Posts tagged passive aggressive

When Passive Aggressive Conflict Spirals

0

If you have ever become embroiled in a conflict with a passive aggressive person, you know firsthand how abruptly intense your own emotional response can be.  The Passive Aggressive Conflict Cycle explains how rational, straightforward, assertive adults can momentarily and unexpectedly depart from their typical personas and take on inappropriate, childlike, and unprofessional behaviors (Long, Long & Whitson, 2008). It describes and predicts the endless, repetitive cycles of conflict that occur when a passive aggressive individual succeeds in getting someone else to act out their anger for them.

In this article I recently posted on Psychology Today, I explain the psychology of the Passive Aggressive Conflict Cycle, so that adults disengage from destructive conflicts and choose relationship-building responses.

 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/passive-aggressive-diaries/201307/the-passive-aggressive-conflict-cycle

The Angry Smile: Recognizing and Responding to Your Child’s Passive Aggressive Behavior

0

Amber had been giving her mother the silent treatment all week. She was angry about not being allowed to sleep over at a friend’s house. Late Thursday night, she left a note on her mother’s pillow, asking her mom to wash her uniform before Friday’s soccer game. When Amber returned home from school on Friday in a rush to pack her gear, she looked all over for her uniform. She finally found it in the washer-perfectly clean, as per her request — but still soaking wet! Amber was late for her game and forced to ride the bench.

When all was un-said and done, Amber’s mother felt defeated. Having one-upped her daughter in the conflict, it was clear to her that she had lost by winning. As parents, most of us have been in situations where traveling the low road is irresistible and we become temporarily reckless in our driving. But anytime we mirror a child’s poor behavior instead of modeling a healthier way to behave, our victories add up to long-term relationship damage and lasting hostilities.

So, what could Amber’s mother have done differently in this hostile un-confrontation? What can any parent do to avoid the agony of victory and the defeat of healthy communication? The following guidelines offer parents strategies for maintaining their calm in a passive-aggressive storm and responding in ways that lay the groundwork for less conflictual relationships with their children and adolescents.

 

To read more, please click the link below or visit the original post, on the Huffington Post Parents section.

 


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/signe-whitson/passive-aggressive_b_1417245.html

Passive Aggressive Shopping: Husband vs. Wife

212

As we teach in The Angry Smile training, people are willing to go to great lengths to avoid expressing their anger directly…here’s a hilarious one for the passive aggressive files!

 

Girl Bully Meets Passive Aggressive Mom: Game On!

536

When I co-wrote The Angry Smile, I did not intend it to be a How-To book.  In fact, I know lots of ways to be assertive, direct, and emotionally honest with others.  But let’s face it, sometimes a situation calls for a little passive aggressive behavior

My 8-year old daughter has a frenemy.  She has known this un-friend–and experienced the girl’s on-again, off-again spitefulness–since they were in pre-school together.  The girl, in fact, is the subject of a previous article that I posted on Psychology Today back in 2010, entitled Sticks and Stones: A Little Girl’s First Experience with Bullying

Things haven’t changed much with this girl over the last four years.  At times she is delightful and I must credit her with having an uncanny knack for charming her peers and making them want to please her.  Even in her mean girl moments, she is so subtle and innocent-seeming (her extra-small stature seems to play into this) that I understand fully how she gets her covertly cruel jabs in before her targets even realize that they have been mistreated.

Unlucky for her, I study girl bullying, so I’m on to it.

My daughter is too–sort of.  On at least a dozen occasions this year, my third grader has come home from school with stories about how the frenemy mocked what she was wearing or teased her about something she had made in art.  As a spirited young upstander, my daughter is even more impassioned when she describes how the frenemy relentlessly bullies a classmate with special needs–and covers it up with a sugarcoated “Just kidding!” if an adult should overhear.

Being the therapist that I am, I always try to turn these conversations into opportunities for empathy and teachable moments about coping with mean behavior, reaching out to the bullied, and seeking out kind friendships.  So, yes, I am very conscientiously teaching my daughter all of the right things to do.  And above-the-radar, I do my best to be a great role model of kindness and assertive behavior.

Anyone who never acts undignified should stop reading at this point.  Seriously–if you are compelled to lecture for a bit of misbehavior, it’s time to click away.  Believe me, I don’t need you to tell me that my actions in the following situation were wrong.  I know it.  I chose it.  That’s right–like most passive aggressive people, I was aware of what I was doing and yes, I took a little pleasure in it.  That’s why I am bothering to tell you; it’s part soul-cleansing confession, part funny-what-a-Mama-bear (or Papa bear)-will-do-to-avenge-her-young.

