Stop with the subtweeting, will you!
Dear Annie: My best friend and I have been friends for over 15 years now, and we get along very well and definitely know each other better than anyone else. However, we are very different people.
I guess you could say that I am a lot simpler than she is. I don’t really beat around the bush, whereas she is passive-aggressive; and I am on the quiet side, while she likes to be heard.
She has been complaining to me a lot about the drama she has in her life, and I don’t mind. I am always there for her, whether it’s to give my straightforward opinion or just to listen to her rambling on the phone in the middle of the night. When we are communicating openly, it’s great. But, Annie, the issue is that she has taken things to another level, and I have no control over it. She is very active on Twitter, and I don’t have an account, much less an understanding of the social media platform.
A few close mutual friends have been telling me that she has been passive-aggressively tweeting about me in a negative way — and it’s very obvious that it’s about me. I don’t understand. I am always there for her, and I am open and honest when we communicate. But when I don’t understand what I’ve done wrong, it’s hard to grasp any understanding of what to fix. I would like to ask her what her deal is, but I don’t know how to do so because I’m obviously pretty miffed that she is being so publicly passive-aggressive and I am offended. But I also don’t want her to get upset with our other friends, because it will be obvious that they shared the information with me. I am in a bit of a strange pickle here and would love your input. I don’t want there to be any unspoken issues between my best friend and me, but I don’t know how to deal with this rude and immature behavior. — Anti-social Media
Dear Anti-social: Rude and immature is right. Passive-aggressive behavior has always been exasperating. Social media have taken it to a new level.
The best approach in dealing with such people is to refuse to play their game. Be positive but direct. Tell her that you saw her Twitter page (no need to mention that your mutual friends told you) and were concerned by the tweets. Don’t let her wriggle out of it. Try to get her to admit that she’s upset with you, thus denying her the ability to keep silently sulking. At the end of the day, she should respect you for holding her accountable. Friends don’t let friends get away with passive-aggressive behavior.
Editor’s note: Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.