Passive Aggressiveness: Why We Do it and How to Stop – Talkspace Online Therapy Blog

via Passive Aggressiveness: Why We Do it and How to Stop – Talkspace Online Therapy Blog

Flamingos fighting

You’re having a conversation at a party. It sounds normal enough, but something doesn’t feel right, although you can’t quite put your finger on what. You recognize that your friend is telling you something without telling you something — “I normally don’t like the way you dress, but that dress looks great on you!” she says.

Ouch. It hits you: She’s being passive aggressive.

Passive-aggressive behavior is a way of expressing anger in a seemingly non-hostile way — a deliberate and masked way of expressing covert feelings. It’s a behavior that encompasses more than just eye rolls and faux compliments; it involves a range of actions designed to get back at another person without him or her recognizing the underlying anger.

What Makes People Passive Aggressive?

Passive-aggressive behavior, while expressed in many different ways (sarcasm, the silent treatment, running late, to name a few), has the same roots: There is an underlying fear and avoidance of direct conflict, yet a feeling of powerlessness and helplessness.

There can be a number of reasons for the cause of the behavior. One is from a fear of anger. Most of us learn when growing up that it is bad to express anger inappropriately. The passive aggressive person has learned that expressing anger in any way is bad and that he or she is bad for feeling anger.

Another reason is based on upbringing. Children who are raised by overly controlling parents, in an environment where self-expression is not permitted, are forced to learn other ways to express feelings of anger and hostility. Since they are dependent upon their parents, they risk punishment if they don’t do as their parents say. Therefore, they lash out at their parents covertly and maintain that behavior into adulthood.

There are many other biological and environmental factors that can contribute to the development of passive aggressive behavior. A few of these include:

How to Stop Your Passive Aggressive Behavior

Whether you find yourself in a relationship with someone who displays their anger in a passive-aggressive manner, or you recognize such behavior patterns within yourself, consider eliminating this communication style in order to relate to others in a healthier, more effective way..
Learn to recognize the behavior, check your perceptions, confront it, and create a safe space to communicate in more assertive ways.

1. Recognize your behavior

The best way to nip passive aggressive behavior in the bud is to become aware of when you’re reacting in a passive aggressive way.

2. Understand why your behavior should be changed

It’s important to realize that passive-aggression is not less aggressive simply because it’s passive. Essentially, passive-aggression is an indirect form of aggression — not necessarily a milder form of aggression.

3. Give yourself time

Recognizing your own behaviors and understanding them is a good first step toward change, but altering your patterns and reactions can take some time.

4. Realize it’s OK to be angry

You can still be a positive person and feel emotions we typically label as negative. And you can be a loving friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, mother, father, son, or daughter while feeling anger in response to something the other person has done.

5. Be assertive, not aggressive

State facts clearly and be clear about your opinions. Let the person know the impact of her behavior in clear statements.

6. Be open to confrontation

While directing expressing your needs can lead to potential confrontation, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Keep in mind that confrontation can be direct and respectful — even if positivity isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of it.

Believe in Yourself

Avoiding the slide into passive aggressiveness requires closing the gap between anger and silence — either by dissipating anger or breaking the silence. The more you believe that you have the right to express your wants and needs, the less likely you are to fear being swayed by others’ opinions or rejected for voicing what you want. And the less you fear those things, the more direct you’re likely to be.

It’s a long, often difficult journey, but as a first step, practice listening to what you want and giving it to yourself. If you begin to treat your desires as important and valid and experience how good that feels, you’ll start to believe that you deserve similar treatment from other people.

I’m Out! – A Didactic Cinquain by Jay

I’m Out! – A Didactic Cinquain

by Jay

I’m Out!
Spiffing, weirdo
Snapping, walloping shock, humungous banging
Such feelings of pain
Out Cold

Jay’s Quick Poetry-The Sharp And Grand Rock

Short story that inspired me to write a Quick Poem below

Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls — family, health, friends, integrity — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. And once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will have the beginnings of balance in your life.

