How do you know if someone (or yourself) is passive-aggressive? They (or you) might display some of the below behaviors: Incongruent Behavior
Someone who is passive-aggressive generally says one thing but actually means another. A passive-aggressive person has poor communication skills and leaves those in conversations confused and perplexed. A passive-aggressive's actions don't match what they say and vice versa. Generally, how a passive-aggressive acts (not what they say) is what they are really trying to communicate.
Postponing or Delaying
A passive-aggressive person generally does things on their own schedule without regard for deadlines or other people's schedules. Procrastination runs rampant in this person's life, but they've decided it's everyone else who has to deal with it, rather than change this unhealthy behavior.
When a passive-aggressive person feels hurt by someone (loved one, close friend, etc...), instead of saying "I'm hurt", they will "forget" to do something for that person or forget an important event with that person coming up. For example: they may "forget" to pick up the cake for a family birthday party, or they may "forget" to tell their spouse that their boss called and needs a return phone call. For the passive-aggressive, this serves as their way of communicating "You hurt me", yet this message never clearly makes it through to the other person because it's indirect. What it ends up doing is create more distance, hurt and rejection.
These are just three behaviors seen in passive-aggressive individuals. There are many more we have to discuss with you. Please check back in tomorrow for more discussion on passive-aggressive behavior. Thank you for reading.
Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.