Passive Aggression: How to Deal With Such a Behavior


Everyone is familiar with anger, anger, resentment – those strong emotions that arise when we don’t get what we want, when we feel resentment. Broken dishes, loud swearing, and sometimes physical abuse. Often such experiences are expressed in a specific, implicit form.

The latent form of hostility is an indirect, veiled way of confrontation. Manifestation of negativity is justified, as it is a natural reaction to the impossibility to receive what we want. However, open forms of anger are most often either forbidden or morally reprehensible. So, people with certain psychological peculiarities mask destructive feelings.

Causes and Types of the Phenomenon

Passive aggression, being present to some extent in the life of many people, will disrupt the usual course of things, spoil relations with others (no matter whether it is a labor collective or a close circle of relatives). Why does it appear?

Quiet, sometimes even silent way of confrontation is laid in childhood, when the child is urged to suppress unwanted feelings and behave properly. Often this upbringing was reinforced by punishment. As a result, growing up, a person learned to express negative impulses in the form of socially acceptable behavior. But their essence did not change.

Besides, it is possible to allocate the fear of direct conflict and fear to spoil existing relations, circumstances of communication which don’t allow expressing anger, a peculiar mechanism of psychological defense, with the help of which it is easier to express anger.

How is this kind of aggression expressed in everyday communication? Here are some vivid examples:

  • Mockery, sarcastic and sarcastic jokes – reduction of the importance of the interlocutor’s experiences and thoughts, an attempt to expose his life situation as worthless and not worthy of attention.
  • Violation of personal boundaries – a desire to interfere in everyday life and daily routine to teach to do everything correctly. It’s a characteristic of parents imposing their model of behavior on a young family. An example of such behavior is when a person says you that you should never gamble at CasinoChan because they think that’s wrong. 
  • Silence is one of the common types of silent violence. When asked by a partner or loved one what is wrong, there is no response other than pouted lips and crossed arms.
  • Comparison. The abuser does not fail to mention that the other person is doing better than you: the other is prettier, smarter, more successful.
  • Gaslighting is a specific method of influence, the essence of which boils down to creating doubts in the victim’s own perception of reality: “I never said that,” “You imagined it,” “You never were and never could be!”
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This is an incomplete list of the methods of influence to which the manipulator resorts. It is easy to understand that communication with a toxic attitude is difficult, and sometimes fraught with a deterioration of the psychological state.

Anger Management

If you notice a similar attitude towards yourself, you can follow a few simple rules:

  • Be open and express your position directly. Try to express your dissatisfaction with a specific episode or phrase that has hurt you. The same is true for “jokes,” which are often used by people who express anger in an implicit way.
  • Stay calm and don’t lash out with reciprocal hostility. First, accusations will only exacerbate the conflict and make it more difficult to resolve. Secondly, it can hit a sore spot of the opponent, and as a result, it will only close more from you.
  • Do not ignore such destructive actions. If you let things drift away, in the long run they will begin to recur more often and create more and more tension.
  • Try to determine the reasons for such behaviour on the part of a loved one. They are always there, and by understanding the origins, it will be easier to work with the situation.
  • If you yourself are the source of such attitudes towards others, a good solution would be to understand their own personality.
  • Analyze your life. Disgruntled feelings, complexes, repressed emotions, accumulated stress – all this is a source of passive-aggressive position in relation to the world. To improve the depth and quality of communication, it is important to understand the causes of dysfunction. 
  • Try to express your experiences, thoughts, desires directly. Open conversation is much more effective than the underlying manipulation. So you learn to solve problems in a positive way.
  • Develop a mature attitude. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions, and recognize the importance and significance of others.
  • De-stress. Find a way to release stress effectively. Sports, creativity, walks, sleep – in short, anything that helps to improve your inner state.

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