of or denoting a type of behaviour or personality characterized by indirect resistance to the demands of others and an avoidance of direct confrontation.
Aka. The short, fat kid of anger.
In an era where we can’t determine our needs from our wants without a psychology session, where indecision is a given, and self awareness is truly lacking, passive aggressive behaviour has become dominant in our artillery of defence.
Why? Because we’re scared to be direct.
Passive aggressive behaviour ranges from the silent treatment to intentional ostracizing to offering backhanded or disingenuous compliments to someone that you’re jealous of. Unfortunately we are all are guilty of it from time to time. The circumstances that encourage us to default to ‘passive aggression’ vary in diversity. Shit goes wrong, feelings get hurt and intentions are misunderstood.
However, passive aggression slinks into the arena for one main reason:
Something is has happened that you do not like or agree with, and, you are too scared to directly communicate about how it makes you feel.
We’re faced with a multitude of uncontrollable situations throughout our lives and it’s how you deal with these circumstances that really tests and shapes your character. The trick is to remember that we can’t control everything in life, but we can control the way we react.
If a reaction is instantaneous and even involuntarily to a physical degree (throwing up, sweating, feeling nauseous) then there’s a high chance you've witnessed a purely emotional reaction. Emotions are important indicators and shouldn't be ignored, but they also shouldn't be blindly followed.
Passive aggressive behaviour gets further aggravated and destructive when we cannot communicate effectively and honestly; either because we’re fearful of the response, or that our feelings are invalid.
Falling prey to being passive aggressive is really easy but by developing greater self awareness and defining your values you can make make an effort to curb it. Commit to making a more concerted effort to be more articulate and openly communicative with the people in your life and you'll be one step closer to minimising passive aggressive behaviour.