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03/19/2012 05:45 AM

How to Deal with Passive Aggressive People

DorisAnn
DorisAnn  
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How to deal with passive aggressive people. It is not everyday that we hear this statement. Many of you might not even be aware of what does passive aggressive behavior mean, let alone dealing with it. I'd like to state an excerpt from the novel 'The God of Small Things' by Arundhati Roy (which won the Booker Prize in 1997) at this point of time, that which will make what passive aggressive behavior is pretty clear and thereby open up the path to understanding it and dealing with it effectively.

In her growing years, Ammu had watched her father weave his hideous web. He was charming and urbane with visitors, and stopped just short of fawning on them if they happened to be white. He donated money to orphanages and leprosy clinics. He worked hard on his public profile as a sophisticated, generous, moral man. But alone with his wife and children he turned into a monstrous, suspicious bully, with a streak of vicious cunning. They were beaten, humiliated and then made to suffer the envy of friends and relations for having such a wonderful husband and father. Chapter 8, Page No. 86.

Passive aggressive Behavior and What it Involves

That is exactly what passive aggressive people are like. A different person to the world and a different person to you. The very term passive aggressive goes to show that they aren't outwardly aggressive, but have a passive manner of showing their aggressive traits. Aggressive behavior becomes easy to decipher and deal with because it's out there for everyone to see, but when it is passive aggressive traits in behavior, many times, the mere detection of it becomes impossible.

Why? Because it combines completely opposing concepts to make a personality trait. Passive meaning someone who is calm and composed and genial with all, and aggressive meaning someone who is not afraid of showing anger or other unpleasant emotions to get their way around things. Now combine the two. A very twisted personality trait. A passive aggressive personality is someone who will portray that he/she wants to comply with all you say but will resist it in varied degrees by using underhanded means. They cannot say 'no' and therefore they use manipulations and other subtle ways to resist what you ask of them. But they do it in such a way that you can never pinpoint and accuse them, because to your face they are always good, showing no signs of resistance or aggression. But in reality, they have in them suppressed negative behavior and aggression which they then show in indirect ways. This personality trait comes about due to the fact that they cannot exhibit resentment in a direct, healthy way that is acceptable to everyone. Therefore it only festers and goes on to create this personality trait.

Passive aggressive Behavior Traits

Let's understand this better by giving some passive aggressive examples and key traits of passive aggressive behavior and people who exhibit it:

•They hate responsibilities and try to avoid them by using selective forgetting as a means to shirking away responsibilities.

•They overlook deadlines and procrastinate their work, without a consideration for those who depend on them. This is done because they like working on their own schedule.

•They will always delay others and never be on time. This is done because they want others to wait for them.

•They blame others for what goes wrong in their lives. They hold others responsible and want them to be punished for it as well.

•They often compare themselves with those who are more fortunate than themselves and begrudge them that.

•They complain of being unappreciated and misunderstood by others.

•They unreasonably criticize authority figures and people.

•They often complain in highly exaggerated tones of how unfortunate they are.

•They hate dependency on and intimacy with others and therefore they rake up fights to keep a distance and create a void. They often lose trust in the people they love.

•They convince themselves that they are victims of oppression and that everyone is out to get them. If this behavior irks people, they get even more offensive.

This personality type is also known as a negativistic personality disorder.

Dealing with Passive aggressive Behavior

It is only when one knows what passive aggressive is that it will be possible to learn how to deal with passive aggressive people. In the remainder of this article we shall focus on how to deal with passive aggressive men and women. Here are some key points.

Understand that It's a 'Behavior'[/b

]The first thing that you need to understand when you question how to deal with a passive aggressive husband or wife or how to deal with a passive aggressive boss (who could be male or female), is that it is their personality. That which is not a mere response to something but something that they've acquired and has become inbuilt in their very personality. It might never really be possible for them to ever change and that is something that you have to be prepared for. Therefore it becomes imperative that you choose your battles well.

[b]Calling It

The best approach on how to deal with passive aggressive people is to call them on their behavior. Be direct, straightforward and blunt with them. Do not let them get to you with their subtle traits of playing the nice guy. This involves calling them when they are playing the victim or the guy who withholds affection to punish you. But understand that it comes about due to poor self image, so try to build that if you can by praising them for their good points and assuring them that you won't desert them. But again, do not let them trample you with that. Have a clear idea of what you want and get it.

