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02/12/2011 09:58 AM

Passive-Aggressive Traits

Meg1129
Meg1129Posts: 14599
VIP Member

Hello! I am a group leader on the Emotional Abuse Support board. Clarita saw a post I recently put up about passive-aggressive behaviour and she thought it might be of some benefit to members of your group.

Passive-aggressive behaviour can be very tricky to spot because it is so passive. You may think you're just dealing with a quirky person and not realize that you are actually being emotionally abused. It can take years to figure out that it's not YOU ... it's HIM (or her). By that time, a lot of damage has been done to your self-esteem, your hopes, your relationships, etc.

Below are a couple of links to a great article on PA behaviour and a thread on Oprah's website where many women talk about their experiences with PA spouses. Hopefully, if you have any confusion or doubt over whether you are being emotionally abused by a PA, these will help lift the veil. There is a lot more about PAs on the article link I give ... much more than what I am quoting here:

"Passive Aggressive behavior is a form of covert abuse. When someone hits you or yells at you, you know that you've been abused. It is obvious and easily identified. Covert abuse is subtle and veiled or disguised by actions that appear to be normal, at times loving and caring. The passive aggressive person is a master at covert abuse.

Passive aggressive behavior stems from an inability to express anger in a healthy way. A person's feelings may be so repressed that they don't even realize they are angry or feeling resentment. A passive aggressive can drive people around him/her crazy and seem sincerely dismayed when confronted with their behavior. Due to their own lack of insight into their feelings the passive aggressive often feels that others misunderstand them or, are holding them to unreasonable standards if they are confronted about their behavior.

Common Passive Aggressive Behaviors:

•Ambiguity: I think of the proverb, "Actions speak louder than words" when it comes to the passive aggressive and how ambiguous they can be. They rarely mean what they say or say what they mean. The best judge of how a passive aggressive feels about an issue is how they act. Normally they don't act until after they've caused some kind of stress by their ambiguous way of communicating.

•Forgetfulness: The passive aggressive avoids responsibility by "forgetting." How convenient is that? There is no easier way to punish someone than forgetting that lunch date or your birthday or, better yet, an anniversary.

•Blaming: They are never responsible for their actions. If you aren't to blame then it is something that happened at work, the traffic on the way home or the slow clerk at the convenience store. The passive aggressive has no faults, it is everyone around him/her who has faults and they must be punished for those faults.

•Lack of Anger: He/she may never express anger. There are some who are happy with whatever you want. On the outside anyway! The passive aggressive may have been taught, as a child, that anger is unacceptable. Hence they go through life stuffing their anger, being accommodating and then sticking it to you in an under-handed way.

•Fear of Dependency: From Scott Wetlzer, author of Living With The Passive Aggressive Man. "Unsure of his autonomy and afraid of being alone, he fights his dependency needs, usually by trying to control you. He wants you to think he doesn't depend on you, but he binds himself closer than he cares to admit. Relationships can become battle grounds, where he can only claim victory if he denies his need for your support."

•Fear of Intimacy: The passive aggressive often can't trust. Because of this, they guard themselves against becoming intimately attached to someone. A passive aggressive will have sex with you but they rarely make love to you. If they feel themselves becoming attached, they may punish you by withholding sex.

•Obstructionism: Do you want something from your passive aggressive spouse? If so, get ready to wait for it or maybe even never get it. It is important to him/her that you don,t get your way. He/she will act as if giving you what you want is important to them but, rarely will he/she follow through with giving it. It is very confusing to have someone appear to want to give to you but never follow through. You can begin to feel as if you are asking too much which is exactly what he/she wants to you to feel.

•Victimization: The passive aggressive feels they are treated unfairly. If you get upset because he or she is constantly late, they take offense because; in their mind, it was someone else's fault that they were late. He/she is always the innocent victim of your unreasonable expectations, an over-bearing boss or that slow clerk at the convenience store.

•Procrastination: The passive aggressive person believes that deadlines are for everyone but them. They do things on their own time schedule and be damned anyone who expects differently from them."

http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/abusiverelationships/a/ Pass_Agg.htm

http://www.oprah.com/community/thread/69819

Finally, if any of you feel that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, please feel free to join our group or just roam on over for a look. We make no judgments. Instead, we offer knowledge, support and encouragement. Our two mottos are: Knowledge is Power and Baby Steps (unless of course you are being physically abused).

