Aggressive people are easier to identify and they take the violent route to display their disagreement with an opinion or situation. They give you sufficient clues to understand what is causing that behaviour through the abuse, insults or humiliation. However, there might be instances where someone close to you or an acquaintance is giving you a hard time and you don’t even have the reason to explain their negative behaviour. Passive aggressive behaviour can create psychological consequences for the victim. It can be extremely challenging to be empathic with them because they do everything possible to generate some sort of a reaction and get that attention which they are craving for.
Ways in which passive aggressive behaviour manifests
- Firstly, it usually takes the form silent treatments. They perpetrator can resort to ignore your presence and even refuse to provide you answers to your questions. While sometimes, this is too easy to identify, it can also take more subtle forms where would fail to recognise if it was deliberately done or not. For example, you might try to talk to a passive aggressive person while he acts like you don’t exist and refrains from facing you while addressing others in a very inconsistent fashion leaving you in a state of confusion. [Read: 5 Myths about domestic violence busted!]
- Secondly, you may be faced with sarcastic comments. It will be hard for you to understand if it is even funny or a backhanded compliment to hurl insults at you. Sometimes, sarcasm feels more humiliating that direct insults. So, a sarcastic attitude by the passive aggressive person in your life can kill your self- respect and harm your confidence.
- Thirdly, passive aggressive people fail to take responsibility for things and will try and dump that on other people. They show their helplessness showing they will not be able to fulfill an obligation for you but in reality they actually don’t want to do it for you.
Therefore, it is important that you handle such passive aggressive people carefully. Here are a few ways in which you can deal with their passive aggressive behaviour and set boundaries wherever you can:
Put yourself in their shoes
In order to deal with passive aggressive people, you need to keep your calm so that you can try and assess why they behave the way they do. It is common for almost all of us to act passive aggressive depending on our struggles and situations. So, try and be more sensitive and handle the situation with care. Somewhere down the line you may have been the reason why they are hurt. Along with that they are being unable to convey what they feel. So, be a little softer on them and they might actually confess to you what’s wrong. [Read: 7 Reasons why couples drift away from each other]
They have difficulty in communicating
For those who communicate well, it is easier for them to vent out their anger. If someone is passive aggressive he/ she is already struggling with some pain inside along with not being able to confide their trouble in someone. So, when they give you a hard time with their cold shoulders, you must understand that there is something bothering them. Instead of attacking them with harsher words, be nice and let them understand that the problem can be solved in a constructive manner. [Read: 13 Adorable sayings to calm a fight with your beloved!]
Set the right attitude
With the right kind of attitude, you will be able to deal with them much better. Show that you are positive and share your positivity with them. Your positivity can make them calm and understanding. Although it requires a great deal of restraint to control your reaction, if you can set the right tone while speaking to them and be more empathic they will eventually cool down.
Stop assuming, start asking
Rather than trying to cook stories up, ask them calmly about what is bothering them. If you show sincere concern in understanding their behaviour, you will give them the space to talk to you. And if they don’t give you an answer, then give them the time and space when they find it comfortable to discuss it with you. If they still don’t wish to entertain you or give you an explanation just let them be on their own. The best path to resort to is pure ignorance then. [Read: 5 Signs this person you are dating is terrible!]
Talk about your issues
Get vulnerable before them. If you are equally guarded about your issues, how will you give them the confidence to discuss their issues with you? It might so happen that their passive aggressive behaviour is driven by their fears. It is probably their fear of being ridiculed or judged which is making them act that way. So, if you project your vulnerabilities before them, they might actually find their struggles as common as someone else’s and thus you will help them develop confidence that their behaviour is part of being human.