What on earth is passive aggressive? Low key treating people like shit because you are upset at them in the hope that by you treating them like shit they will work out what is wrong and then apologise profusely so that you can continue to be grumpy at them regardless?
What a waste of everyone’s time.
Being passive aggressive serves no one. You have to be miserable, or a bit of an asshole for a period of time (which surely you don’t want). Only to try and teach a lesson to someone that may or may not even realise.
Be actually aggressive. Well not too aggressive, but if you have a grievance…. Air it. Immediately. Like an adult. Don’t let it fester and ruin good time for everyone. If it isn’t important enough to tell someone directly, it’s probably not important enough to be an asshole about for any period of time.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being upset with someone, or being annoyed, frustrated or even angry. But there is something wrong with half pretending you’re annoyed and half not pretending you’re annoyed so that someone else can attempt to work out your problem.
If you just mention you’re upset about something, it can be discussed and dealt with on the spot!
I’m not surprised that people love looking for reasons to be passive aggressive and grumpy, today in my news feed (of news, not the Facebook feed), every single headline was a negative spin on something. EVERY ONE! We are subconsciously being trained to look for things that are wrong in all the comments, media and discussions around us! Passive aggression, however, is a special kind of trick because it isn’t about anyone else except the person who is engaging in the behaviour. It is a selfish way of being mad.
Who wouldn’t rather just have a family member, work colleague or friend tell you they are annoyed? Sure, being told you have annoyed someone can be confronting at first, but when compared to a day/week/month/year of strange passive aggressive, useless behaviour, it is a godsend.
Airing grievances doesn’t mean they get solved, but at least when you bring them up like a grown up everyone knows why you are mad!
Next time you are thinking about being passive aggressive, run it through a couple of filters.
You don’t have to like everyone, no one likes everyone! You don’t have to be happy all the time, or even accept that people will never annoy you. You simply have to let go of passive aggression and either be a grown up, or let it go.
If its not that important, then its not that important. If the person consistently annoys you, either stop having anything to do with them, or (if you have to work with them) accept that they are annoying and work on the one thing you can change….YOUR attitude.
Don’t waste your life carrying around baggage on behalf of people that don’t even notice you’re carrying it, don’t sweat the small stuff, and as always, Just Be Nice.
With a lifelong goal of improving equality of opportunity for people, it is important to also improve discussion and understanding around what opportunity actually looks like.
If you'd like to learn more about measuring difficulty from the starting line after watching. I have written about it here also: one-white-privilege-we-should-give-up-immediately.html
Thanks for watching! Like, share, subscribe and as always, just be nice.
I am sitting in an airport right now, waiting for a flight back home. It’s been a wonderful trip so far, a few days of conferences, meetings, presentations, time with my goddaughter and even a gala dinner. A wonderful trip to Sydney and one I will remember for a long time.
I checked in early after what seemed like the lightest traffic in Sydney that I’ve seen in 10 years, had a great Uber driver and all in all things were going well.
Then I went to the line to go through security.
The security line at Sydney domestic airport has multiple entries, you can walk right past your check-in lane and walk down the back and join the line there (which I did) or you can come from the other side (from other carriers), or walk in the middle, where there are four or five lanes that converge in the same spot.
For some reason this time I happened to be one of the first ones to enter at this point in time from the check-in gates side.
A woman, who was now maybe one spot behind me as I merge into the line looks up from her phone
“Ummm the line is over there”
I said “actually the line starts in all of these places”
“Well not this line. This line starts there.” Pointing back to the middle entry.
“I'm sorry, are you serious?”
“The line starts over there”
“Ok, no problems.”
So I sauntered over to the back of the line. She went back to her phone and greasing me off like I was some kind of rule breaking maniac. Props to the guy who was lined up in-front of her (and was behind me for a brief time) that gave me a knowing “sheesh” in solidarity over the rudeness.
Meanwhile, as soon as she was past the merge point of the two lines, she conveniently ignored the point that was so important to her only seconds beforehand as the line filled up from people merging the lines, as they always do.
And that’s the bit that bothered me.
If you only hero things that affect you directly, you are an asshole.
If you feel so strongly about the integrity of the line, she could have easily looked at the person behind her and given them the same eyeroll, the same lecture and demanded that they went to the back of the line, but she didn’t because it no longer affected her.
