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Signs You Are Passive Aggressive In A Relationship And How To Avoid It

Signs You Are Passive Aggressive In A Relationship And How To Avoid It

We've all done it at some point where we say something to our partner, but mean the exact opposite of what we're feeling. Here are signs you could be passive aggressive

Have you been at the receiving end of a passive-aggressive relationship? Or are you the one who's passive-aggressive? Passive-aggressive behavior is demonstrated in different ways from being mild, such as letting your partner know its okay for them to go out with their friends when you'd rather have them home with you.

A more serious outcome of passive-aggressive behavior can lead to sabotaging someone's success and well-being. Sometimes you may not mean to act out in a certain way but feel that being passive-aggressive would let them know how you feel. However, the people on the receiving end of the behavior just feel uncomfortable and end up dealing with the situation poorly.

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iStock

According to Merriam Webster, the definition of passive aggressive as an adjective is, "Being, marked by, or displaying behavior characterized by the expression of negative feelings, resentment, and aggression in an unassertive passive way (as through procrastination and stubbornness)." It is also a manipulative method that most people use to get their way by being hostile in an indirect sense. Subtle signs of passive aggressiveness include procrastination, sulking and hostile behavior in an indirect way showing that they're secretly resentful.

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iStock

Here are common kinds of passive-aggressive behavior:

1. They project their anger or frustration through hurtful sarcasm which they claim to be jokes but they're secretly expressing what they feel to get the point across to people.

2. They'll feel the need to isolate themselves, hoping that people would worry about their sudden disappearance and come to look for them. Isolation almost always works in their favor as people who care for them put the effort to seek them out.

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iStock

3. They'll avoid the person they care about to emphasize the point they tried to make in the first place. The person on the receiving end will immediately feel the need to know the reason and will try their hardest to win them back.

4. They'll reassure you saying that they're fine but you get a hunch that they're letting you know otherwise. They don't want to talk about their feelings unless you address them and this is your definition of a white lie.

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iStock

5. They'll act like the victim in a situation, projecting the feeling of being constantly plotted against. They feel like they don't have control over a situation and they'll let people know as well. In the process, they might even blame other people for their downfall or shortcomings.

6. They end up procrastinating and will do anything but tell the truth. When they don't feel like doing a particular task they agreed to, they lean towards making a ton of excuses to get out of the situation.

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iStock

7. They'll take part in gossiping even if it's about the people they care about. They'll claim to be taking your side if you confront them about it but that's what makes them change their stripes at a whim.

8. They're rigid when it comes to doing things which don't swing their way. They don't want to compromise and will act dissatisfied or rigid when someone expects them to do something.

Pixabay
Pixabay

Passive aggressive behavior doesn't necessarily stem from a negative place as you could be trying to spare someone's feelings without letting them directly know but you could also find it hard to express your feelings, so you tend to go through passive-aggressive ways of expressing your anger or frustration.

Sometimes it's easier to deal with your emotions when you don't directly confront the source of anger. If you find yourself being the one showcasing a passive-aggressive behavior here are ways to curb them and build better relationships.

1. Think before you act

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PIxabay

A lot of people find it difficult to think before they act. This is because impulse pushes them to behave in a certain way. When you start becoming aware of your actions, it will be easier to tackle your emotions and helps you to be more calculative about your behavior. When you know the root of the problem, take a breather and go through ways you can express yourself. 

2. Identify the patterns

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iStock

When you start identifying what ticks you off, you can work towards changing your behavior and eventually phase out your passive-aggressive behavior. Whether the problem stems from certain people or certain actions, you'll be able to draw a conclusion much faster than you used to. You can keep tabs on the patterns and make changes gradually. 

3. Try to be open about your feelings

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iStock

It's often hard to express your feelings when you don't want to let the person you care about know your true intent. However, if you trust them or want to develop a relationship based on trust, then expressing your concerns and emotions is the way to go. Instead of giving them the 'silent treatment' and leaving them to guess what is bothering you, directly tell them so that they have better clarity on how you actually feel about something.

4. Stop procrastinating

Pixabay
Pixabay

This one can be a little hard to tackle if you're used to keeping things pending or if you don't like confrontation. If you create a schedule or even prioritize what's important to you, managing situations and people becomes a lot easier. You're not alone when it comes to procrastinating, so rest easy knowing that a lot of people are facing the same issue as you.

5. Control your anger

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iStock

Anger almost always wins in most situations where it takes over your rational side pushing you to take impulsive decisions. However, try to make small changes like taking a breather or reframing a situation from another person's perspective. Empathizing helps in understanding what the other person's going through, allowing you to think back on the decisions that you make.

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