If anyone of you have any questions about passive-aggressive behaviour, please feel free to PM me! Smile

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02/12/2011 03:13 PM
Natalia5150
Natalia5150  
Posts: 3632
VIP Member

Excellent article. Thank you Clarita for finding it and thank you Meg for writing it!!!

hugs to two very brilliant ladies

Natty


02/12/2011 04:29 PM
john645
john645  
Posts: 1578
Senior Member

I agree, thank both of you ladies for this wonderful article.

02/13/2011 07:53 AM
shiningarmor
shiningarmorPosts: 70
Member

Thank you so much for this article! Ironically I have been accused of being passive aggressive in the past, and I can see that I displayed some of these traits in past relationships. But I also see a pattern in the women I have dated too, they displayed ALL of these toward me...ALL. And it not only triggered, but deepened my borderline personality traits.

The most damaging of all of these is exactly what is written in the victimization passage. I've been "forced" in the past to accept responsibility for not only my own mistakes, but for all of the other actions in the list that they used to "punish" me for simple mistakes, before I even started the ugly cycle splitting/pushing away/desperately trying to pull back cycle of BPD. And it has destroyed my self esteem, self worth, and self image as a good person, worthy of love and affection. And made me so fearful of the same treatment in the future that I am not sure I will ever have a healthy relationship again.

Thank you again. This really led me to a breakthrough in my healing from these toxic relationships. And hopefully seeing these traits in others before I let them further damage me.

Post edited by: shiningarmor, at: 02/13/2011 07:56 AM


02/13/2011 09:09 AM
john645
john645  
Posts: 1578
Senior Member

Hi Shiningarmor, a lot of times I will be reading an article here and have one of those light bulb moments.

It is all but impossible to see a PA relationship coming. You can see a persons hair color or eyes, but PA traits hide in the wings. You are in the relationship, some times for quite a while before you may realize this form of abuse. Matters can be complicated if there is an underlying personality trait.

My first wife was PA and it took 3 years for me to realize my only option was to leave the relationship, and of course it was all my fault. One of the sad parts of that was my father was a PA person and it still took me so long to see it in my wife.

This was a great article for our wonderful ladies to have posted and I am glad you could find some help in it. I hope many can read it and it helps them to see if they are being treated this way.

Post edited by: john645, at: 02/13/2011 09:11 AM


02/13/2011 10:40 AM
Fallen
Fallen  
Posts: 644
Member

I think my parents are like this....

Thanks for the article its opened my eyes


02/15/2011 07:58 PM
Meg1129
Meg1129Posts: 14599
VIP Member

It can take a victim YEARS to figure out they have been or are dealing with a PA because the abuse is so subtle and yet it hits the mark every time. A lot of people think they are just dealing with someone who is moody or quirky and they don't see the whole pattern.

Below is the link to an excellent thread I found some months ago on Oprah's website dealing with passive-aggressive spouses and partners. I think you will find the stories of these victims very similar to what you are going through or have gone through.

http://www.oprah.com/community/thread/69819


02/16/2011 02:59 AM
Clarita
Clarita  
Posts: 13089
VIP Member

Meg, Many thanks for all your wise fabulous words as well as for the Oprah link. Oprah is a hero of mine, too WinkSmile!

You have been such a fantastic blessing to us all, so am asking heaven to mightily bless you right here right now with sublime gifts- may it tremendously be so!

Gentle grateful hugs, Clarita xooxoooxoox h4


02/16/2011 02:59 AM
Clarita
Clarita  
Posts: 13089
VIP Member

Meg, Many thanks for all your wise fabulous words as well as for the Oprah link. Oprah is a hero of mine, too WinkSmile!

You have been such a fantastic blessing to us all, so am asking heaven to mightily bless you right here right now with sublime gifts- may it tremendously be so!

Gentle grateful hugs, Clarita xooxoooxoox h4


02/16/2011 09:27 AM
BlueYoshi
BlueYoshi  
Posts: 720
VIP Member

Ugh. When I was in junior high and desperate to be able to sit with somebody at the lunch table, I'd hang with 'friends' who had a lot of passive-aggressive behavior. Whenever something went wrong that day, somehow it'd turn out to be my fault. And I'd do everything wrong ... my sweater would be disgusting, my acne would be horrendous, I would embarrass them with one of my actions, and I was only there as the 'ugly' friend to make them look better. I'm over those things now, but I didn't really realize they were so passive-aggressive at the time.
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