Posts tagged passive aggression in relationships
Taking public jabs at others while avoiding personal confrontation is a hallmark of passive aggressive behavior. For many, it is also becoming a new social norm as more and more of our interpersonal communication takes place online instead of face to face. Passive aggression is a deliberate but masked way of expressing feelings of anger (Long & Whitson, 2016). Through such actions as posting embarrassing photos on social media and purposeful inactions such as failing to stop the spread of online gossip, digital communication has become the perfect medium for sugarcoated hostility.
Please click here to read my full post on Psychology Today about a real-life incident of unchecked, online passive aggressive behavior that humiliated a student in a suburban middle school…and how one astute teacher effectively managed the situation.
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.
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…)
One of my favorite stories about passive aggressive behavior in a marriage goes like this:
“Cash, check or charge?” I asked, after folding the items the woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet, I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse. “So, do you always carry your TV remote?” I asked. “No,” she replied, “but my husband refused to go shopping with me and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.”
In relationships, passive aggressive behaviors are often used to avoid the direct confrontation of short-term conflict, but in the long-term, these dynamics can be even more destructive to marriage than outright aggression. To keep assertive communication