Communicating Feelings

The worst thing that you can do in this situation is to spare his/her feelings. What you need to do instead is that every time they do something to disappoint you like 'forgetting' or getting delayed, tell them that their behavior has hurt you and that you won't stand for it. Do not take to a passive aggressive approach yourself where you realize that nothing affects and therefore you begin to bottle up emotions and then blow them over at minor things. That will never solve issues.

Building Confidence

People with this personality trait have very low self-confidence and that is why they shirk away from responsibilities. They'll let you take all the decisions and then one day turn around and say that you control everything. The way to deal with this is that you encourage them to take decisions. This will help build their confidence and they'll be more comfortable with taking decisions. During this time he/she might try to shirk away by refusing to do it or doing something that he knows you don't like. Keep calling them on it.

Just so you know, the passive aggressive personality disorder is common. There's no doubt that understanding them in order to deal with them is not easy. Understanding layers of their personality and deciphering what they are, to read through the layers of deceit and manipulation takes skill. Which of course only comes about if you've experienced it or observed it. But once you know that you're dealing with this personality trait, how to deal with passive aggressive people becomes relatively less difficult. Not easy, but less difficult.

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03/20/2012 12:41 PM
lken
lken  
Posts: 2827
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you think this is a mental illness or people do this on purpose to get there way, i know i use to be a passive aggressive in away, i stuff anger and move it in a obnoxious way, to people who irritate me. or thought they did. kind of stupid thing. it was when i use to drink.

03/20/2012 03:16 PM
DorisAnn
DorisAnn  
Posts: 1638
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I'm an Advocate

Hi Iken--

Good Question--I think people learn to be passive aggressive from a very young age. For example;with our patients, we want to go out and play so even if we don't like (food, cleaning the house) something we will do it so we can go out and play. We also learn at a young ago that talking about feeling is not an exceptable thing. Therefore, we grow up and get into theses relationships and don't talk someone that we love them or we don't like that b/c of fear of disapproval or we plan out don't know how to express our feelings...

So to answer you question, I think it is a learned behavior.

doris


03/20/2012 03:46 PM
lken
lken  
Posts: 2827
VIP Member

so maybe carrying aggression thru years from been made fun up as a preteen, i could carry it to being aggressive in my high school years, sort of trade off, getting to the point, i went into marines, which is another helping hand with aggression, where it got serious, now i carried a rifle and weapons, then came back trying to deal with that aggression. in old high school setting. i had anger that was there, it blinded me sometimes, i am trying to make connection with ptsd and been rejected as a adolescent, could this be the original aggression?

i was numbing drinking and getting aggressive. then i woke up no more aggression and stopped drinking, it took a inner search and depression for year and a half, now i feel good and no anger, except once and while trigger. Cool

Post edited by: lken, at: 03/20/2012 03:51 PM


03/20/2012 05:08 PM
DorisAnn
DorisAnn  
Posts: 1638
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Hi Iken--

I totally understand were u r coming from..Not the Marine part but, I have had other things in my life happen and the same outcome.


03/21/2012 05:06 AM
writer7489
writer7489  
Posts: 1615
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I just realized I am passive aggressive. When someone angers me, I just can't tell them. Instead, I do it in other ways. :

03/21/2012 09:48 AM
DorisAnn
DorisAnn  
Posts: 1638
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Jessica--

Thanks for sharing that about yourself; that was very big of you to do so b/c most people are not willing to admit being passive aggressive. I was once very passive aggressive too...However, I am no long passive aggressive and I feel like I have been set free.

Theres always a chance to change a behavior.

Hugs

Dee


03/21/2012 05:01 PM
writer7489
writer7489  
Posts: 1615
Senior Member
I'm an Advocate

Tomorrow I meet with my therapist and I can't wait to tell her the rut I am in. I know on top of treating bipolar, we'll be working on a lot of my anxiety issues. Can passive aggressive traits start in anxiety?

03/21/2012 07:54 PM
DorisAnn
DorisAnn  
Posts: 1638
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Hey--

To answer your question being passive aggressive can being anixety on...Remember passive aggressive is not really dealing with your issues therefore, anixety starts.

Good Luck at therapy.

Hugs

Dee


08/07/2012 09:26 AM
lken
lken  
Posts: 2827
VIP Member

as i have been reading posts and such, and been labeled bipolar and ptsd, maybe it hiding another personality thing, i am sure i am very passive aggressive, i read the post you wrote here i have all the signs, like you say i must of used it at a very young age, i was working with my dad at a young age and just wanted go out and play, so i picked up a lot passive, do what they say to be in good with parents upfront. then take it out somewhere else. i had hard time dealing with anger issues and would stuff. anger is a shame guilt or any other thing which would make me angry. it is not anger it self.
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