These kinds of people are so frustrating, vocal, indignant and even rude about their self-centred inconveniences and then they go missing later on. It is a frustration that I see all the time.
I actually didn’t mind going to the back of the line, I wasn’t really inconvenienced, I had heaps of time before my flight, and as karma does, this rude woman was held up for a bomb detection scan and I got through the security at the same time as her anyway.
It is the fact that we allow people to maintain a narrow, self centered view of the world, and place over emphatic importance on inconvenience in their own lives, at the expense of others. This woman was quite happy to inconvenience me 15 spots in the line, to improve her convenience by 1 spot. Holding up imaginary rules that she made up on the spot and then promptly forgot once she was past her own inconvenience. By the time we went through the scanners that same line was probably 30 people deep.
Anyway, obviously I am fine, I will board the plane have a great flight and go to my wonderful home, it hasn’t ruined my zen because I just nodded, smiled and went to the back of the line. I was wearing a t-shirt that said JustBeNice on it after all! I just ask that if you see your friends acting like self-centered assholes you call them out on it, so they don’t ruin anyone elses zen.
If you find your zen being attacked, simply remember that we are all essentially the same, each with out own problems and remember that the only thing you can actually control is how you act. Be considerate of others, look at the world through the eyes of people around you, encourage compassion and consideration in those around you and remember that if it isn't a big deal, it isn't a big deal. So be cool, keep your zen together.... and then blog about it later.
Sneaky shoutout to Virgin Australia as well for always providing outstanding service whenever I travel, I am fortunate to have always had fantastic experiences, when I am flying. Legends.
Keep smiling, stay zen, and as always, just be nice.
-Josh Reid Jones
I saw a friend of mine on social media the other day get told that someone thought it was dumb to post photos or look at photos of her with her ex-boyfriend from years ago. Apart from the fact it ended up being a bit of a popcorn worthy comment fest on the photos it got me thinking.
Denying your past is one of the quickest ways to lose your present self.
I’m 30, and I have ex-girlfriends. I know, sounds like a silly thing to even have to say, but it’s true, sometimes we act like we never had them, but we pretty much all did.
The concept of exes is a strange one, they are these people with whom you were inextricably close, sharing intimate moments, secrets, smiles and cries…. And then one day, you just aren’t that any more.
Sometimes the ends of these relationships can be explosive, sometimes they fizz out, sometimes you are the instigator, and sometimes they come at you out of the blue completely unawares. At the end of a relationship you might be elated, or you could find yourself in the deepest pit of misery that appears to have no way out.
I never understood why some of my female friends would go out with men that were ‘bad for them’, until I went out with the female equivalent. Intelligent, funny, quick witted, a big heart and incredible chemistry. We had such intense good times that I was taken aback by the whole thing… As is often the case in the yin/yang of the universe, we also had intense bad times.
What is it about that kind of relationship that keeps you in it? The strange feeling that when someone can get that level of intensity out of you it’s because they understand you better than anyone else? Because the good is so good you take the time to ignore the bad? I don’t really know. All I know is I have been there, and I wouldn’t ever deny that experience.
I have had wonderful, caring and beautiful partners and we have drifted apart, or come to loggerheads over certain things that become irreconcilable after a while and we have split up. I don’t think any less of them for not being the person that I will spend the rest of my life with, why should I? Why should anyone else?
Denying that we had good times, that we cared, that we shared intimate moments, thoughts and feelings is denying huge parts of my own emotional development. I would never hide or be embarrassed of photos of my ex, because each one of them shaped who I am today. Without learning from the mistakes that have been made in the past how can we be better for future partners?
We are all the sum of our experiences. For everyone who is single (excluding tragedy), we are all at 100% fail rates in our relationships, if you simply take it as a binary relationship on/off measurement. Or we are all further in our journeys to work out who we are and who we’d like to spend our time with. In high school you learn lessons around holding hands in public and remembering birthdays, as a grown up you learn that about sharing chores, making people feel loved and who to invite to family functions.. among a million other things. It’s an evolution, just as you are.
Own the photos of your exes, for better or worse they inform the people that we are today. Especially the ones that still hold some fond memories for you. Some exes were shitty, but they helped teach you to stay away from the bad ones (hopefully).
