What is it?
Passive aggressive behaviour is displayed in many different ways, but essentially it is when you struggle to be open and honest about your emotions. You might be upset/annoyed/angry with them but bottle up your feelings. Some ways in which this behaviour can play out is; shutting off verbally, obvious changes in behaviour to show that you’re annoyed, sulking or attempting to create confusion in others.
There are two main types of passive aggression: Obvious or Hidden. It can be difficult dealing with any of them as they both produce their own set of challenges. Both equally destructive however, and very manipulative. If you are using passive aggressive behaviour… STOP! Right now. It’s more hurtful and damaging than just being upfront and honest, no matter how much you think you’re doing the person a favour by ‘protecting them’ from the truth.
16 common examples of passive aggression:
When there is clearly something you need to discuss but refuse to say it.
Avoiding and Ignoring
When you are trying to make it known that there is something wrong but denying it when asked.
Deliberately preventing change happening.
Fear of competition
Avoiding situations where someone would be seen as better at something. Form of manipulation.
Being unclear or not fully engaging in conversations.
Being resentful in order to get attention.
Fear of intimacy
Avoiding getting too intimately involved is a way to keep control over the relationship.
Unable to see what their own part to play in a situation is, not taking accountability. Always twisting it to make the other feel sorry for them.
Usually affection of some sort, sex or doing the little things you would normally do.
You are not allowing yourself the opportunity to show yourself and others the real you, your real feelings and motivations. This creates a lot of insecurity and animosity between people. Using passive aggressive behaviour builds resentment towards others and forms a huge wall between you.
The main reason for passive aggression is because you neglect your OWN needs. In order to overcome it, is imperative you make yourself a priority. Tell yourself that your needs are just as valid as anyone else’s. Learn how to say no. Practise listening to what it is you really want and not just doing what it is you think you should.
It can be quite liberating!
Written by Abbey Stirling