Musings

A Caveat: On Passive Aggressive behavior

ME_350_Passive-AggressiveFor someone who used to engage in this kind of behavior in my youth, I believe passive aggressiveness can be one of the most psychologically damaging habits if left unchecked.

Being passive aggressive can be a cop out from dealing with your feelings or your problems.  You do something halfway in the hopes of someone recognizing it to validate your feelings, as opposed to getting things off your chest.  Whether they validate them or not, your feelings are your own and if you validly feel wronged or have thoughts, say something! Healing is about you acknowledging your hurt…NOT THEM.

Pride and keeping things to yourself is something that is expected in African culture.  You didn’t talk about issues. That was a no-no.  So in my youth, I was so put off by saying the wrong thing or seeming affected that I used passive aggressiveness as a defense mechanism. Oftentimes, this prevented me from feeling the depth of my feelings and then moving on to be done with them. What happened instead was everything became so internal.  When you turn inwards like that, you detach yourself from properly processing human emotion thereby creating a disconnect because you’re constantly holding things in.

You don’t want to realize 10 years later that the reason you can’t trust people is because you refused to confront that one friend who was disloyal, or you have a strained relationship with a parent because you never felt comfortable talking to them; you probably just thought slamming a door would suffice.  Further, when you don’t deal, you seemingly blow up at little things when really it’s a truckload of stuff you’ve refused to process.  If you wait for people to validate that they hurt you, or recognize their wrongs, 9 times out of 10 you will be waiting FOREVER.  You prevent yourself from dealing and healing from past hurts by not confronting them.

What happens when a person doesn’t recognize why you might be ignoring them or doesn’t get mad if you ignore their call?  You turn even more inwards wondering why they don’t get it and then begin to doubt your reasons for feeling the way you do.  Also it creates this push pull energy that is just exhausting. Passive aggressive behavior can create a circle of distress. Stop doing it.

Now I’m not saying EVERY TIME you feel some type of way you must say something or acknowledge it.  Pick your battles.  However, if you go as far to do something half way, how about going all the damn way and be rid of it.

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3 thoughts on “A Caveat: On Passive Aggressive behavior

  1. I concur with ur views on the issue of passive aggressiveness. Trust me I can be a pro in being passive aggressive because that was how I was raised. In our culture it is considered a good trait, but in d long run it ain’t worth it. Keep blogging and I will keep responding, I like expressing my opinions.

  2. Yeah it really doesn’t result in much. The only person who would notice is the one who is truly invested in your behavior. Honestly speaking how many people does that include, and will they forever? I just worked on being more assertive in expressing my thoughts and sticking to decisions. Being passive aggressive I believe can affect your ability to just make a choice.

    Thanks for the feedback and keep them coming!

  3. My school of thought has always been “passive-aggressiveness is fuck shit.” Especially in the sense of social interaction: “Oh, there’s that human being I’ve been dying to communicate with but, I’ll just stand in their line of sight hoping they acknowledge me. Yeah, that’ll work. Because being a creep always works.”

    In fact, passive-aggressiveness is what leads to the perception that you’re feeble minded and unsure of your own positioning on issues or topics. In the event I feel the need to challenge someone, I either do or don’t. There is no safe-play middle ground for me to interact with in that scenario.

    Your “push pull energy” theory is spot on. That’s a scientific fact (editor’s note: I have no empirical evidence to prove that it is indeed, “a scientific fact”). More importantly, being aggressive in scenarios doesn’t always have to be overbearing. There are the proverbial “levels to this shit.”

    I always encourage people to follow their convictions all the way through, instead of swerving at the last second. It’s ok to drive that Jeep into the tree, we were all born crash dummies anyway.

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