Own your past, the good bad and indifferent. Only by acknowledging where we come from are we able to truly understand and own our present selves.
Be loving, be forgiving and as always Just Be Nice.
- Josh Reid Jones
This VLOG is a little different to some of the others, because it is filmed in one take to document a particular experience.
It is just one take, to show that it is OK to not be OK all the time. Really. It can seem like its the people that always have their lives all together that are telling others to be OK, or on the other side of the coin, that there are people who seem constantly plagued by difficulty who talk about it the loudest. Everyone has their moments, everyone has times of doubt or sadness.
I thought today that I would simply show without editing, that there are times, or things that strike an emotional chord with you and can upset you, and that's OK.
Today is a difficult day for a young friend of mine, and rather than simply say "It's alright to be upset when you are feeling down" I thought I would lead by example, go first, and put it out there. Talking about a time in my life when I needed a little push to be able to allow my emotions to come to the surface. It's not easy, but that's why it is important.
Feel free to share this wherever you think someone needs to hear it or see it, and thank you for taking the time to watch it.
For more information on how to have good conversations with your friends visit www.ruok.org.au
If you need support, or someone to speak to you can contact these organisations
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
We use language in interesting ways. We use it to gloss over problems, overstate impacts, diminish responsibility. We use language to promote and sell, to obstruct and impede.
Language is everywhere, used and abused, contained and unrestrained and it colours our whole world in shades of grey, black, purple and orange. Our language, our history, our future, they are intertwined all across the world. For instance, I’ve heard stories of indigenous tribes that have no word for ‘surrender’. Surely living in a context where surrender is literally not an option impacts the way that you see the world. If you live somewhere without a word for ‘thank you’ is it because you are an ingrate? Or that you live in an environment where it is a foregone conclusion that what is for one, is for everyone. A society of unparalleled sharing and appreciation of one another.
I can’t help but notice every day, the language that we use informs the way we treat each other, and I thought, what if we could change the language. Even the internal language among ourselves.
What if we changed the way we speak about people in need, from being language around their problems to being language around our responsibilities.
People are no longer ‘homeless’, as in, being without a home.
They are In Harm’s Way.
We are no longer talking about victims of domestic violence.
We are talking about people who are In Harm’s Way.
When we are talking about people who are uneducated, unemployable and of poor mental health. We are talking about people that have been left In Harm’s Way.
Leaving people in harm’s way. Shifting the language from what disadvantaged haven’t got, or haven’t done, to what we haven’t done, or what we do by leaving them unassisted might start to humanise the problems, to change the understanding and empathy of others.
We are not simply ignoring ‘illegal immigrants’, we are leaving them In Harm’s Way.
Think to your family, think of yourself. Think of people you know and people you don’t. Do you see any reason to leave people in harm’s way? It’s not about handouts, queue jumping, dole bludging, it’s about recognising a basic need for us to recognise harm and remove people from its influence
Over the coming weeks, every time you see an article or hear someone refer to a ‘refugee’, ‘asylum seeker’, ‘homeless person’, ‘drug addict’ consider not only their problems, or the cause of their problems, but their situation as it is right now.
Regardless of fault, before we consider whether or not we are bestowing outrageous and gratuitous privilege on people, before we get upset on the impact of the most disadvantaged people on the rest of the world, we need to first ask ourselves;
Are we leaving them in harm’s way?
Changing attitudes is a long path, battling against a long history of language that speaks down to people in need, but by changing the language of responsibility and taking some of it on board for ourselves, surely we can start the slow journey to a real equality of opportunity.
Take the time to change your inner monologue, take the time to change the words you use to the people you know, and as always, just be nice.
Today was a sad day in my opinion. It was the day Barack Obama made his final speech as the President of the United States. Without commenting too much on what the future holds or what it might look like under the incoming administration, I can’t help but feel that the world is going to be down one wonderful leader as of today.
Barack to me has always embodied so many things that I respect in a leader and a man. Intelligent, well presented, well rounded, active, funny, self-depreciating but confident, a family man, kind and understanding, a great mixture of real world experience and brains. The divides that run through the United States run deep, but there is no doubt in my mind that Barack is one of the rare, special kinds of leaders. It is a shame that in the field of ‘world leading’ (as in leading the world), we don’t have dozens of heads of state to look up to, but apparently it is difficult to be the person you want to be the whole way to the top without pandering to party lines, popularity contests and special interests.
