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5 Ways to Stop Being Passive Aggressive Now!

You have a passive-aggressive behavior if you indirectly resist authority. People with such behavior indirectly show resentment towards another person. It is never easy to be in a relationship with a passive-aggressive person. These people do not engage in conflicts, but they do not forget and forgive. 

That anger continues to buildup in them and emerges when events finally reach a more volatile stage. If you find these behavior patterns within yourself, learn to stop being passive aggressive to improve the quality of your life.

How to Stop Being Passive Aggressive

It is hard to be in a relationship with someone who is passive-aggressive by nature. These people do not show their anger right away but keep things buried in their heart and make a move when you least expect anything bad from them. If you believe you have these behavior patterns within yourself, you may want to take the following steps to change this emotional response.

1. Understand Your Behavior Patterns

You cannot learn how to stop being passive aggressive unless you first realize that you have this problem. You develop this type of behavior when you want to please other people. Some people experience these behavior patterns when they try to avoid conflicts and still want to appear confident. Others do not talk about what they do not like just to avoid being criticized or rejected. This is when you convey your message through passive-aggressive behaviors, such as gossip, sarcasm, giving other person the silent treatment, quitting, or stalling. You may find it a better approach to deal with things, but this makes you look cold, butter, insensitive, difficult, and manipulative. Therefore, the first step towards making behavioral changes is to understand more about your response in different situations.

2. Know Your Triggers

You may not handle every situation in a passive-aggressive manner. Most people have certain triggers that make them show a passive-aggress behavior. Writing about your response to different situations will help you identify a pattern and trigger. Once you have identified the triggers, you can simply avoid them the next time to control your behavior.

3. Make a firm request supported by logic. 

Since we all share this small gym, please don’t hold space that you aren’t using. Saying it this way (“Since . . . Please . . .”) imbues you with a certain amount of authority. It’s somewhere between a request and a demand. You are setting a standard for how people should act and increasing the likelihood that the person will comply.

4. Ask a question. 

Is there a particular reason you are holding this space for your workout while you’re on the treadmill? The key is to really be curious (otherwise the question itself may be a passive aggressive move). Your curiosity might be the only move you need to make. If you hear a legitimate reason behind a person’s offensive behavior, your anger may simply dissipate. And, if they have no reason, they may simply shift their own behavior. If neither of those happen, then:

5. Create a Safe Space

At the end of the day, for a passive-aggressive person to open up and eliminate their behavioral patterns, there needs to be an atmosphere of trust, where instead of hiding their beliefs and their emotions they can feel free to be open and fully express themselves.

In the words of Murphy, “when people feel emotionally unsafe, they resort to blaming, denial, projection, repression, isolation, etc.” Reassure the other person that there are no right or wrong feelings, that it is ok to share negative thoughts and emotions. Work at being more honest with people even if it results in a conflict, and when that happens, use it to find a compromise and come to a "win-win‘’ solution. In time, the behavioral patterns can modify toward a more constructive communicative relationship.

People who exhibit passive-aggressive behavior aren’t doing so on purpose or with malice — they are simply not conscious of it. If you focus on creating an atmosphere of understanding, you can invite people to become more assertive with you — sharing both positive as well as negative feelings. And a word of caution: be prepared for unexpected reactions when you begin — the nature of passive-aggressive behavior can be unpredictable.


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