The passive-aggressive comment that Brene’ Brown talks about Bless Your Heart hits a nerve for me as well. (Video below) I grew up in the south. I know what she is talking about. However, I also have experienced that people use similar passive-aggressive phrases in other areas of the country. I hear them all the time and certainly the most in groups. You know the supposed well-meaning cookie-cutter phrases everyone says just to seem polite, interested, and caring. Love you is one of them, love and light, and I’m sorry. These also can be said with little to no interest in the person and an underlying jab attached to it. Like, bless your heart or you poor thing. What I notice is that no matter what the phrase is, it can be passive-aggressive. I’ve used bless your heart some in my life and it never meant what she is referring to. I really meant that I had empathy and would, of course, if needed, do something for the person if they needed help. It was never used in a passive-aggressive way. I had to stop saying it because of how it is perceived.

The point I’m making is that what society has taught us is to seem concerned and seem nice and sweet when really we could not care less. Or to just show up as everyone else is, and it makes it look like we care. The appearance of integrity. When really what we are doing is following along with the group. I grew up listening to church women say a supposed sweet comment and then as soon as the person walked off then the gossip began. It sickened me, it still does. I’m working on my internal reaction to this and I have much of the same reaction Brene’ has. I’m pissed at it and “I’m ready to take you down and God is on my side”.

The fake vault is another behavior that I see that works with fake sweetness, fake empathy. Oh Totally! it’s confidential. “I have a vault” Then they covertly express it to others in a way that helps them feel they didn’t break the vault.

When they totally knew that person knew who they were referring to and got the message clearly. It really wasn’t gossip, was it? People know when they are truly accepted. They also know when they have to hustle to be worthy of belong. Fake authenticity is the new wave of behavior I see happening in the personal development world. New Agers aren’t any different the words just change. It’s intent that matters, really matters.

It isn’t until we hold others accountable and hold ourselves accountable when we do these things that society will change. Shoving it under the rug is what I see most, and that doesn’t change anything. It’s the appearance of growing. The appearance of evolving.

Using cookie cutter phrases to appear to be humble, honest, authentic, and vulnerable is what keeps us in the never-ending story of what we see in today’s world.  It’s passive-aggressive. We might fit into the larger group of society or a group of like-minded people, but we aren’t really being real and somewhere down inside we are selling ourselves off to the price of our integrity or our true selves.  

When we make a commitment to truly be honest, own up, stand up, speak up and be alone if need be to keep that commitment, we begin to understand why that messed up mentality pissed people off. We get outside the box and we see it for the dysfunction it really is. Once we are out of the Matrix, it’s hard to go back in. The story is busted!

When we begin to live authentically (not the appearance of) and within true integrity, can we do what Brene’ Brown speaks of. Wholehearted living! Beingness and expressing ourselves with the intent of being a true person of integrity.

Are you ready to brave up and have your story busted?

Photo by Mark Mühlberger on Unsplash