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What Is Passive Aggressive Behavior?


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Question: What Is Passive Aggressive Behavior?

Passive Aggressive Behavior Explained:

What is passive aggressive behavior? A learned behavior that keeps a person from expressing anger in a healthy manner. The passive aggressive person is an angry, spiteful person who outwardly appears friendly, kind and caring.

If you are involved with a passive aggressive you will find yourself frustrated, like you’ve done something wrong that keeps the passive aggressive from being able to relate to you emotionally.

The most prevalent negative behavior a passive aggressive displays is withholding or withdrawing. They withdraw during conflict leaving you feeling as if you are responsible for solving all problems yourself.

The passive aggressive will withhold as a form of covert abuse. They can’t express anger so to punish they withhold something they think you want. It may be sex, chores around the house or conversation. Whatever it is, if they know you want or need it, they will make sure you don’t get it.

Marrying the Passive Aggressive Man:

Passive aggressive behavior is not gender specific but is more likely found in men. Since men are more likely to be passive aggressive women are more often the victims of the passive aggressive.

Women who are damaged emotionally are more likely to attract a man who is damaged emotionally. Women who are forgiving, love unconditionally, have low self-esteem are sitting ducks. The passive aggressive man will seek them out because no healthy woman would put up with the covert emotional abuse doled out by such men.

Becoming Passive Aggressive:

Passive Aggressives are raised in an environment in which the healthy expression of anger is discouraged. Martin Kantor suggests three areas that contribute to passive-aggressive anger in individuals: conflicts about dependency, control, and competition. If you don't learn healthy coping strategies and skills as a child how can you grow into an emotionally healthy adult?

Recovering From Passive Aggressive Behavior:

The passive aggressive has very little insight into their own behavior. Most of us can reflect upon and dissect why we behave the way we do. We can identify and change bad behaviors. The passive aggressive is not secure enough in himself/herself to do so. They do not see themselves as the one with a problem. They see themselves as the victim of others with problems.

Most passive aggressives are forced into therapy by a wife/husband who finally say, “enough is enough. You go to therapy or I’m out of here.” Some passive aggressives end up in therapy due to their discomfort over perceived wrongs done to them by others. Whatever the reason, intensive psychotherapy is the only hope of ever overcoming passive aggressive behavior.

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