Five Passive-Aggressive Writing Tips To Follow! It’s Our “Flotsam and Jetsam” Feature!

Knock Knock Passive Aggressive Nifty Note

One of our newest Nifty Notes this season is our Passive-Aggressive Nifty Note, which allows you to voice your distaste in a firm yet subtle fashion. To all of you who care (or who don’t, no matter) it’s currently ranked as our thirteenth (out of nineteen) most popular Nifty Note (based on online sales via Google Analytics).

Regardless of its popularity, we all know that everyone is more passive-aggressive than high-five happy (the High Five Nifty Note is our number one selling online Nifty Note—again Google Analytics is our best friend). And c’mon, there’s even a website dedicated to passive-aggressive notes! (Can you imagine how many Google Alerts come into our inbox because of this website?!)

But if you don’t have the knack for passive-aggression, or you’re just outright mean (which is totally okay in select situations), here are five tips on how to write an effective passive-aggressive note: (Example given.)

1. Use a standard greeting, like “Dear,” “To whom it may concern,” or “‘Sup,” because you don’t want to scare them away from reading the rest of your note.

Passive Aggressive Notes from Knock Knock
An example passive-aggressive note.

2. Don’t miss an opportunity to connect with the person—you may have things in common, and latching onto that possibility may make you look much cooler than you’re coming off as. See how the people in #101 said how they might love “Design on a Dime”? That was probably a lie.

3. It’s important to transition into/voice any other annoyances during this exchange (too many notes on their property, and you just look like the B word). Isn’t there a sage saying that’s close to, “If the levee breaks, let the water flow?” ( . . . Or maybe not?)

4. Up until this point, everything that’s been written is just a pillow cushioning the elephant in the room. You want to make sure you actually address the issue at hand. (This is where your more intimidating words sneak in.)

5. Lastly, thank them for their time and for reading your note all the way through. (Because we probably would’ve stopped reading after “. . . #201.”) And it’s important that you end in a positive note (i.e. “We love getting to know our neighbors!”) because that tends to lighten the overall bitterness of the letter (hence the purpose of writing the note in the first place).

Share your funny passive aggressive notes with us! Tell us all about them in a comment.