Keep your Cool and Watch your Back

Passive -Aggression in a defense mechanism for dealing with anger and hostilities. At one time it was described as a personality disorder, but currently it doesn’t meet the standards. Sometimes it is completely intentional the passive-aggressive is aware and planning every move. Other times a person may not realize what the behavior is and it is unintentional. Either way it goes people tend to get hurt. Recognizing the passive-aggressor is the first step.

Some behaviors of a passive-aggressive person can include:

*may believe that the same rules do not apply to them
*often pouts when things don’t go their way
*gossips about others instead of heading the issue straight on
*ambiguity is something they do well, they are vague enough you may not know what was said
*claim to be protecting others
*has excuses for everything
*plays dumb to frustrate someone else or to gain advantage
*leaves out important information to give the wrong impression
*is generally two-faced
*controls the situation through emotional blackmail

Some find it comforting to know why someone may be a passive-aggressive person. In general:
*fear intimacy
*fear of dependency
*fear of competition

This doesn’t excuse the behavior, but it does help others understand.

Next comes the hardest news to accept, but we all know it’s true. No one else can not change another person, what can be changed is how to deal with the situation.

~Pick battles carefully
A passive-aggressive person can not be trusted to keep promises. It is a complete waste of time to think that “this” time they will be there to do what is expected. Always have a plan B. For example, Jayden promised that he would be up and take Tiffany to her doctor appointment. Tiffany can not be late, so when he chooses not to get up she needs an alternative plan. If this is one of the times Jayden decides to follow through, lavish him with praise and enjoy the moment.

~Confront the behavior
“I heard you tell Jim that I was involved in that argument at work and you know that is not true. Things you say affect other people. Please be truthful when you are speaking about me.” After it is said, then let it go. The situation has been addressed and moving on is in your best interest.

~Be a good example
Don’t get caught up in the drama. Walk away from behaviors that are truly passive-aggressive and let them know why you are leaving. “Feel free to come talk to me when you want to be kind, thoughtful and productive.”