Dealing With Passive Aggressive People
In reality, we probably all are experts on the useless personality trait of passive aggressiveness. We have entered into relationships that have drained us, demeaned us, and left us questioning our sanity. Relationships with passive aggressive people do not start with a disclaimer that the other person has an undesirable personality trait.
Most of us probably did not even know that is what we were in until it was too late. Perhaps we entered into a relationship with the utmost sincerity. We gave our all and then gave some more without receiving anything of sustenance and substance. At which point most of us got angry and tried to remove ourselves from the situation.
Only to be cozied up to, apologized to and cajoled right back into the lovely cycle. It is unfortunate for those of us who have had to deal with the aftermath of our feelings once freed from the passive aggressive relationship. It is a hard but necessary lesson to have to turn to serious introspection to see how we got ourselves into our heartbroken state. I call this the "let's see just how guilty I am" phase.
Most of us (if we are lucky enough) eventually remove ourselves from relationships with passive aggressive persons. Most likely, it takes a fair amount of time to realize just what type of relationship we need to remove ourselves. When the realization comes that we just went to the fair and rode only one ride the entire time, and it was the one full of smoke and mirrors, we tend to blame ourselves for not finding the exit in time.
Well, that is the kicker about passive aggressive people. They are hard to identify, and when we do, it is usually too late. We have already been burned, lied to, manipulated, forgotten about, mistreated, ignored, only to end up resenting ourselves. Yes, I did dare say it! We blame ourselves, what irony! We wonder to ourselves how we let this happen. Did he not say he loved me? Forever? Did he not just call and say he wanted to get together? Yeah, he did, and no, you did not. Get together that is. Then somehow, because you got mad, it is your entire fault. Because of you, his plans did not turn out. It was because of you, you were too pushy, and you would not let it go. Does any of this sound familiar? You and I both know, it was not because you were "being pushy," you just wanted to know when, where, what time. Oh my, the audacity you exhibited. Why, honey, it is your fault, if you just would not of... (Insert whatever it is, that YOU did).
The thing is, it is never going to be about them, or it is always about them. See the conundrum? That sums up a passive aggressive person. Be it man or woman. When I mentioned before that it is usually too late for the receiver of these lovely behaviors. That is the other kicker they know how to manipulate.Remember? Falling in love is not a problem; they are charismatic, adoring, complimentary, and attentive. They are all of these things, but they control to what degree. They give you just enough, that little kernel of truth and eventually you will find yourself holding onto that kernel as if it is the Rock of Gibraltar.
Alright, so we know how they behave and honestly, who cares about the why of it all. The real question is how do we deal with them? You do not. It is that simple, and it is not that simple. If you recognize the behaviors (and the only way to do this, is to have already had a lovely experience with a passive aggressive person), then you should know to walk away. I realize that is not so easy.
You might be in a situation that requires you to deal with this person every day. Your boss, teacher, colleague are not the easiest to just not deal with. You have to. If you are in a relationship of any kind, what you must realize first is that you cannot believe what they say. You must understand as well, that if you attempt to, you damn well better be the worlds finest of truth hunters. Arming yourself with every tool at your disposal. These tools can be anything. For example, you are required to have a talk with your boss. Before doing so, picture yourself protected. The space around you is impenetrable. Breathe deeply and slowly. Always keeping in the back of your mind that when your meeting is over, nothing has changed. Your values are still the same. It is not your fault that the boss is unhappy. The boss is always unhappy. Are you following my lead here?
The passive aggressive person is usually unhappy. They will never admit to it, but they want someone to blame. They want someone to feel worse than they do. In step you, or me. Remember that protected space we just talked about? The passive aggressive person lives there. They are always protected because to have really to feel their feelings would be too painful. It is easier to stay guarded, to manipulate, and remain at a distance than to have an open relationship filled with rich communication.
In the real world, we come across these personality types quite a bit. So of course, we have to deal with them. It is really up to you to decide how much effort you want to put forth to surpass the smoke and mirrors. It takes a person of strong self-worth who has learned from experience to engage in any relationship with a passive aggressive person. Even then, it is unfortunate, but one must keep their guard up.