Passive-aggressive behavior

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by LBS-bass, Aug 12, 2022.

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  1. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    I’ll try to keep this short. Band member rebelling by not responding to my texts in group chat. He responds to the male lead singer.

    it’s not a perception on my part; everyone has complained to me about it. The problem is they complain to me. By default I do almost all of the administrative work, etc.

    Once I recognized this as passive-aggressive stuff aimed at me, I texted the singer and asked him to handle group announcements, etc. he agreed. I then told the band I was handing that over and the problem member gave an enthusiastic thumbs up.

    The drummer suggests I have a talk with this guy. Ordinarily I agree that open communication is key, but my experience with p/a people is that’s just an opportunity for them to gaslight you, which they will do by telling you it’s your imagination. Again, the whole band is seeing this.

    not sure how I’ll ultimately move forward. I don’t want to add drama and am inclined to just pull back and let them figure out how to drive the car. I’m not inclined to waste any more energy on this.

    what say you? Should I bother?
  2. sean_on_bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    There's gotta be more here. Is there any logical reason this band member will not address you directly? Why exactly would they see themselves as having a reason to rebel?

    If this member really is purposefully ignoring you, then that is a pretty bad group dynamic. Personally i can't see myself working with someone like that for very long because that is super childish. I dont think i would attempt a one on one with this person because i don't see the need for them starting such drama in the first place. Ultimately it might lead to me departing the project cause i do this for fun mostly and dealing with someone that hates me is not my idea of a good time.
  3. Nah
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Sounds like everyone realizes the problem. It may or may not be gender-based; the problem member may just be a jerk. My suggestion is to let the singer deal with it, and route or even force all communication through him. Tell the drummer that it's the singer's responsibility to deal with it, not yours.

    Either the singer will get tired of it and call out the problem member, or the problem member will leave.
  5. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    Been racking my brains over that one, as well. I don’t know. Some people don’t respond well to leadership from a woman. I would not have imagined this guy in that way but it makes more sense than anything else I can think of.

    I’m the only one who advances ideas about how we might succeed as a band, and I am pretty strong on strategy. Could be this guy doesn’t agree with my vision but doesn’t want to say so. I’ve given everyone plenty of opportunity to chime in at every turn, but they don’t.
  6. sean_on_bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Yep those could be the reasons. Some people just can't stand anyone coming from a state of authority. I don't think confronting this person is really worth it.
  7. Dr. Keebs

    Dr. Keebs Bassmaster General

    Jan 9, 2016
    Having dealt with that p/a behavior recently, I can say (in my case), it’s definitely a “them” issue. Whether it’s jealousy or bias of some sort - a “them” issue. I think you did the right thing, and a conversation with the band member to suss out the root cause would be healthy. Not suggesting that you should initiate or need to participate in that conversation, but should be addressed for the health of the group.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Honestly? I think you're on the right track. You strike me as a classic doer. You like things done right, so often you'll agree to do them yourself.

    I'm not putting you down. I'm that person 100%.

    It would probably be healthy for you to step back and let the BL do more..... well..... BL stuff. Don't overload your self, especially when at least one of them doesn't seem to appreciate what you do for them anyway.

    Either way, best of luck with it.
  9. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    Up to now I have been the default bandleader. Someone else is going to need to start booking shows, vetting venues, crafting set lists, sponsoring ads, maintaining our mailing list, etc.

    If I step back I’m stepping all the way back.
  10. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Sounds like you're ready for your own 'him or me' moment.
    BTDT. It always sucks, IME...
    I was ready to walk away from my last project where a p/A jerk thought he was in charge (while never, ever actually doing anything...) but ultimately the band imploded and dissolved before I had to...
    barrenelly, mrcbass and LBS-bass like this.
  11. 51PRI


    Aug 7, 2014
    (Didn't know you were a woman, but) if that's really the case then there isn't much you can do, is there?

    The other possibility would be to hand the leadership role off but stay as a strong #2 behind the scenes.
  12. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    based on your description, i say no. you can't lead where one will not follow. doesn't sound like the matter is worth the trouble it would take to correct, especially with an unclear end result.
  13. Confront him!
    Ralf1e likes this.
  14. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    That's a hassle to deal with. Sorry.
    I don't know how to handle that without turning into more drama. If they are really behaving that way to you it's not going to change if you confront them. And it likely won't change of someone else confronts them.
    Good luck.
    EatS1stBassist and Dust2Dust like this.
  15. Unless you’re willing to put up with his behavior, and it doesn’t sound like you or your other bandmates are, it needs to be addressed in person, where he can’t just ignore you. I’m probably projecting a little here, since I always seem to be the guy people come to with their complaints, because I make sure they get addressed. Otherwise they turn into bigger problems.

    The question isn’t will he change if confronted. He won’t, but he will show you who he really is, and whether you can continue working with him. Think of it this way. You’re throwing him a rope. It’s up to him whether to use it as a lifeline, or just hang himself with it.
  16. TideSwing

    TideSwing Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2014
    Step back and don't waste energy. If you are gonna bring it up, do it when everyone is together in person. There's no escaping when everything is done face to face.
    barrenelly, JPDsma, Ralf1e and 6 others like this.
  17. legalbass


    Jul 2, 2020
    If I may, as the offending passive-aggressor appears to favor and hold confidence in the male lead singer, it is perhaps said male lead singer's responsibility to put passive-aggressor in his place and explain the necessity of treating everybody with respect. Silence is complicity, as they say. If male lead singer simply goes along with passive-aggressor's unacceptable behavior, he is in fact fueling the fire.

    "Once I recognized this as passive-aggressive stuff aimed at me, I texted the singer and asked him to handle group announcements, etc. he agreed. I then told the band I was handing that over and the problem member gave an enthusiastic thumbs up."

    I think that by acquiescing to the passive-aggressor's displeasure with you in this manner, you may have inadvertently enabled and empowered him. I simply don't see a good long-term outcome if this situation isn't addressed directly and perhaps even aggressively by all involved.
  18. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    Nobody I know enjoys being confrontational. But I prefer the full-bandwidth advantages of in-person conversation, as in "Everybody seems to believe that you are ignoring my messages. If that's true, can you tell me why? Am I doing something wrong?" Etc.
  19. put on your seat belt and let them drive,, easier to concentrate on making sweet music,and keeping the energy for you.
    timplog, Dust2Dust and LBS-bass like this.
  20. coy garcia

    coy garcia

    Jan 18, 2020
    I was that person once.... it turned out I had the group button unchecked.
    In another situation our lead singer was doing the communication but would always leave out important information and it would frustrate everyone...then the lead guitar player became the band leader just because he was a better communicator. Point is that it could be something more innocent than it appears. :)
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