I was asked yesterday if I am always passive aggressive or is that something new for me. I was at first highly annoyed and angry that someone would challenge my behavior. I wanted to lash out and explain why my world has made me this way and why can’t they just understand!
But this morning I woke up and a new day had dawned. I needed to know more about what it means to be passive aggressive. What I found out is that I am an asshole who takes no responsibility for my own situation and I have a habit of making sure other people know it’s not my fault. I found this list of classic passive aggressive responses on WikiHow and it stung:
- offering public support but indirectly resisting, procrastinating or undermining the successful completion of social and occupational tasks
- agreeing to do something and not following through or pretending to forget
- giving someone the silent treatment but not letting the person know why
- pleasing people in public but demeaning them behind their backs
- lacking the assertiveness to express feelings and desires but expecting others to know what they are
- overlaying positive comments with pointed sarcasm or negative body language
- complaining of being misunderstood and unappreciated by others
- being sullen and argumentative without offering constructive ideas
- blaming others for everything while avoiding responsibility
- unreasonably criticizing and scorning authority to your peers
- responding to unwelcome authority with covert, dishonest actions
- repressing emotions in fear of conflict, failure or disappointment
- expressing envy and resentment toward those apparently more fortunate
- voicing exaggerated and persistent complaints of personal misfortune
- alternating between hostile defiance and contrition
- predicting negative outcomes before even starting the work
I am guilty of every single one of these things, some on a daily basis. So what can I do about this? I see a therapist but I we haven’t discussed most of these things yet. She has told me to quit downgrading myself, so I know she sees this in me. This is going to be my focus for the next while until I can break this habit of self loathing and blaming others for my own faults.
What am I going to do?
- I am going to quit talking badly about anyone behind their backs.
- I’m going to keep my promises.
- I am going to say what I feel instead of suggesting that I am displeased.
- I am going to stop blaming other people for the choices I made.
- I am going to stop complaining about my circumstances. Yes, I’m in a bad spot right now and that’s okay to say but I need to not follow it with woe-is-me’s.
This is just a starting point for me. I know I have a lot of work to do to change who I have become.