I stood up for myself a couple weeks ago with a passive aggressive coworker of mine and it felt pretty good. At my job there’s a lot of physical work to be done and it often requires more than 1 person to get it done as it’s sometimes impossible to do it on your own and it’s more time consuming even if you can do it on your own. But anyways me and this coworker of mine were loading huge storage unit doors onto a pallet. This particular coworker always seems to be in a bad mood or always trying to prove how tough he is to everyone by being passive aggressive and grabbing people’s arms when he wants to say something to them. He had done it to me before because he figured I was a nice easy going guy which I am. But 2 weeks ago I had enough with him and his testing. He kept asking me why I never reacted much to any of his taunts or ever replied to any of his trash talk and I simply said “I don’t feel like saying anything”. For some reason this pissed him off and started being more passive aggressive the rest of the day. When we pick up the doors at work we have to usually carry them over other things that get in the way and force us to sometimes extend our arms so that we can create more space and walk around these things. I noticed he started cheating more on his side and making me extend my arms more during these situations so as to show who was boss. He kept jerking the door more towards his way so that I had to struggle more by extending my arms straight in front of me. So I was pretty much doing front raises like at the gym but unlike the gym I’m not aloud to just simply drop this door and damage it or else. If I wanted to bring my body closer to the door then I’d risk losing my balance and falling over due to all the railings right below our knees in front of us. This kept going on for a while until he made it very obvious that he just had a bad case of ASMS(Angry Skinny Man syndrome). He started asking me why I didn’t wanna make eye contact with him while we were moving the doors and I just simply said that I didn’t want to because we weren’t really talking much. Then he took this as a sign of weakness and started asking why I was afraid of him. So I decided I’d show him how strong I really was and how 2 can play his game. I started doing exactly what he was doing to me at first and pulling the door more towards me so that he had to extend his arms. Only there was a difference this time. He couldn’t pull back whenever he tried to get the door closer to him again. And when he did try to I’d sometimes let him have it back closer in an obvious way and look him straight in the eye only this time without my usual smiley face that I tend to have everyday. I wasn’t looking angry but I made it obvious that I wasn’t having any of his shit anymore. Subtle signs of weakness that I usually displayed were replaced with subtle signs of strength that day. Instead of movin around sluggishly I moved around with energy and motivation. Instead of opting for lighter doors I started lifting heavier doors. Instead of letting people invade my personal space I started holding my ground and letting them move instead of me. Eventually he started letting off and although there wasn’t a physical altercation between the two of us he eventually learned that I wasn’t weak like he had thought at first. And I wasn’t as weak as I thought I was. I’m not saying I could’ve kicked his ass but I had comfort in knowing that I would be down to do so if it came to that. I had comfort in knowing that I did give a shit about me. It’s just little things like that people do to see if they can mess with you. The more you show signs of weakness the more they will try and test your patience.