1 passive-aggressive definition
:being, marked by, or displaying behavior characterized by expression of negative feelings, resentment, and aggression in an unassertive way (as through procrastination, stubbornness, and unwillingness to communicate) <A< span>passive-aggressive personality>
A coach friend and I were hashing over our ‘stuff’ as we do at our weekly coffee meetings. She introduced the topic of being passive-aggressive because of a behavior questionnaire that she had filled out. I identified strongly with the traits that she described. So I spent the week watching for any p-a behavior in order to track the situations that it arises in me. What I discovered was surprising.
So where I have I been passive-aggressive? It is a well formed habit for me to take what’s being asked of me with a smile but not to state my true thoughts and wishes. Which, in a lot of cases, is ‘no, I don’t want to do that.’ Instead of stating my desires or entering into mature negotiation, I go about doing what is asked of me, but with resentment or procrastination or stubbornness… basically a bad attitude. But, hey, I’m doing what was asked, aren’t I?
There are a number of situations in my life where things are just not flowing. Obstacles to getting things accomplished are being constantly thrown up in my path. Huh. I finally had the courage to sit with this reality and ask for guidance about what I could do to change these circumstances. It ‘came’ to me that this is how passive-aggression is being mirrored back to me! The resolutions are coming, but with procrastination, stubbornness and even resentment!
I asked for forgiveness, forgave myself and asked for courage to change the things I can in a good, healthy, productive, on the up-and-up sort of way and the wisdom to know the difference. I am still on the look-out for my p-a tendencies so that I can turn them around before they turn around on me.
How do you publically address passive-aggression? Like everything, it seems, acknowledgement is step one. Try to catch the times you display the behavior then ask yourself how you could have handled it differently. Ask yourself what you are afraid of if you assert yourself, your opinion, your wants/needs. Understand that the consequences of the behavior are not only cumbersome to whomever you are directing it at, but the behavior is also detrimental to your own happiness.
And may I and you and the flow go .....erm, flowingly. :)