A passive aggressive compliment sounds like a contradiction in terms-right? Very much not so in the world of feminine communication and interaction.
I used to write about the feminine socialization process more here in Cysti's Condo than I do now. Of course the more you do it, the easier the process becomes. Plus, as an added bit of spice, when you throw my transgender status into the mix-everything gets more interesting! Women just don't know exactly how to take me.
First of all the "passive aggressive" feminine dynamic is well understood. A man's power system is based on an internal sense of power. Can he out muscle, out spend or in some other direct way "win" over another guy-easy to comprehend or I will smack you.
But as with most all human existence women have a much more complex approach. As I have written here, I'm much more likely to have problems with other women in the world but rarely face to face. When a face to face does occur though many times the process is the other woman sizing me up. Years ago, these were my first experiences with a "passive aggressive" compliment.
Ironically, the whole process laid dormant in my noggin full of old stuff area until a couple of television shows reawakened my interest. Specifically, Comedy Central has a show with comedian Amy Schumer. She has a very funny but true compliment clip and you can go here to see it. The other show is called Girl Code on MTV and many times their whole show is an indirect lesson on feminine communication.
Both shows reinforced my earliest communication lessons. I learned to not listen to the words as much as how they are spoken- and more importantly what was not said. Here's an example. I could be wearing the ugliest scarf ever but that very scarf could have been the conversation starter with a woman I didn't know. Indeed she may have been using the passive aggressive compliment on my scarf to do a little research on me.
Regardless of what you regular readers may think, sometimes I am a quick learner. Rapidly I too played the compliment card and I began to really enjoy the mental jousting.
If I am going to joust, I figure I need all the information I can find and recently Girl Code on television and theFrisky on line keep me really up to date on how younger women view their own communication-with each other-with no men in the way. The process works for me since of course I missed so much feminine interaction in my life and I'm trying to learn and catch up.
Oh, by the way- you look great and I know you knew all of this and I really do like that new scarf you just bought and.....