We are discussing types of passive-aggressive behaviors this week and offering solutions on how to deal with them. It will be helpful to go from the start (Monday) if you are just joining us. That way you can get a clear picture of different types of behaviors to look for. Today we are discussing "Blaming" and "Challenges with Sexual Intimacy".
People who have passive-aggressive behaviors struggle with taking responsibility for their mistakes or challenges in life. They typically blame people they are in relationships with (their spouses, kids, friends). Or if they don't blame a person, they blame an event (traffic, slow people working the drive thru etc). They turn things around on others rather than taking ownership for themselves.
For an example, if there is a project at work and they procrastinated, they may blame it on their printer because it wasn't working at the 11th hour. Or they may blame the secretary who couldn't fix it, rather than saying, "I'm really sorry. I messed up and should have started earlier. Here is what I have completed." It's always someone or something else.
Challenges with Sexual Intimacy
Passive-aggressive people are usually guarded and struggle with trusting others. The world is a negative place (mostly because everyone is messing everything up for them so much!) When the world is negative to you, it's hard to trust people. This often comes out in sexual relationships. For a healthy sexual relationship there needs to be an attachment to that person and that comes with trust. If you can't trust others, it's harder to attach to them. For this reason, a passive-aggressive person struggles with "making love" and actually just prefers to keep it safe and enjoy sex for the physical part of it.
Sometimes, passive-aggressive people will withhold sex from their partner if they are hurt, angry, or trying to let them know how they feel. This isn't healthy and causes more trust issues in the relationship. The partner can't rely on what the person says- they are trying to go by what they are doing instead. It feels very much like a game where one person has the rules and the other doesn't know the rules and sometimes doesn't even know the game being played!
If you recognize any of these in yourself, it would be helpful to talk with a counselor. Or if you are in a relationship with someone who has these characteristics, talk to someone as well. It can be very frustrating to be in a relationship with a passive-aggressive person. It helps to get another perspective.
Thank you so much for reading today. Tomorrow Joleen will offer solutions on how to deal with a passive-aggressive person.
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville