Passive Aggressive – Ouch

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?

  1. I am going to quit talking badly about anyone behind their backs.
  2. I’m going to keep my promises.
  3. I am going to say what I feel instead of suggesting that I am displeased.
  4. I am going to stop blaming other people for the choices I made.
  5. 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.

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