‘I’m fine’

The two words that strike fear into the hearts of our hairier counterparts. Should they carry on as they are, check to see if you really are fine or do they need to apologise? Here Elite Daily‘s Jamie Leelo, a comedian, and writer, round-ups her favourite top passive aggressive phrases, rated on a five-point Passive Aggressive (PA) scale:

“Whatever.” 5 PA stars.

A classic. This phrase has just the right amount of ambiguity, so you aren’t really saying ANYTHING. Sure, by using context clues, your boyfriend MIGHT assume you don’t actually have an opinion on whatever it is you are disagreeing about, but we all know it’s actually the exact opposite. You have LOTS of opinions, and he has to do the hard work of digging them out of your clenched heart.

“Good for you.” 3.5 PA stars.

“Good for you” strongly implies “whatever we’re talking about is a positive in your life but a negative in mine, and I’m MAD at you for ignoring how this negatively affects me, asshole.” Bonus points for brevity!

“I don’t care.” 4 PA stars.

Similar to “whatever,” you can always default to “I don’t care.” However, this one isn’t QUITE as passive aggressive, as even the densest of partners knows what it really means. (AKA “I ACTUALLY CARE A WHOLE DAMN LOT.”)

“That’s just great.” 2 PA stars.

No, everything is NOT actually great when you say this. Because this one requires maximum sarcasm for the greatest effect, it rates high for effectiveness but low in passive aggressiveness.

“Isn’t that special?” 2.5 PA stars.

Now, this phrase is definitely for beginners. When you say “special,” you obviously don’t mean delightful and unique. You mean annoying AF. Again, heavy sarcasm is required.

“Whatever makes you happy.” 4.5 PA stars.

Congratulations! You’ve advanced to Intermediate Passive Aggressor with this one. This might sound like a trap to someone else because it IS a trap. Your words are saying “do whatever you want,” but what you really mean is… do whatever I want.

“Up to you.” 3.5 PA stars.

This one is going to feel like a test to your partner because it is. You are actively putting the ball back in their court while still withholding your precious true feelings they need to know so they can act accordingly. They’ll feel flustered, confused and just as much in the dark as they were at the beginning of this conversation.