So, simply put, I took my daughter and her frenemy to see a movie yesterday.  Before the film, I bought them each a box of candy–Skittles for my daughter and Sour Patch Kids for the un-friend.  Both thanked me graciously.  At the end of the movie, the frenemy approached me and said the roof of her mouth was “all scratched up” from the Sour Patch Kids.

Mission accomplished.

Perhaps it’ll be harder for her to use her mouth to say mean things now.

What?  At least I didn’t send her home with a box of super-sour Sweetarts to wash it all down.

 

 

 

Signe Whitson is the author of Friendship & Other Weapons: Group Activities to Help Young Girls Aged 5-11 to Cope with Bullying, in which she provides engaging activity and discussion ideas to help kids assertively (not passive aggressively!) respond to girl bullying.  For more information, please visit www.signewhitson.com, Follow her on Twitter @SigneWhitson, or Like her on Facebook.

Passive Aggressive Question Answerer

1101

My friend Amy just filled me in on this perfectly passive aggressive website: www.lmgtfy.com.  Have you heard of it?  I’d tell you about it, but it would ruin the laugh you’ll get by taking 2 minutes to check it out.  Suffice it to say we’ve probably all felt this way when faced with a person who finds it more convenient to bother us with their question than to just google it for themselves.  Enjoy!

Passive Aggressive Signs

A friend of mine just posted this photo of an actual sign taped to a light pole in his neighborhood.  How deliciously passive aggressive.  Must include this in my next Angry Smile training!

 

Recognizing & Responding to Your Daughter’s Passive Aggressive Behavior

877

Amber had been giving her mother the silent treatment all week. She was angry about not being allowed to sleep over at a friend’s house. Late Thursday night, she left a note on her mother’s pillow, asking her mom to wash her uniform before Friday’s soccer game. When Amber returned home from school on Friday, in a rush to pack her gear, she looked all over for her uniform. She finally found it in the washer-perfectly clean, as per her request-but still soaking wet! Amber was late for her game and forced to ride the bench.

 

When all was un-said and done, Amber’s mother felt defeated. Having one-upped her daughter in the conflict, it was clear to her that she had lost by winning. As parents, most of us have been in situations where traveling the low road is irresistible and we become temporarily reckless in our driving. But anytime we mirror a child’s poor behavior instead of modeling a healthier way to behave, our victories add up to long-term relationship damage and lasting hostilities.

 

To read the rest of this post and find guidelines for how parents can maintain their calm in a passive aggressive storm and respond in ways that lay the groundwork for less conflictual relationships with their daughters, please visit my blog on Psychology Today.

Fine! Whatever! 8 Passive Aggressive Phrases Everyone Should Know

809

Do you ever feel like you are riding on an emotional roller coaster with your child? Is your little one friendly and sweet one day, then sulky and withdrawn the next? Does your teenager consistently procrastinate, postpone, stall and shut down any emotionally-charged conversation? Do you, as a parent, ever resemble that same portrait? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are good that passive aggressive behavior has found a way into your home and family.

 

Check out my article in the Huffington Post Parents section to learn about eight of the most common passive aggressive phrases and to figure out if “sugarcoated hostility” exists in your home and family.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/signe-whitson/passive-aggressive-phrases_b_1116025.html

The Agony of Victory and the Defeat of Healthy Communication

855

Dealing with passive aggressive communication in your household?  Check out my post on Psychology Today:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/passive-aggressive-diaries/201110/the-agony-victory-and-the-defeat-healthy-communication

Training on How to Manage Passive Aggressive Behavior

1046

This November 18th, the New Hampshire Center for Effective Behavioral Interventions and Supports (NH CEBIS) will host a one-day training on The Angry Smile (see Workshops & Speaking Page for full details).

Do you live or work with someone who:

  • Denies or represses feelings of anger
  •  Withdraws and sulks
  • Sends hidden, coded and confusing messages when frustrated
  • Procrastinates or carries out tasks inefficiently
  • Is quietly manipulative and controlling
  • Makes endless promises to change
  • Creates a feeling in others of being on an emotional roller coater

This workshop takes an in-depth look at the roots of passive aggression, exploring the behavior at five distinct and (more…)

Go to Top