When you disagree with someone, do you give them the cold shoulder for days? Do you use sarcasm whenever you and your partner argue? Passive-aggressive behavior is unhealthy. It can affect another person more than you’d assume, and it can cause damage to any kind of relationship. Although a lot of people consider it normal, you should think hard before you let it rule your life. Here are a few simple steps to help you free yourself from this attitude:
Take notice of your language and how others react to it. Maybe your comments would hurt you as well if you were on the receiving end. Maybe how you acted made their day worse than it already was. Be mindful. Use your words carefully and put yourself in others’ shoes before you let your emotions control you.
Know What Triggers You
Identify the pattern–if your friend’s tardiness makes you sarcastic with them instead of telling them what’s on your mind, it’s a red flag. We all have pet peeves or a list of things that blow our fuse which we must address. Knowing yours will help you prepare in handling a triggering situation when it occurs.
Find the Root
Growing up with controlling parents train you to keep your feelings inside. Every deep-seated issue needs attention. Only when you face them can you truly fix your behavior. Self-reflect, write, or talk to someone who can understand you. Speaking your mind is very important. Moreover, you may also seek therapy. A good therapist can help you discover significant parts of your past.
Learn to Be Open
Express yourself. Hiding your thoughts will not get you anywhere, in fact, bottled up emotions can even cause harm to your physical and mental health. Practice assertiveness. Be direct. Problems are solved through confrontations. Arguments end when both parties reach an understanding.
You’re human. You make mistakes. Regardless of the number or weight of your failures, you deserve forgiveness. Though you may have lost a relationship because of your passive-aggressiveness, you are no less than other people. This life involves suffering and pain which make us stronger. No one learns to walk without stumbling on their own two feet. We shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves no matter what. As long as you’re still breathing, you always have another chance to improve yourself.
Change takes time and effort. Even if you feel like you’re not making much progress, you are. Appreciate every small step. They can get you just as far as the big ones can. Overcoming a habit is not impossible to do. Don’t rush the process. It will be worth the wait for sure.
Recognizing an unhealthy behavior is not that easy. Not everyone admits to having a bad attitude, so you should give yourself a pat on the back. Once you’ve accepted that you need to change, you can start doing what’s necessary to accomplish your goal. From being less passive-aggressive to being consistently more open, a determined heart brings transformation. “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.”
Can you relate? Share your thoughts about a passive-aggressive person below. We’d love to hear them!