Passive-aggressive people do passive-aggressive things. Until you say “NO!”, this pattern will continue!
Today a woman called the office to ask if there was any hope for her relationship because she really thinks the man she’s involved with is passive-aggressive. She also wanted to get her hands on a copy of my ebook, Stop! That’s Crazy-Making! How to Quit the Passive-Aggressive Game . Here was her big question:
“He planned a wonderful weekend for us and with me. Lots of energy. Lots of excitement. Then, he canceled it. Could that be passive-aggressive behavior?”
Sure, it could be. I have no way of knowing whether or not, in this case, it was. But, it is something that passive-aggressive people do.
Why? Because they will say whatever avoids conflict in the moment they are in. And, here’s the especially crazy-making part: they will say yes to doing something, or promising to do something, in this moment to avoid conflict, even though they know they have no intention of actually doing it. All that does is defer the conflict. Crazy-making!
HOWEVER, where the true passive-aggressive behavior comes in is, when s/he does not do what they said they would do, they somehow make it your fault. They leave you questioning your sanity, your sense of justice, and your self-esteem suffers!
She then asked if she should go along with his plan to re-book for another weekend. I said it was a good idea to do that. Why? Because she would see if the first time it was canceled was simply logistical and honest. If he cancels again, there is a pattern. If he goes the second time but is moody, complaining or lethargic, that is another passive-aggressive tactic. “I’m here, aren’t I?” So annoying!
Of course, I told her to take the free Passive-Aggressive Checklist online keeping him in mind as she did it. That will give her a much clearer understanding. And, if her scores warrant it, she will go on the second Checklist, which will give her further insights into this insidious behavior.
It’s so good that she called before she was in a committed relationship with this fellow! When dealing with passive-aggressive behaviors, you have to be the one who has strong boundaries and holds them, no matter what.
Passive-aggressive people hate your boundaries! They want the freedom to continue with their under-handed behavior. You expose it and say “NO!” to it, the relationship changes. So good she called before things go further.
She’s going to make an appointment online once she has taken the checklist. That way, I’ll be able to help her determine what she wants her best next steps to be. Wise woman![success] My free Passive-Aggressive Checklist will help you clearly identify whether or not the behavior that is crazy-making is, in fact, passive-aggressive.
Take the free IDENTIFYING PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR CHECKLIST. [/success]
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