Episode 224: Passive Aggression and Mormonism

19 comments on “Episode 224: Passive Aggression and Mormonism”

  1. HuskySouth Reply

    I’m probably going to show my ignorance here as a non-Mormon, but I’ve always wondered why ex-Mormons or the evangelicals don’t hijack conference. I mean, can you imagine when they ask for the sustaining vote not only do they raise their hand to vote no, but they start chanting “Hell No, Monsons got to go!!, Hell No, Monsons got to go!!” I can only imagine it would put quite a damper on conference. Maybe you all can educate me on why this doesn’t happen.

    • 2snappy Reply

      the reason is that you can only get tickets to conference through select sources such as bishops and stake presidents. As such it is mostly filled with mormons who wouldn’t do that.

        • hetaira Reply

          I don’t know if you’ll see this since I’m adding it so late, but there is something that always jumps out at me as a never-Mormon when I watch Conference (well, some of Conference). It’s this little gem of passive-aggression and mind-control: when there is a “vote” it’s worded something like this; “All in favor of (blah blah blah) signify. All opposed, IF ANY, signify.” Hm, that “if any” seems to work pretty well on the crowd, too.

        • john j conroy Reply

          in my opinion i dont think the lds church shoid be havojg tp give tickets yp be going to General conferance.this supposenly is suppoose to be for thr whole world .i do not believe jesus woild do tha

  2. Brian Reply

    If I sign up for the facebook group, will it notify my friends? Can I make it not do that?

    • Megan von Ackermann Reply

      The VIP lounge is a secret group. You can see the privacy settings here:


      You will need to ask to join yourself rather than have someone else add you.

      It’s a great group with a lot of good discussions and support.

      Oh – and if you don’t want to deal with Mike’s lack of passive aggression, just block him :).

  3. jeff maybee Reply

    As an ex jehovahs witness , mormonism is waaaaay weirder. jehovahs witness isnt really all that weird , just christianity in its most basic form. The temple, and extra books that do weird things like make one a god . JWs have none of this and just use the bible, like arianism , there is only one god and jesus aint him. He is a subordinate of jehovah god or elohim. and no, jehovah is not jesus

  4. JT Reply

    I was staying at a Marriott Hotel two weeks ago.
    When I punched in my choice from the porn selection
    the following message came up.

    This selection does not qualify for the Marriott
    Friends and FAMILY discount and will be itemized
    separately on your bill.

    To continue press: 6-6-6-O-R-F-S-&-H-G

  5. W D Reply

    I’ve been out of the church so long I completely forgot about how much a problem this is. In fact I thought and communicated the same way, so never recognized it as a problem.

    I loved Lindsay’s examples about the way mormon women will talk to each other or how they express disapproval. Hearing those examples turned my stomach reminding me of the double talk and duplicitous language and behavior.

    I remember seeing ‘directness’ at church as an active mormon as approaching insubordination or arrogance. Don’t think I’d fit in anymore with this culture even if I wanted to.

  6. Margie Williams Reply

    This reminded me of my last day at church. I was a Primary teacher with a huge sense of duty but I knew I had to leave. After 30+ years of passive aggression training, this is how I told them I left: “I’m going to be away for a few months so I can’t teach anymore”. I handed over my manual to the primary president walked out of the building for the last time and cried all the way home. I refer to leaving as having “the stick removed from my butt” and I am less prone to passive aggressive behaviour.

  7. Ingrid Nilsson Goatson Reply

    What an excellent conversation. I’ve been thinking about this podcast quite a bit since I listened 2 days ago. I’ve realized how passive aggressive I am and how it’s so deeply engrained in the way I interact with people and has become hard to detect. I really want to be more direct and less passive agressive, and I think most of the reason is because women are stereotypically passive agressive and challenging that feels important to me. But I’m curious, and I noticed you didn’t discuss this much in the podcast, why do you think passive agression is a bad thing? Couldn’t it just be a different type of communication? Do you think our culture simply values directness over indirectness?

    • LO Reply

      It was incredibly eye-opening for me as well. It explained so much about the LDS church, my family, and me. It’s going to take a long time to train myself away from these behaviors!

      I think passive aggressive behavior is inherently bad instead of just different. It is deceitful and abusive. Internet searches for examples of passive aggressive behavior yield lots of hits that list obviously poor traits and actions. For example, some of what Wikipedia lists are learned helplessness, procrastination, stubbornness, and resentment.

      Passive aggressive behavior doesn’t really have a positive outcome. If you are passive aggressive to somebody, they could misinterpret it and then you will build up negative emotions against them for ignoring your actions. Alternately, they’ll realize you are being passive aggressive and then they could be hurt by the fact that you didn’t feel comfortable enough to be direct with them.

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  9. Brian Johnston Reply

    In the podcast, you guys were asking if this happens anywhere else. I noticed it a lot in the South. I lived/worked in Georgia for 5 years and ran into similar problems in business meetings and other types of interactions. It wasn’t quite as intense as in Mormon culture, but it was still there. I attribute it mostly to the traditional southern culture of politeness.

    It’s a wonderful place where people are friendly and very nice neighbors. We enjoyed living there. It was funny sometimes because drivers on the road were frustratingly courteous at times (we were used to cut throat Wash DC traffic). The classic example was a few cars all converging on a 4-way stop. Half the time you couldn’t get through because everyone was waving each other to go ahead instead of just following the rules of the road and taking turns, so traffic came to a stand still while everyone tried to be polite and let everyone else through first.

    It was often hard to know what some people really thought, especially in business meetings and project collaboration.

  10. Arn Reply

    Is an exaggerated emotional response to conflict a feature of passive aggressiveness? Seems to be in my experience. When I was a true believer, there was no way I could have debated toe-to-toe with the Mormon Expression panel the way Mike Tannehill does because I would have an involuntary physiologic response to debate making it difficult for me to speak and control my fine motor movements. Maybe Mike can do it because he isn’t passive aggressive, as John said.

  11. adyia Reply

    Thanks for the enlightening podcast. There’s been something about
    myself I want to change, but wasn’t quite able to put my finger on
    it…and this nailed it. I grew up in a household where speaking my
    mind got me punished and/or shunned. I learned to be indirect and
    passive aggressive. I sooo want to change.

    My favorite passive aggressive example from my mom to me: “you got all the brains, and she got all the beauty”. My sister is mentally handicapped, and in my mom’s eyes I’m ugly. With this “compliment” she managed to insult us both!

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