Facing a hostile congress for 8 years, watching Barack stay strong on his message and do everything in his power to improve the equality of opportunity for Americans was inspiring, and I certainly hope that one day I will have the opportunity to tell him so to his face.
I can’t speak to how hard that must have been, being the most powerful man in the world but being hamstrung at every turn by people who seem to defy science and logic. Trying to improve the lives of others but being slammed by people with overt special external interests, and conflicting ideologies of what it means to help people. I have often wondered aloud what it must have been like, getting into bed at night with Michelle, and talking about what crazy counter-argument was brought into congress during the day to knock down a bill.
Which brings me to one of the real standouts about the life of Barack Obama.
The way he looks at Michelle.
Michelle Obama, in her own right, is an amazing woman. Smart, composed, stately, friendly with an air of accessibility and no airs of superiority about her at all. Clearly a beautiful woman Barack has joked that she appears to have not aged a day in the last two terms, while his hair has changed from the full black hair of a young president to the salt and pepper bristle of the older statesman.
For 8 years, the world has watched the most powerful man in the world, and his unwavering loving gaze toward his wife.
I’m not insane, I am sure that they have disagreements and all the fun things that go along with relationships of any kind. I do, however, know one thing. That if you are looking at someone the way Barack looks at Michelle, and Michelle looks at Barack, you need to understand that you are in the middle of something very special.
I can’t think of too many more stressful situations than all the lifestyle demands that are put on the President and First Lady, and yet to handle themselves so well together is inspiring.
Now in this case, I am not even going to pretend to know how this happens! I don’t know what the steps to this kind of relationship are, I don’t know what goes into keeping a love like that so visible… I mean, it is possible that they were hamming it up for the cameras, but really, I don’t believe that to be the case.
To see a couple who are so gracious, generous in their support for one another and so adoring of each other is a wonderful thing to see anywhere. Let alone the President of the United States and the First Lady.
Barack has shown that it is possible to remain human and full of heart while juggling the most stressful and demanding job on the planet, which surely can give hope to all of us who are ‘too busy’ to find someone like that in their own lives. Rather than take anything away, the two of them are greater than the sum of their parts, and I think that is something that remains inspiring long after the dust settles on his tenure.
As much as Barack has inspired me as man, Michelle has inspired so many women to see that with the right person, supporting your partners goals is not a passive activity that requires you to give up your own potential. By allowing each other to become the best versions of themselves, the Obamas have been the ultimate celebrity couple, for all the reasons that we usually ignore.
So cheers to Barack, cheers to Michelle, and cheers to one of the good guys getting ahead. Here’s to the good examples, the ones who stick to their guns, the men big enough to accept the love and give it back, the women amazing enough to keep kicking ass and getting amongst it even when their husbands are the President. Here is to the strong women, the family men, the good mothers, fathers, husbands and wives. Because if the Obamas can do it, surely there is some hope for the rest of us!
Really this blog was just to say that if I am ever fortunate enough to be looking at someone like that, someone let me know that I’m on a winner. I don’t know how that comes to pass, but I feel like we spend too much time pouring over divorces and celebrity disasters and not enough time celebrating those who do it for each other. Because it’s just bloody nice.
-Josh Reid Jones
Well today I didn’t see that coming. Honestly I thought it was terrifying enough that Trump had become 50% of the presidential candidates with a shot at the United States Presidency. It’s not even because he had been sexist, racist and xenophobic. In Australia we have had heads of state that share similar sentiments, we regularly hear about people wanting to ‘Stop the Boats’ here, which is our equivalent of wanting to build a wall I suppose.
The problem for me was that he just wasn’t good enough. Hardly presidential, completely uninformed, unprepared, easily upset. A name calling, impatient and at time childish fully grown man, with a very wonky grasp on facts ranging from mistruths to outright lies on a scale that boggled my mind coming from a man that is making speeches in public and running for the office termed ‘leader of the free world’.
Then, today, Donald Trump won.
Upon reflection, I can see how this has come to pass. Taking a look around at the kinds of things I see every day it’s not hard to see how often we laud and support and let Trump-like things in our own society.
