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  • Writer's pictureLaura Sollis

5 clues, you maybe dealing with passive aggresive behaviour

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

Relationships whether friends, romantic, or work colleagues can be great, they can be supportive, a welcome break from the daily drudgery, an understanding ear when you need to vent, and a place where we can have fun and be silly.

But some relationships can be the opposite and these types of relationships don't feel so forgiving or supportive, in fact they can leave us feeling confused, lost, and continually questioning our judgment.

Have you ever been in a situation where it feels like someone just keeps having a dig, but you say to yourself " Nah! I'm just being paranoid!" "They didn't mean it that way, it is just me being silly!"

Chances are you aren't being paranoid and in fact what you may be experiencing is passive-aggressive behavior.

Coping with a passive-aggressive person can feel very confusing, you may start to question what you could have done to upset them, you may even try being extra nice or going the extra mile just to make up for what you "may" have done.

Passive aggression can look like.......

  • Sounding more aggressive in their tone of voice or snappy at times

  • They may be unduly critical of something you've said or done, or refer to something else being better in some way.

  • You may feel like the butt of their jokes

  • Sometimes they may joke about something that feels very personal and inappropriate.

  • You may find that they are over-friendly with others, leaving you with the feeling of it must be you to blame or feeling like an outcast.

So how can you protect yourself from this?

The first and most important thing to remember is, this is not about you!

If a person doesn't communicate their needs how do you know what they expect?

  • Offer them the space and opportunity to discuss what the problem may be, but be warned sometimes people won't admit to passive aggression and they may have no idea they are doing it.

  • Try not to judge them or berate them, this could lead to a game of verbal tennis, which will make it more difficult to find common ground.

  • Explain how you are experiencing them in the situation, they may not realize the full extent of what is happening themselves, encourage open communication in the future to avoid this sort of situation reoccurring.

  • If you have reached the point where this persons behavior feels too much to put up with, don't be afraid to walk away. Trying to continue a relationship with someone who is constantly doing this type of thing can take its toll.

Relationships of any kind have their ups and downs and sometimes we get into situations where we can feel swallowed up by the negatives, and suddenly we can't see the wood for the trees.

If your relationships are feeling like hard work then talking to a counsellor may help, learning new ways to talk to each other can help both of you feel valued and heard within a relationship.

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