Am I Passive Aggressive?

What is Passive Aggression? How to Recognize and Deal with Passive Aggressive People?
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Everyone has different personalities, nature, and perspectives. Sometimes a person can have an outgoing personality while others can have an introverted personality. It is not easy for everyone to express what they are feeling, and some of us find different ways to express things. Today you will learn about passive-aggressive symptoms and passive behavior examples found in people. After reading the article, you will get the answer to your query: am I passive aggressive or not?

1. What is Passive-Aggressive Behaviour?

People are known to be passive-aggressive if they are not directly expressing their anger. Instead, they keep denying that they are angry. They will continuously behave differently but will not accept that they are mad.

2. What makes a Person Develop such Behavior?

This kind of behavior appears from psychological issues that may or may not have developed during childhood. You were instructed to avoid conflicts and fights, and anger is now your worst enemy.

  • Problems like autism, PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome), bipolar, schizophrenia, conduct disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be a few mental health problems that can lead to this behavior. 
  • If a person suffers from brain damage due to head injury, stroke, certain infections, or illness, can have this behavior. 
  • Kids with stress, frustration, underlying health issues, or poor relationship skills may have this behavior. 
  • Sometimes it builds a feeling of hatred towards one’s own anger, and they judge themselves for behaving or feeling the way they feel when they are angry.
  • Rejection or abandonment may also be the reason for their behavior turning into passive-aggressive if a person feels that they need to hide their feelings for keeping things on a good note with their partner.

You may ask if I have faced such issues, then am I passive aggressive too. To know more, read the next segments. (Also read How to Heal Yourself Emotionally?)

3. What are Passive Aggressive Symptoms?

There is a long list of signs and symptoms to be noted in people’s behavior to determine whether they are dealing with passive aggression. They will continuously deny that they are not angry, but they will even yell if they need to. You sometimes might wonder am I passive aggressive? So if you want to find out, look for the following signs:

A. Being Angry Often

The reason behind this yelling and ignorance is that they are not comfortable accepting the fact that they are angry because it will ruin their image. No matter how much they try to hide, their behavior is enough to speak out loud whatever they are trying to hold within. (Also read Why Do Gamers Get Very Angry?)

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B. Overthinking

One more sign of passive aggression is brooding. It means to over-think about a situation, an act, or anything that has been hurtful to them. They will remain very silent during the process and be lost in their thoughts. This behavior is known as quiet manipulation. The person who hurt them starts feeling the pressure because of their extreme silent behavior.

C. Always Sulking

Am I passive aggressive for sulking? A person shows signs of sulking if they feel they have been offended by someone. They will not talk, look, or smile at them. It is as if they completely withdrew themselves away from the other person’s life. Like that, they will be with you but not present at the moment. (Also read What is an Unhealthy Relationship?)

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D. Concealing Emotions

It is like when you want to eat chocolate, and you are not directly asking for it. Similarly, these people are not openly expressing what they are feeling or why they are feeling hurt, but they want you to understand their feelings at the same time without saying much. They will never openly reject, neglect, or refuse. In fact, they never will show any emotion openly. Rather they will do things or behave that the other person will feel confused about their intentions. (Also read Best Child Psychology Books)

E. Avoid Gatherings

Another sign of such people is that they always use the method of communication in which they can avoid being face-to-face rather than meeting personally. They will post sad or taunting statuses on social media, but they will not directly talk to the person they are upset with. After sharing the post or status, they expect that person to get the hint and understand how they are feeling. They will wait for their response, and when there is no response, their anger will keep building inside. (Also read Psychology of Ignoring Someone)

F. Being Impolite 

If I am witty & sarcastic, am I passive aggressive? No, not necessarily. One such sign is speaking in a tone of sarcasm rather than a compliment or just a statement.  On the one hand, they will be using words like they are complimenting you. They will express all their opinions in a funny or a taunting way just to make you feel small.

G. Giving Endless Excuses

One sign of these people is making excuses, endless excuses, whenever they want. They make excuses to avoid any work, person, or situation. If they don’t feel like doing anything, they will not do it even till the deadline each and every time. And at some point, their superiors or family members might realize that they are always making excuses. (Also read 10 Golden Rules of Life)

4. What is Passive Behavior Examples?

It is an essential sign of such people that they are not directly expressing their anger or their negative thoughts. Instead, they are behaving in such a way that can make you angry. They want you to react the same way that might make you question, am I passive aggressive too?

  • Like when a person agrees to go to a movie with friends but misses out, procrastinates, and then makes excuses and later refuses to talk. Such a person is suffering from passive aggression.
  • Let me give you an example of an employee who is given a task but did not want to do it. Now, they will purposely perform the task really bad, like either incomplete, irrelevant, or in an incorrect way. This is a way of manipulating.
  • Indirect refusal and playing you with words to do a favor is a form of passive-aggressive behavior. For example, say you’ve asked your friend or a roommate to take care of your pet while you are gone on a trip, they might refuse or confuse you with their reasons.
  • Ghosting is a common example of classic passive-aggressive behavior. Like you know a friend who is very selfish and materialistic, and you texted him if you can borrow his dishes for your homecoming party. But he didn’t reply or ghosted you and didn’t even come to the party.
  • Taunting is another example. Like when you put so much effort into making a dish for someone and what they say after eating is like, food was edible, and I hope my stomach will also like digesting it. Now, what is it, a compliment, praise, or a taunt?
  • Passive-aggressive people who don’t understand or respect people’s emotions will arrive late at events or parties. It looks like if there’s something they don’t want to do, they will put it off until the last second.
  • The silent treatment is one of the most common passive-aggressive examples in certain contexts. If they don’t feel like talking or feeling neglected or frustrated, they won’t respond which is counted as passive aggression.

They will make the whole act as if they are the victims. (See What is the Difference Between Hearing and Listening?)

5. How to Deal with Passive Aggressive People?

People with passive aggression are found everywhere within our family, friends group, workplace, college/school, etc. To deal with them accurately, you should maintain a smart and calm attitude towards them.

  • Speaking up about their denying behavior in a non-defensive manner will help things out to get surfaced up and help them speak up.
  • You need to channel the way you manipulate a person with passive aggression. An improper approach will only harm the relationship and their psychological state, so be calculative while you talk as this might harm you too. (Also read How to End a Toxic Friendship?)

6. What to do if I am indeed Passive Aggresive?

It is not something incurable.There are certain treatments for this behavior, and there is nothing wrong to seek professional help.

  • First, you should trust someone, a friend, parents, siblings, or partner and confess to them that you are aware of what’s happening. And then tell them about the reason behind it. It will be the most important step because you will speak what you really want.
  • Second, you have to keep a check on your habit of manipulating others by your silent behavior. You need to stop ghosting them out of your life. Instead, you will have to confront your thoughts, and without judging, you need to tell them if you want to refuse or confess your anger to them.
  • You will have to stay direct with words, behaviors, thoughts, and everything. So you have to bring out the indirect version of being passive-aggressive.
  • Last is to take things slowly but maintain consistency. You should tell your trusted person to keep reminding you about speaking up whenever they find you slipping back into passive aggression. And one fine day, you will be free from this mental health issue. (See PhD Vs PsyD in Psychology)

So today, you learned the answer to: am I passive aggressive? And if so, what steps are needed to make things better for yourself & those around you. (Also read 12 Little Known Reasons and Benefits of Smiling)

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