We have become a society that applauds average. We applaud fraud. We applaud small doses of even criminal activity, depending on who does it. No longer is it important to BE an expert, you simply have to SAY you are an expert. People attend university less to acquire knowledge, and more to acquire ‘a piece of paper’. You can be paid simply for what your Instagram looks like, rather than the things you are doing. We have business coaches that don’t know how to run businesses promising 7-figure profits, fitness experts promising expedited results to get a certain body type, everything quicker, easier, simpler. People often want to hear your ‘pitch’ they don’t want to know what you are up to.
We are forgetting the art of mastery. We are spending so much time and energy looking like something, that we are forgetting to actually BE that something.
We now have the biggest scale outcome possible from this environment where substance no longer matters. Truth no longer matters. Hype matters. Saying things matters, even if they aren’t true. Pitch matters. We are electing slogans and not actions. The time you have put into actually developing yourself doesn’t matter.
It is the same environment that allows equal amounts of media coverage to climate change denial as it does for the actual facts that human-induced climate change is really happening, right now. Expertise counts less now than it ever did. with volume counting for more than truth. The loudest voice in the room wins, not the person who is actually speaking truth.
Trump has pitched the world’s biggest and best, ‘Get Rich Quick’ scheme to millions of disaffected Americans, and they have responded according to the environment they are accustomed to. Like all good ‘Quick’ schemes, it is low on the details, and high on emotion and ‘Huge, Tremendous’ claims… believe me.
We are chasing celebrity, appearances and a façade of success and happiness over intelligence and integrity in every other aspect of our lives, so now I can see how we have ended up with a President of the USA that ticks those boxes. Who can offer us a body in a two week challenge, six figure incomes within a month and who can fix our country in ten simple steps that will be enacted within a week of taking office?
Forget the fact that science, evidence and truth will all indicate that these things are impossible, the fact is we buy these pitches every, single, day. It was only a matter of time before the will and actions of the people filtered up to their representatives.
As long as we make celebrities out of actors and athletes who’s behaviour would make us cringe, as long as the only barrier to entry into claiming to be an expert in a certain field is the number of characters you are allowed to use in an Instagram bio, and as long as we keep failing to demand the best out of ourselves and others, the leadership of countries that stand for nothing, will continue to represent the people.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, be better, demand better and as always, Just Be Nice.
The last time was not the first time.
Our kitchen and dining room was tiled, at the back of the house, and there was an island bench in the middle of the rooms running between the sink and kitchen bench and the large glass sliding doors to the back yard.
Only one door into the kitchen from the hallway.
We had a cheap old table, and cheap green chairs, small metal legs with little rubber ends on them, chairs made out of plastic moulds which I think now I haven’t seen for decades since.
The tiled floor is significant; Mum was in the kitchen making cordial for us, so when she was thrown to the floor by my father, the cordial was spilled everywhere. The tiled floor was wet, slightly sticky. The messy liquid was spread across the floor into the dining room as she was dragged around the island bench. Screaming to stop, kicking, thrashing around in an attempt to free her arms. I heard the screams and ran down the hallway to find my father trying to do what I assumed was break both Mums arms off, and slam her face into the floor.
It’s strange what you remember when you reflect on these moments. I remember the wet floor, I remember thinking that I should grab a knife so once mum had been dragged around the kitchen on the floor I could run past and grab a knife and jam it into my fathers back… But I thought he could take it off me and use it on Mum, or me… After all, I’m just a kid.
I’m yelling, Mum’s yelling. Paul's* eyes are black.
You don’t forget that look. I had seen it before, picked up by the throat and slammed into a wall, before being slapped across the wall by the face. I had seen it before. Sitting on my parents bed once before, I saw the blackness as I got an open hand across the face that sent me flying off the bed and into the doorway of the bedroom in one go. I saw the blackness as my father choked my mum in the same bed after she yelled at him for trying to knock my head off. I had seen it before many times. The blackness of the normally brown eyes is firmly etched into my brain, and will be forever I have no doubt.
