Those who are passive aggressive can be extremely frustrating, as what their sly tactics will do, is attempt to manipulate you behind your back. Once you confront them, they will plead innocence, all while pretending to be nice. Relationships become entangled, frayed, as the end result is usually a loss of trust or communication.
It’s a premeditated act of deliberation, a masked form of suppressed feelings, rather than expressing what they truly think. This occurs when they want something, or when they’re angry or upset.
These actions stems from their insecurity, as they’re not brave enough to directly ask you face-to-face, what they want. This type of behavior occurs, in all walks of life, at every socioeconomic level.
Can Become Frustrating
Passive aggression is considered a dysfunctional behavior, as well as a habitual response. Once it occurs, it can have a damaging destructive effect on relationships, families, as well as the workplace.
One of the biggest reasons this behavior exists, is because it’s convenient, and easy to use. Not everyone who chooses to be manipulative, however, is considered to be passive aggressive.
A husband, for instance, who’s usually direct, communicates honestly and openly with his spouse, may on occasion make up excuses, when he’s asked to do something such as fix a leaky faucet.
He isn’t being passive aggressive in the classic sense, but on this particular day, he wants to relax and watch football, and not have an argument with his wife. So instead, he chooses to be passive aggressive as a convenient out.
It’s A Trap So Never Get Angry
Getting angry is convenient, it’s a natural human response when tempers begin to flare, which is a common reaction. As children, what we’ve been told, is that getting angry is a “no-no,” this since it displays bad behavior.
As we grow older, as our minds begin to mature emotionally, as we become susceptible and mindful to social pressure, we react to how our parents and teachers told us how to behave.
What we learned, is that we should behave well, that we should keep our composure, this especially once getting upset. That what we need to do, is mask and hide our true feelings.
By the time we’re full-blown adults, we’re conditioned not to express our feelings openly to others. But realize, that these emotions that we feel never goes away, so as a result, we begin to exhibit passive aggressive behavior.
What we then do, is find ways to express this bottled up emotion in different ways. Manipulative ways which are more hidden, than throwing a temper tantrum. The end results however, are usually just as damaging.
Why Passive Aggression Is Easier Than Being Assertive
What we’re taught, are certain social skills which are infused into our formal education. We’re taught to use “soft” skills, such as relationship management and being assertive.
For those children who aren’t able to properly communicate their feelings, this in a direct honest way, then becoming assertive is a skill they need to learn, this by practicing repetition.
It’s realized, that those who displays passive aggressive behavior, such as withdrawing emotionally or sulking, it’s more of a sign of immaturity. This because their emotional expressions, aren’t properly refined.
Passive Aggression Can Be Rationalized Easier
Say that one of your children, doesn’t feel like cleaning up their room. When you insist, they pout, procrastinate, and then get upset. They ultimately end up shoving all their messy possessions under the bed, or inside the closet.
You then become irritated by their behavior, you become exasperated as you see their dirty clothes peeking out of the closet. Then they begin to passively manipulate you.
“Nothing is ever good enough for you mom,” they cry. What your child is doing, is rationalizing their defiant behavior by casting themselves as being the victim, blaming you as being unreasonable.
Often Used As Revenge
What passive aggression involves, are a variety of behaviors which are usually designed, to “get back” at someone, this without the other not immediately recognizing the underlying reasons, for their actions.
An employee feels that he’s overworked, underpaid, and under acknowledged when doing his job. Becoming frustrated, he then phones in sick two consecutive days in a row.
The absence, results in missing a key deadline which as a result deters the departments productivity, which then reflects poorly on the supervisor.
The supervisor as a result, is then overlooked for a promotion. The purpose of the employee’s passive aggressive behavior, is accomplished.
Passive Aggressive Can Be A Powerful Tool
Passive aggressive behavior, is denying the feelings of anger, withdrawing oneself from direct communication, casting themselves as the victim, or sabotaging the success of others. These are the residual effects, forcing the recipients into an emotional roller coaster ride.
Through intentional procrastination, exacting revenge, allowing problems to escalate, what the passive aggressive individual accomplishes, is their target to react back in anger, or frustration towards them.
This ability of being able to manipulate someone’s emotional response, makes the passive aggressive person feel more superior, thinking that they’re in charge. They think, that they’re the puppet master who controls the behavior of others.
The Purpose Of Being Passive Aggressive
In the short term, for those who displays passive aggressive behavior, doing so can often be more convenient, than confronting the problem itself. Doing so usually needs less skill, than being assertive.
They’ll exact their revenge, by giving plausible excuses so they can go shopping or watch TV all day, this instead of completing a list of chores that they need to do.
But ultimately, although it can be satisfying momentarily or be briefly convenient, in the long run, passive aggressive behavior, is more often destructive to relationships.
Over time, passive aggressive exchanges can become strained, destructive, frustrating, and dysfunctional. This since their sole ulterior motive, is to manipulate or create drama, for their advantage.