Neil Warner

Neil Warner

Friday, May 2, 2014

More Pain than Fun? Are You Dealing with a Passive Aggressive Partner?

How to Identify Passive Aggression in your Life

Neil Warner

A Passive Aggressive Definition

  • Passive aggressive behavior is defined as the disguised aggression that results in negative behavior. It is a purposeful but sneaky way to express feelings of resistance and anger.
  • A passive aggressive person is unlikely to communicate displeasure openly, or say ‘No’ to a request outright. Instead, they may simply avoid more interaction with you, or try to evade the problem. They may ‘forget’ to complete a requested task, or deliberately stall or prevent something from happening, making excuses as to why it was not done.
  • They may also engage in behavior such as trying to turn the situation around to make them the ‘victim’, or blaming others for their own behavior. They may also stop doing positive behaviors they normally engage in, for example cleaning or making you a cup of coffee in the mornings.
  • Finally, if forced into the job or situation they do not wish to be in, a passive aggressive person may deliberately do a bad job, so as to frustrate so much the people who supervise him, and preventing them to give that task back to him.

Passive Aggressive Men

A relationship with a passive aggressive man can be very difficult to deal with.
He’s the type of guy who will avoid responsibility and conflict head on, choosing to withdraw or avoid or deny that there is a real conflict.
He may appear to go along with your plans, only to withhold something else later to ‘punish’ you for what you ‘made’ him do.
Passive aggressive men will usually do anything to avoid an argument. They may refuse to discuss an issue, or simply walk away.
Ever asked your husband or partner to do the washing, only to end up with a single red sock in with the whites? Perhaps he continually burns dinner, even though he knew how to cook when you were dating? This is classic behavior for a passive aggressive man, who will often continue to perform a task badly, rather than simply tell you they’d rather not be doing it in the first place.

How to Deal with A Passive Aggressive Man

When the passive aggressive person is very close to you, the situation can be especially difficult. You may be wondering how to deal with a passive aggressive husband or wife?
As with all passive aggressive people, it’s important to remember not to take their behavior personally. Given the intimacy of the relationship, doing so could quickly become very hurtful. Instead, remember that this is a behavior that has become ingrained over years, and can often be a coping mechanism for your partner.
For example, they may have grown up in a family where expressing negative opinions or emotions were frowned upon. Perhaps someone important in their early life had these traits themselves and this was all they learnt on how to handle disagreements or conflicts.
If your partner is passive aggressive, there are a number of steps you can take to limit the effect. If they give you the silent treatment for example, don’t push the original point, but also don’t ignore them entirely in return.
When you are ignored or brushed aside, you may find yourself reacting more strongly and harshly the more the behavior happens, to the point you find yourself screaming at your partner. Unfortunately, all this will achieve is to make the passive aggressive person withdraw further, and perhaps even give them a justification in their mind for this behavior.
Instead, try reacting calmly. Hear them out on any concerns, but do not take on board things you know aren’t true. Remember to express your own concerns, but resist the urge you will likely feel to be defensive.
It’s important to realize that the only thing you can do is let them know what their behavior is doing to the relationship. You cannot change a passive aggressive partner yourself. They must learn to see beyond their learned responses and see how they are hurting the ones they love.
Of course, you can always get support for yourself, and learn ways of protecting and healing your self from this relationship's damages.

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