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 Is your little one friendly and sweet one day, then sulky and withdrawn the next?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.
From the time they are toddlers, children are often coaxed by adults to hide their feelings of anger behind a social smile. Worse yet, kids hear the explicit message, “Don’t be angry,” and are actively encouraged to deny this most basic of human emotions. When they act out—either through the tantrums of their earliest years or the rebellion of their teenage ones—they are reprimanded for all of the behaviors that adults do not want them to use.
Rather that hammering away at all of the things kids should not do when it comes to expressing their anger, parents and caregivers can effect lasting change in their kids anger-inspired behaviors by teaching them specific skills for how to be (more…)
Next week, I am doing a training based on The Angry Smile for a group of professionals and parents in Newfoundland, CA. As I am going through my material, I couldn’t help but to dig back in the Modern Family archives and pick out this most classic example of passive aggressive behavior between Claire and her daughter. This is the show that keeps on giving.
Dealing with passive aggressive communication in your household? Check out my post on Psychology Today:
It’s one thing to write about helping kids make smart choices when it comes to expressing anger — it’s another thing to watch an emotional situation play out right before your eyes and hope that your own child will make a good decision! Last weekend, I took my daughter and her friend to a pizza-n-games type of place. For them, making time for the delicious pizza buffet is like “having” to eat their veggies before they can enjoy dessert; wobbly crane machines and spinning prize wheels are the true delight of the restaurant. (more…)
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…)
I’ve got a busy Fall planned, with several training workshops featuring The Angry Smile. Although I’ve got a good number of stories about sugarcoated hostility, excessive civility, defiant compliance, and plain old passive aggressive behavior to share, I am always looking for fresh, new examples. If you have a good example of passive aggressive behavior from a friend, family member, co-worker, parent, child, mother-in-law (those are the best!), boss, on Facebook, via e-mail, on a post-it note, or all of the above, I would love to hear it!
Please e-mail me your story to Signe@SigneWhitson.com or better yet, leave it here via the Comments section. Be sure to leave me your e-mail address; I will be sending a free copy of The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools, and Workplaces, 2nd ed. to the best example I receive.
Spread the word. It’ll be great for my collection of real-life examples of passive aggressive behavior and probably worth several laughs for you as well, as you hear about the hilarious lengths some people go to avoid expressing their anger directly and assertively.
PLEASE NOTE: By submitting this story to www.signewhitson.com, you grant Signe Whitson a permanent, royalty-free license to use and/or reproduce this story for any purpose.
Backhanded Compliments and Sugarcoated Hostility: How to Recognize the 10 Common Passive Aggressive Phrases581
Is there someone in your life who consistently makes you feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster? Do you know a person who is friendly one day but sulks and withdraws the next? Does a family member or friend consistently procrastinate, postpone, stall, and shut down any emotionally-laden conversations? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are you may be interacting with a passive aggressive person. (more…)
Please check out my article, featured on Daughters.com. The post offers insight into the intentionally maddening world of passive aggressive behavior and tips for how parents can cope with–and effectively change–this pattern of behavior.
I wrote it specifically for professionals and parents to help kids learn that having angry feelings does not make you bad; it makes you human. Learning how to effectively cope with and express those feelings in ways that enhance–rather than damage–relationships is the key.
How to Be Angry is packed with discussion-starters, games, and kid-friendly activites to help young people learn how to express their anger in assertive, relationship-building ways. It features two chapters on standing up to bullies, as well as tips on disagreeing without arguing, making and refusing requests, and responding to others’ anger.
I hope you enjoy it…check back and let me know what you think!