When I say the words “popular culture” to you, what is the first thing that comes to mind? My guess is that your skull-computer strays to thoughts of television, movies, music, toys… in a nutshell, entertainment. For others out there, you might think of non-entertainment angles such as current affairs, news, civil unrest, the impending US Presidential election, or the health climate that more or less brought the world to a screeching halt.
For me (and remember, I always speak for myself), there’s another discussion to be had in the corner of pop culture, and it straddles the edge of sociology. Society and the roles/behaviors that we have constructed for ourselves is enormous, hypocrisy is even bigger, and yet I feel often that people do not consider behaviors as a piece of the pop culture conversation. Think of it– what comes to mind when we call someone a “Karen”? What about a “Chad”? Or worse, taking it down a racial path and calling someone a “Shanaynay”?
This is not the rabbit hole we are falling into today, but I just want to present these words to show you that you (likely) have a predetermined understanding of what society is talking about with the utterance of those names. You do not have to have them broken down for you or explained because you’re already familiar with the characters/trope roles that are filled when we call someone by those names. The association has been made.
In a literary sense, characters are a collection of exaggerated human characteristics that are recognizable. Character archetypes and tropes are placed within narratives to serve a purpose within the story, fill a certain roll, or help propel a plot.
So with that, let’s discuss a certain sociological trope that in my book, serves zero purpose. It is a destructive, poisonous type that (more often than not, unfortunately) I see women adhering to. If there is such a thing as toxic masculinity, then I will call this one toxic femininity. This behavior, or personality type, is one that I’m calling Broken Aggressiveness.
Broken Aggressiveness shares some traits with its ugly cousin Passive Aggressiveness, which I will take a moment to define. It is, per whatever dictionary my internet search bar decided deserved the hits, of or denoting a type of behavior or personality characterized by indirect resistance to the demands of others and an avoidance of direct confrontation, as in procrastinating, pouting, or misplacing important materials.
Since we’re here, let’s pencil those sexy passive aggressive “adult tantrums” in there as well. Because hey, there’s no one more fun to be around than someone who comes to the party, places demands, and throws a shit fit when the pre-established world around them does not bend to their wants.
Always assess what you add to the room before demanding anything of others, yeah?
But with Broken Aggressiveness comes a few specific traits that are unique to its diagnosis, the one that Doctor Lurker over here is applying to it. Whereas with Passive Aggressiveness, the behaviors seem to stem from a fear of direct confrontation but yet always feeling like a victim, Broken Aggressiveness’ starting point comes from the practitioner lamenting that they are a wholly broken person and how they are, here it comes… always a victim.
Look, I get it– life is simultaneously very long and very short. All of us have seen some shit. Sometimes things are hard. Sometimes things are sad. No one wants to shame you for feeling. Sometimes we have been mentally or physically beaten into a darkness that we never thought we would get to, let alone have the ability to pull ourselves out of. But humans– we are resilient! We are strong, and we are fighters.
If we allow ourselves to be.
But the Broken Aggressive person does not see it that way. The Broken Aggressive person demands that they are rescued, but places additional demands on how that rescue is executed. Wisk me away according to my rules.
Be the adventure. Be the warrior in your own narrative.
From my observation, the Broken Aggressive person has a very entitled headspace without, again, assessing what they as an individual adds to the situation. And my guess is that they very likely don’t even realize how much nothing (or nothing pleasant) they add to the people around them.
Let’s take a look at the Instagram account 3am Thoughts, or as I personally call it “Poison for the Weak”. The account, which has over one million followers, is not even worth my time linking because that shit is garbage. The entire page is just image after image of Broken Aggressive quotes for people without any poetic inspiration or ability to articulate like and share passive aggressively, pretending its an original thought.
Accounts like these are aimed toward lazy, entitled people who think that it is the job of the Savior, White Knight, Cowboy, etc. in their story to sweep them off their feet and create a swirling, billowing romantic world catered to them and the arbitrary shit they’ve made up in their head. The following image, which has generated tens of thousands of likes, is a sublime example of Broken Aggressive wallowing. Of course, those who share it want you to stop and ask them what is wrong, but they couldn’t be troubled to you know…actually come up with a similar sentiment in actual, original words?
Groan to the billionth power, man– what the hell are you supposed to do with people like this rattling around with this shit in their heads? Or how about these three quotes that convince me that the speaker is very reliable and emotionally balanced:
Are we not allowed to admit that we enjoy company with a person up to a certain point? And you know what– if you don’t like these limitations, leave! If the contract is not mutually beneficial and agreed upon, just STOP. Exit that room, build a new board game. Stop trying to change people with demands. That is infantile behavior.
Holy hell, are you kidding me here? Are people not given the opportunity to get to know each other anymore? “We all want someone that chooses us?” “Prioritize me or leave me alone?” Is there no room for slow and steady burn, your royal broken highness? Are you so delicate and fragile that you literally lack the capacity to allow or let others function by the rules of their needs as well?
The following quote killed me, and I think it sums up the submissive, lazy entitlement of everyone who can be categorized as Broken Aggressive.
If you’re seeing romance within this quote, let me fix that for you. Because you want to know what I see? “Play with my hair. Hold my leg while you drive.” Bitch, why don’t you take the fucking wheel? Why don’t you give them some affection instead of playing some bullshit game of “I’m so Damaged and Broken” Cat and Mouse where you consume and suck up devotion while inadvertently ensuring that they other party is given nothing.
I know, I know, I’m reacting very strongly to bullshit “You are not alone in your suffering” anti-motivational quotes on a stupid Instagram page. But more and more often, these things are being shared to the point where I am convinced that this has manifested into a personality. Be stronger than that. Again– be the adventure. Be your own warrior.
The Broken Aggressive person makes an appearance again in quotes such as the above with their inability to be alone. I know everyone is different– we all have our own stories and have journied down different paths. But people– mindset is everything. If you go into a game being a demanding, aggro, unpleasant broken troll, you’ve lost. If you say “I wish, I hope, have you ever wanted to…” you’ve lost. Do. Don’t say “Have you ever wanted to turn off your phone and go to the beach to listen to the waves”. Say “Hey fuckers, I’m at the beach and the phone is off– I’m about to have the best hour ever!” Go to the beach and save the lackadaisical dreaminess for that novel “you swear you will one day write.” But remember what I said about hypocrisy?
I know this tangent was a lot, and if you feel personally attacked… please, don’t take it so personally. Write me off as someone you don’t know who has no idea what she’s talking about, what you’ve been through, what goes on in your mind, and so on. Hell, add a few colorful insults in my direction if it pleases you to do so. It’s no skin off my back. But if anything in this article upset you, take a moment to consider that. Think about how you talk to people. Think about what you expect. And if you look at things like the following image and still think it’s someone else’s job to save you:
Consider throwing aside your “Rescue Me” submissive kink and learn how to be the Chaos… together or alone.
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