The Sharp And Grand Rock

A Poem by Jay Parkhe

Whose rock is that? I think I know.
Its owner is quite angry though.
He was cross like a dark potato.
I watch him pace. I cry A’llo.

He gives his rock a shake,
And screams you’ve made a bad mistake.
The only other sound’s the break,
Of distant glasses and bars awake.

The Rock is sharp, Grand and deep,
But he has promises to keep,
Tormented with nightbirds he never sleeps.
Revenge is a promise a man must keep.

He rises from his flat bed,
With thoughts of violence in his head,
A flash of rage and he sees red.
Without a men-O-pause you turned and fled.

With thanks to the poet, Robert Frost, for the underlying structure

Here’s how to get what you want from difficult people | Ladders

Photo: trialsanderrors via Flickr
Here’s how to get what you want from difficult people
By Nicole Gravagna
Jul 17, 2018





How do I get what I want from difficult people?

To deal with difficult people, first recognize that difficult people are simply people who don’t feel safe.

Psychological safety is a technical-sounding term that is getting thrown around a lot recently. Google discovered that psychological safety was the one thing that was present in productive teams. When psychological safety wasn’t present, teams weren’t nearly as productive.

When you experience psychological safety, you are able to relax. You can stop watching your back. You can be creative and invest your energy freely because you know that you aren’t going to regret it.

When we say that a person is a “difficult person” what we really mean is that this person isn’t relaxed and investing themselves freely. That person is fighting, shoving their way through their work, and generally causing a challenge for everyone around them.

First, let’s identify a few types of difficult people. Then, we can uncover how those people are missing the relaxed-productivity of psychological safety. Finally, I’ll give you some hints on how to deal with them productively.

Here are a few examples of difficult people you might recognize.

Robin is the 20-year veteran office manager of a logistics company. She has conflicts with most of the new employees when they don’t follow her very specific instructions on office protocols. There are signs all over the office with instructions on how to use various filing cabinets, computer systems, and conference phones. Employees routinely get a lecture from Robin if they fail to follow her rules.
Tim is an aggressive boss. His employees know that when things don’t go his way, he will raise his voice and use name-calling as a strategy to solve the problem. People usually give him what he wants because they want him to stop his aggressive behaviors.
Anna acts swiftly. She’s so fast at problem solving that she often solves problems without discussing the problem with her team. Although this behavior sounds productive at first, her fast action often undermines her coworkers who are already working on the problem.
It’s easy to see how each of these difficult people is causing a lack of psychological safety in the office. Robin is nitpicking; Tim is shouting; and Anna is undermining. But look closer. They are each doing these behaviors because they themselves don’t feel a sense of psychological safety.

Robin is worried that she’ll look bad if the office isn’t tip-top. Tim is worried that he’ll fail as a boss if he doesn’t get his way. Anna is worried that she’ll miss an opportunity to heroically solve a problem. None of them are aware that their behaviors are weighing so heavily on others because each one of them is desperately trying to do the only thing they know how to do.

So, what can you do to ease their tension and increase your chances of having a productive working relationship with them? Ironically, you can tell them they are doing a good job.

You see, difficult people are caught in an extreme feedback loop. They are desperate to do a good job, but they don’t check in with their coworkers to see how their efforts are being received. They become desperate to get positive feedback so they do more of the same efforts towards doing a good job.

From the outside, these people seem unreasonably stubborn and uncharitable. From the inside, these people feel diligent and hardworking.

To work with difficult people, genuinely find something you believe they do well, then tell them so. Become the person who gives them the honest positive feedback they so desperately crave. Align with them and then don’t be afraid to ask specifically for what you need from them. Difficult people are powerful people. It takes a lot of power to be difficult. Once you get on the same page with these folks, you can move mountains together.

This article first appeared on Quora.

via Here’s how to get what you want from difficult people | Ladders