Passive and passive-aggressive behaviors in a relationship are crazy-making, and it often requires some relationship advice to see and solve the issues.
I just wanted to scream but, the office isn’t the place for that. Why did I want to scream? Because here’s the question I was just asked:
“And that file I need would be where?”
What am amazingly passive way to be! If you want me to get the file for you, ask me to get the file for you. If you want me to tell you where the file is–which he clearly didn’t because I told him and he didn’t move, ask me to get the file for you. This insipid, passive way of getting a need met is infuriating to me. How about to you?
It is possible to be kindly direct. It may take a little practice to be assertive, but there is no need to be passive.
It’s really not all that hard to be direct in a relationship. It simply means using the words, “please” and “thank you”, along with a direct request. State the request clearly stated so there is no ambiguity as to how to meet the need. It’s such a simple thing. If I had heard:
“Could you please get that file for me now?”
No problem. The answer I could give was “yes” or “no.” Simple. You know what you want. You ask me to give it to you. I agree or disagree.
You can be assertive. No need to be aggressive, either. But, there is no need to be passively indirect. It damages relationships. Are you guilty? Does this remind you of someone?
© Rhoberta Shaler, PhD
The Relationship Help Doctor
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.