How To Recognize Passive Aggressive Behavior In Your Partner
- Are you on an emotional roller coaster ride with someone in your life?
- Do you know a person who is friendly one day but withdraws the next?
- Does this person consistently avoid any emotionally-intense conversations?
- Are you sometimes that person?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are you may be dealing with a passive aggressive person or showing signs of passive-aggressive behavior yourself. Both men and women resort to passive-aggressive behavior and often don’t realize it. It’s a way we’ve been taught to deal with uncomfortable feelings. Often the feeling is anger or frustration.
Most of us were told that being angry and upset is bad. That’s why we learned how to cleverly mask it. Yes, cleverly. Instead of being connected to our feelings and being upfront and candid with others, we resort to behaviors that are disruptive to healthy relating. Often not doing it on purpose. It’s just that we don’t know how to give our feelings a voice and process our emotions.
Knowing How To Recognize
Passive Aggressive Behavior Is Important
Passive aggressive behavior does not support healthy connections. That’s why it is crucially important to know how to recognize passive aggressive behavior both in yourself and in others.
Notice if any of these behaviors are yours. Don’t beat yourself up about it. I want you to know it’s not your fault. These behaviors have been passed down generation after generation.
But… knowledge is power. Read these 8 examples and see if you can become more aware of your behavior.
Many of us do these behaviors simply because we haven’t been shown how to deal with uncomfortable feelings. Knowing how to recognize passive aggressive behavior isn’t always easy because these behaviors are so common in our society and in our relationships. It takes effort and awareness to free yourself from this destructive relationship behavior.
But ultimately it’s about tapping into our feminine side. Yes, everyone. All Sexes. Because expressing our healthy feminine side makes communicating easier. Good communication requires slowing down and being receptive. It requires tuning into yourself. Something most of us don’t do. We react or shutdown without accessing our deeper wisdom.
With all of that said. Here are 8 examples of passive aggressive behavior. See if you recognize any of these behaviors in yourself or others.
8 Examples of How to Recognize
Passive Aggressive Behavior
1. “I’m not mad.”
Denying feelings of anger is classic passive-aggressive behavior. Rather than being upfront and honest when questioned about their feelings, the passive aggressive person insists, “I’m not mad” even when he or she is seething on the inside.
2. “Fine.” “Whatever.”
Pouting and withdrawing from arguments are common strategies of the passive-aggressive person. Passive aggressive behavior comes from a person’s belief that expressing anger directly will only make things worse. The passive aggressive person uses phrases like “Fine” and “Whatever” to express anger indirectly instead of communicating in a direct and emotionally honest way.
3. “I’ll do that later today.”
Passive aggressive people are known for verbally complying with a request, but behaviorally delaying its completion or not doing it at all. Their actions speak louder than their words.
4. “I didn’t know you meant now.”
Passive aggressive people are master procrastinators. It’s normal to put off unpleasant tasks but people with passive aggressive personalities rely on procrastination as a way of frustrating others and/or getting out of certain commitments without having to directly refuse them.
5. “You just want everything to be perfect.”
Another passive-aggressive strategy is to carry out tasks in a timely, but unacceptable manner. For example, a child who is asked to make their bed and does it halfway. Or a husband who usually doesn’t help with housework and when he does he doesn’t do it thoroughly.
The passive aggressive person complies with a particular request but intentionally is inefficient. When confronted, he or she defends the work and accuses the other of being a perfectionist.
6. “I thought you knew.”
Passive aggressive people may express their anger covertly by choosing not to share information when it could prevent a problem. By claiming ignorance, the person defends inaction, while taking pleasure in seeing another’s plight.
7. “I was only joking”
Like backhanded compliments, sarcasm is a common tool of a passive aggressive person who expresses hostility aloud, but in socially acceptable, indirect ways. If you show that you are offended by the sarcasm, the hostile joke teller plays up their role as victim, asking, “Can’t you take a joke?”
8. “Why are you getting so upset?”
The passive aggressive person is a master at maintaining calm and showing surprise when others, worn down by their indirect hostility, blow up in anger. In fact, the person gets pleasure from setting others up to lose their cool and then questioning their “overreactions.”
I hope this was eye-opening for you. And that it will help you to know how to recognize passive aggressive behavior when it shows up in your life. Learning to communicate with direct clear communication instead of unhealthy behaviors will enhance your relationships.