took the mug. The mug is now in my desk drawer. The mug will stay in my desk drawer for several weeks, until the paralegal forgets about it and moves on. My pettiness makes me very happy. I have meanwhile bought a new mug that I've been using that she has yet to attempt to steal.
We're Not Five
Worked for a pair of patronizing scumbags at a franchised sandwich shop. Every month they held a mandatory meeting where they would grill us with dozens of basic questions about making sandwiches. We were required to answer in order to keep our jobs, and they asked each question sloooowwwly... with lots of, okay are you listening? rephrasing, so that our feeble minds could grasp the questions. As incentive, whenever we answered correctly, they would throw us a fun-sized candy.
We stopped catching the candy. Just let it bounce right off our stone-cold faces.
Mind Your Own Coffee
Didn't see it. Did it myself. Had a coworker who would get coffee, have a few sips, throw it out ten minutes later and get a fresh cup. He never, ever made the coffee.
When we'd run out he'd go down to admin. When they'd run out he'd go over to the rental department.
So I started making the coffee. Weaker and weaker every day. Got so bad he was yelling at people about it. Said he'd never drink the 2nd floor coffee again.
It returned to full strength on the next pot, but he was conditioned not to touch it.
The Great Grilled Cheese Conflict
last year i lived with three roommates. i provided all of the cookware and cooking utensils, and my only rule for other people using them was that they had to wash them when they were done. only one of them followed the rule, but it wasn’t super annoying i just dealt with it.
Then one day, someone used my pan to make a grilled cheese and burnt a bread shape into the bottom of the pan. they didn’t butter the f**king bread first like a whole dumbass. the pan was not usable anymore, so i said in the group chat that i needed to be reimbursed for it or the person who did it should buy a new pan. my one roommate responded with “what you think you deserve isn’t always what you get, sweetheart. it’s called life.” so i took all of my cookware and utensils and kept them in a laundry basket in my room. F**k that girl
Appearances Are Deceiving
I used to work with a girl who seemed like the nicest person you could meet. After a while of working with her she told me she was *hyper-spiritual* and whenever someone was mean to her or didn't do what she wanted she'd spend X amount of weeks "sending bad vibes at them" whenever they weren't looking at her. After she told me I started looking for it and surely enough, any time someone would turn around she'd crunch her face up into and anus shape and just look at that person until they turned back around.
This girl at my current job frequently makes smoothies for everyone in culinary who is on the shift at the time. She won’t make smoothies for people she’s upset with. So there’s times where she’s made smoothies for over five people and casually just doesn’t have one for the cook she has beef with.