I think Amman is the only city in the world where people shift from being very aggressive to very passive in seconds. While Ammanites are known for aggressively rolling down their car windows to shout swear words at the person running the red light, they are also known for not saying good morning, or good day to people in the elevator, taking on a passive silence.
It is as if people fear being too friendly. Even if they see the cashier at the supermarket every day, they would passively ignore him and they won’t even bother themselves to ask him how he is doing. They might even feel offended if he asks them how they are, thinking “He is not their friend, and he should know his place”. Now should this same ignored cashier make a mistake in his calculations, the silence is instantly broken, and the once passive Ammanite switches to aggressive mode. He/she threatens the man and demands to see the manager.
This switch from passive to aggressive mode is also seen at the Doctor’s waiting room. It is as if people want to maintain a sense of seriousness about themselves. They walk in, greet nobody and then silently start fiddling with their Smartphones, only to aggressively communicate with their friends on Whartsapp .
Prior to Smartphone era, these same people used to prefer to read the old magazines the Doctor forgot to replace for years before talking to each other. they even fail to greet the secretary. But, should the secretary mess up their appointment she is no longer ignored and instead she is aggressively shouted at, and the silence of the other passive patients waiting is also broken, as they all collectively bad-mouth her and her lack of coordination skills.
But mind you, the aggressive part of the Ammanite’s personality only comes out in the most pointless of times and over the most insignificant of issues. The Ammanite is aggressive in the car, when he/she is alone. Of course, in front of people, the need to be civil prevails, hence the honking and the swearing mentioned above is replaced with simple words like “This person in front of me doesn’t know how to drive”.
The Ammanite is also aggressive when talking to a friend about the third person who isn’t even present. Such a conversation would be loud and it will involve many hand gestures, not to mention phrases like “When I see him I will show him”, and I will teach him to behave”. Naturally, if the person needing the lesson on behavior drops in on that conversation, the load voice drops a few pitches. and the threats turn into greetings , hard handshakes, and kisses.
With the availability of mobile phones, passive aggression can also take on a new dimension with the passive switch aggressive Ammanite. Although phones were originally meant to ease communications, now today the Ammanite abuses them to make conversations harder than ever before. The aggressive Ammanite would use the phone to tell others of his/her decisions while refusing to discuss them, while the passive Ammanite would use them to inflict the silent treatment on a person who is calling to ask about an issue, a deadline, money, or any other touchy topic.
Taking the passive approach a step further, the pas sive Ammanite would even make excuses for not answering like “I didn’t see the phone”, and the other person being blatantly lied to would be equally as passive by smiling and saying “ok I understand”, only to talk aggressively about the lie to a third person who will also passively sympathize.
With such tendencies, have we have all become so conditioned to mistake passiveness for politeness , honesty for attitude, and aggressive words when needed for rudeness? How did we get into this mess, and when did people stop just saying what they mean to the person they intentionally mean to say it to.
My personal opinion is this passive , is not polite its weak, and I also think that it is more than ok to be aggressive when you are being honest and you are saying things straight up to the person involved in their face.
Hmmmm, I guess I know why I’m often accused of having an attitude ! But if I were to choose between having an attitude or being passive? I take attitude !