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Passive Aggressive People: How To Recognize & Deal With Them

Maybe your partner is passive-aggressive or a friend of yours? Maybe you've been accused of being passive-aggressive yourself? In any case, do you want to know what the term is all about? Then you will find the most important facts here.

What does passive-aggressive mean?

If someone says openly what bothers them and thus makes their anger a topic of discussion, then you can react to it and get rid of the problem. It is different, however, if someone does not openly say what is going on, but clearly lets you know that they are angry with you. Be it through his aggressive behavior or his facial expressions.

This type of aggression is much harder to take because you don't have a precise clue to go into. With the result that you are the one who feels bad. And it is just extremely grueling to discuss with passive-aggressive people because you never come to a satisfactory solution.

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Where does the passive aggression come from?

Passive-aggressive people suffer from a personality disorder. They are mostly very negative thinking people. Your basic attitude is characterized by sarcasm and devaluation of all things in your environment. And they are extremely suspicious and skeptical.

If you are criticized by other people or pressured to do something, rely on passive resistance and switch to pulling through. Most passive-aggressive people feel permanently misunderstood and treated unfairly.

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This is typical for a passive-aggressive person

- He talks badly about you to others instead of telling you what is bothering him directly to your face.

- He tries to manipulate you by twisting the facts - for so long that you yourself doubt your perception at some point.

- He can say incredibly mean things. And if you do show yourself hurt, it was just a joke according to him.

- He's a master of sarcastic remarks.

- He is not ready to compromise and does not allow himself to be talked about. Either it goes up to him or nothing works.

- He avoids conflicts, but lets you feel that something is bothering him about you.

- Instead of talking openly about problems, he attacks you from behind. Taking revenge suits him more than looking for a common solution.

- He always blames others for his mistakes.

- His behavior irritates you because what he says often does not fit what you think.

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Why is it so difficult to deal with passive-aggressive people?

What makes dealing with passive-aggressive people so complicated is the fact that they do not react in the way we are generally used to in conflict and difficult situations. With our learned argument behavior you will not get any further with them. But you feel their anger and aggression all the more. It's a bit like psychological terror.

By not doing any of his normal behaviors, you have to let yourself into his weird way of arguing. And of course that makes you feel insecure. And then the other person has already distracted from their actual problem and projected the conflict onto you.

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How can you deal with passive-aggressive people?

Passive-aggressive people should not automatically be assumed to have malicious behavior. Many are not even aware that they are passive-aggressive and that they have not learned how to behave correctly in conflict situations. That is why an open conversation is the first path to recovery.

Not in an argument, but in a quiet minute. And not by blaming your partner - this is particularly difficult for the passive-aggressive type - but by explaining to him why his behavior is often difficult and hurtful for you.

Explain to him how you otherwise resolve conflicts and why it is more difficult with him. A conversation is at least a start. Realizing that you are passive-aggressive is always the first step towards improvement. However, the person has to work on himself.

Created on January 10, 2019