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Passive-Aggressive Behavior: Why Do You Tolerate It?

Passive-aggressive behavior is crazy-making.

You know--especially if you've been reading this blog for a while--that to end passive-aggressive behavior you need to have strong boundaries.

So why do you continue to tolerate passive-aggressive behavior?

It takes two to be passive-aggressive you know.
A person cannot play that game alone! 

So, why do you play? 

  1. Do you think the PA person will change with the passage of time?
    NEWS FLASH: S/he won't. You are likely the one doing the changing as you learn to create intricate paths around the PA behavior to avoid a fight or your own frustration.
  2. Do you think the PA person will change because you want them to?
    NO, s/he won't. The very fact that they have your attention is a win to them, keeping you engaged with them.
  3. Do you think they will stop procrastinating and "forgetting"?
    Now, why would they do that when it upsets you so frequently.
  4. Do you think s/he will stop sulking, withdrawing, withholding or turning the cold shoulder your way?
    No, s/he won't, if you don't express and hold boundaries that make it abundantly clear how you expect to be treated if s/he wants  to stay in relationship with you.
  5. Do you think s/he will stop "hooking" you into being angry?
    That won't happen, because the passive-aggressive person displays hidden anger and love it when s/he can push your buttons and have your anger show itself.
  6. Do you think you deserve to be treated disrespectfully?
    Could be. What's up with that for you?
  7. Do you think you deserve to be the lucky recipient of someone else's unwillingness to face his or her own anger?
    Could be that there is a part of you that thinks you deserve to be treated poorly, and that the passive-aggressive person is actually accurate as they point out your inadequacies. (If that's true for you, I invite you to engage with a therapist as no one deserve this!)
  8. Are you joining in the denial that there is no problem here? Or, continuously making excuses for another person's passive-aggressive behavior?
    Remember, if you are not part of the solution, you're part of the problem!

So, why are you tolerating passive-aggressive behavior? Start there. Discover that answer before you take on the task of stepping up to that passive-aggressive behavior and saying "No more!" You need to be on solid ground within yourself so your boundaries are clarified and you understand exactly what is OK with you and what is not. That's not a task to undertake when you are fuming from yet another passive-aggressive attack!

Tolerating is tacit approval. You are 100% responsible for treating other people how to treat you. Is it time to give up tolerating unacceptable behavior?

[success]Need more insights into these crazy-making behaviors?

Take the free PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE CHECKLISTS now.[/success]

If you're ready to learn why, learn how and get the support you need to take the next steps, let's talk. Your life is too precious to tolerate unnecessary hurt and frustration. Don't waste another minute without the insights and support you need to have healthier relationships.

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Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, The Relationship Help Doctor, works with individuals, couples and families in person, by phone and through Zoom® video.    Get the support, skills, strategies and solutions you need to have the relationship you want now.  To make an appointment online or join a class, get more information by CLICKING HERE

Disclaimer: All advice, insights and suggestions made here are not to be construed as psychological or legal advice. Any actions you undertake as a result of reading any article, book, video, ebook or blog post from Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, are entirely your own. Having worked with individuals and couples for more than twenty-five years, she offers her insights and opinions for your consideration only.

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