The black eyes didn’t even barely look at me as he swatted me away the first time I went in to help mum. I didn’t get close. My father was a strong and powerful man in his right mind, let alone in the middle of a rage. So I did the only thing I could think to do after that, and I jumped on his back, trying to choke or pull him off or something. I was only 9 or something, so he pulled me off his back and threw me towards the large glass rear doors. I remember grabbing the chair to stop from flying through the window. I remember sliding in the liquid on the tiled floor. I remember seeing mum still on the floor, and as I hit the window, slowed by the chair, Paul opened the sliding door and threw Mum out.
I wanted to tell him he was a f*#king idiot. To tell him to f*#k off, to yell and scream, but I was terrified that something would happen, all I could manage was to yell at him that he was an idiot.
I remember all of that with such clarity, that it seems odd that I don’t remember how we all got out. I remember running down the hallway and getting my younger brother and sister to go out, and I remember being in our shitty little car ready to go, before mum went in to grab our dressing gowns because it was after dinner time and we were in our pyjamas.
If I go back into my mind’s eye for that time however, there are some details I left out. While I am deciding what to do, whether I will grab a knife, or jump on my fathers back, or scream or yell… My little brother and sister are in the doorway to the kitchen, crying and screaming. My baby brothers little face, chubby, crying, yelling. My little sisters little curls wild and all over her red, wet face, wild bits sticking to her face..
They are both being held back by a man.
Two of my father’s friends were there that night.
I don’t remember their names now, maybe one was Steve, maybe one wasn’t. But there were two of them. Two of Paul's latest drinking buddies. The drinking buddies changed fairly regularly, Paul liked the adulation of hangers on, and so he changed them regularly. I remember that that night they had brought a large, odd shaped bottle of a yellow liquor. I think now, upon reflection that it was some kind of home brew.
I remember the bottle, because one of the men was holding onto it, keeping it out of the way, as he stood in the kitchen just saying something like “Paul, Paul”. I remember he grabbed the bottle so it wouldn’t get knocked off the table during the violence.
I remember the other man taking my little brother and sister to the front of the house where the lounge room was. Away from the beating that was going on in the kitchen.
There were two men in my house that night.
Grown men, who watched someone try to beat my mother up. Grown men who watched another grown man attempt to throw his son through a window.
Often times, when we recount these stories or hear about them, the comment threads encourage people to ‘bash these weak bastards’ or ‘this guy should have his arms broken off’, things of that nature. Violence, for me, is not the answer to undo violence. I have come to a place of peace, by letting go any notion that a beating in any direction, to anybody, will undo the beating that I witnessed.
I think that perhaps in the macho-talk about how we should beat these guys up we miss the message that we should just do something. I don’t know anyone who thinks that what happened is ok, under any circumstance. There might be people who don’t know how to deal with it.
I am glad that I don’t have to walk around as one of the Unpolished men. These two men did nothing to get in the way, nothing to stop what was happening. They might not have been able to beat Paul into a pulp, or follow through on the tough talk that I see on the internet… but I can’t help but feel that they could have done something.
If you are going to be a polished man, if you are going to raise awareness, make sure that you are ready to raise a polished hand in the event that circumstances call on you to do it. Awareness is nothing without being able to speak up, call people out or get in the way of violence against children.
Don’t stand idly by.
Don’t walk around knowing that you should have stepped in, that you should have done more.
Don’t leave a child with the memory of your indifferent observation.
If you see the situation, help first, worry about what happens after.
Not be a hero. Not go in with the intention of beating a ‘child basher’ or a ‘woman basher’, and teaching them a lesson. Just get the people who need help away. Bravery is about doing the right thing, not the big thing. You don’t need to serve ‘justice’ on the spot, you simply need to help. In some way. In whatever capacity you can, depending on the situation and the circumstance.
It’s ok to be scared. The black eyes of a man in a rage are terrifying to everyone. You don’t have to confront them in a way that goes over and above removing the person who needs help from harm’s way. Just do the removing.
Be a Polished Man. Be a Good Man, and always, always Just Be Nice.
*name has been changed
Edit* Thank you to all who donated to my Polished Man Campaign page to raise awareness and funds to prevent violence against children.
For further information on how you can help if you witness or suspect domestic violence, visit www.dvrc.org.au
Please don't hesitate to share this blog if you feel like some people you know might get something out of a conversation like this, and thank you in advance.
Josh Reid Jones - Founder of The Just Be Nice Project and Odin Sports