The passive-aggressive disrespect
Thyra Porter, South Portland, ME

Thyra didn’t think her Facebook post would sever the 10-year relationship she had with the women in her book club. She was hurt — and trying to figure out why she wasn’t invited to one of their parties. After all, the group had met monthly for a decade to share “snacks, book talk, and form bonds,” she says. “We also went to the movies and did all these things together.”

When she learned about the party, the disrespect she felt about being left out surfaced a simmering concern that she didn’t fit into the group like in the early days, when she was married with a young child, living in the same neighborhood. That led to her vent on Facebook. To her surprise, a number of Facebook friends commented, one of them noting a trend in “mean girl” book clubs.

“But it wasn’t a mean girl club. It was more like a growing-apart book club,” Thyra says. Regardless, the misinterpreted post was shared with the hostess, who felt disrespected by Thyra’s passive-aggressive action. And Thyra felt doubly disrespected by the friend who blabbed. “Why did you do that?” she wondered. “It upset her and me.”

Thyra took the anger and hurt on both sides as a sign that it was time to cut ties. She emailed the group, saying, “I understand I hurt people’s feelings. I’ve felt for a while I haven’t fit in, so at this point I’ve decided to not participate any further.”

“The outcome ultimately was good,” Thyra says. “I learned from this. I would definitely deal with my own passive-aggressiveness in a different way by dealing directly with them or just leaving the group. In relationships, you have to look at yourself, too. ”