Modern psychologists view anger as a primary, natural, and mature emotion experienced by virtually all humans at times, and as something that has functional value for survival.
Anger can mobilize psychological resources for corrective action.“(read more)
An interesting question to ask ourselves based on the above, is why anger has been labeled as a “bad” emotion and blocked from our emotional palette, thus showing up as the distortion of passive/aggressive behavior…
DANCE WITH IT! EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...
How can you deal with passive/aggressive behavior?
1) Call it like it is – at least to yourself! The person you are dealing with is not a poor pitiful victim! They are angry and actually – whether they know it or not – are playing dirty!
2) Experiment with the following dialog:
You: “Gee, you sound angry with me. Did I do something to upset you?
Them: “Oh, no, I’m not angry I just feel really bad…
You: “Well, I’m really glad you’re not angry with me! Okay then, let’s talk about something else!
Remember this is a learning experience – you are experimenting to see what happens when you push the edges of this one…
3) Look at your own P/A behavior. We’ve all gone down that path a time or two. Whining is a really good clue!
When you identify an “episode” ask yourself what you were angry about and why you chose to act it out in this undercover way. What do you think would happen if you were direct?
If you can laugh at it, it becomes fun instead of a dysfunctional default behavior. Once you de-mystify a behavior in yourself the impact of that behavior in others will no longer drive you nuts!
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