What's the lure of passive aggressive behavior?
Why would anyone be tempted to act out their anger in this distorted fashion?
And even more importantly, what's the cost to the actor?
We know how annoying it is to be on the receiving end of these sneaky anger attacks, but we usually don't stop to think about how doing this negatively impacts the passive aggressive person.
Two really self destructive consequences come with passive aggressive behavior:
First, by dealing with anger indirectly, the passive aggressive person never gets to check it out - to find out if their assumptions about their grievances are correct.
Secondly, and this one is really unfortunate, when anger is dealt with passive aggressively, it never really gets totally finished!
DANCE WITH IT! EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun
Q. AND A. ABOUT ANGER AND 'P-A' BEHAVIOR
What causes anger?
Obvious answer: Something uninvited invades our personal space either physically or emotionally.
What is a healthy response to feeling angry?
'Check it out before you shout!' Make sure that your perception of the situation fits the facts. Something obviously didn't feel good, but sometimes we can be mistaken about the other person's intent - and of course, sometimes we are right on!
Once you are sure of the 'facts' anger needs to be released. This does not mean dumping on another person! Sometimes we can work it through without even talking to the person who made us angry. We can talk to others about it, we can have imaginary conversations, we can release it creatively with physical activity. And finally, of course, we can have a constructive conversation with the person we are angry with.
You know you are done with the angry feeling if you laugh or take a deep sigh or relief!
How does direct anger get distorted into passive aggressive behavior?
When we deal with anger passive aggressively, we make excuses to hurt the other by using our 'weaknesses' as the reason for letting them down. We hide behind the shield of our own problems as a way to indirectly attack and hurt the other person.
Why should we work through our anger?
Working through anger means that it is no longer an active problem. Holding onto anger increases our own suffering. Old anger is a burden that smolders and adds weight to our lives!
And check out our down-loadable relaxation mini-meditations at