Tips to Identify and Control a Passive-Aggressive Character
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How to control my aggressive character?
We all respond to conflict in different ways.
While there are different levels of passive-aggressive versus aggressive behavior, it is likely that at some point we have come across a person expressing anger in this way, or that we are the ones acting that way unconsciously.
And we know the negative repercussions of this for all parties involved, a hostile personality makes you someone with a difficult character and not friendly to deal with, which can affect your emotional health in some way.
So how can passive aggression-prone people learn to respond differently to conflict? Read on to find out.
Acknowledge your behavior
The best way to eliminate this behavior is to notice when you are reacting passive-aggressively.
This type of behavior corresponds to a pattern of expressing negative feelings indirectly instead of addressing them openly.
Usually, this is due to a desire to please other people.
You try to avoid conflict, you don't waste time and appear confident, or you are afraid of being rejected or criticized.
So instead of openly communicating your disagreement or dissatisfaction, you convey it through common passive-aggressive behaviors, including sarcasm, gossip, silencing someone, giving up, or quitting.
While passive-aggressive behavior can be a feature of a number of mental health conditions, it is not considered a mental illness in its own right.
However, passive-aggressive behavior can interfere with relationships and cause difficulties at work.
These are some common specific signs of passive-aggressive character:
- Resentment and opposition to the demands of others, especially the demands of people in positions of authority.
- Resistance to cooperation, procrastination, and intentional errors in response to the demands of others.
- Cynical, pessimistic, or hostile attitude.
- Frequent complaints of feeling slighted or cheated.
Pay attention to how you react in certain situations, and note which scenarios seem to push you into passive-aggressive behavior.
Identify your triggers
Once you have a list of times and situations where you reacted passively and aggressively, you can start to see if there are any patterns. What could be causing this reaction in you?
Asking questions like, where was he? Who were you with? What are we talking about? or pointing out when your reaction started will make it easier to stop the next time you find yourself in the same type of situation.
“Reactivity can easily get us into trouble,” Salomón says. "It's best to keep your triggers in mind, take ten seconds before responding, and come from a place of clarity and wisdom."
Listen and analyze before acting
Have you ever stopped and listened while you were talking? When you're learning to be less passive-aggressive, this can be especially helpful. Watch the language you use when you're in passive-aggressive mode.
In a Psychology Today article, Signe Whitson, a licensed social worker and co-author of The Angry Smile identify the 10 most common passive-aggressive phrases. Some of them include: "Good." "What is". "I thought you knew." "I was just kidding". "Why are you so upset?"
If you learn to recognize when your phrasing is passive-aggressive, you can bounce back and change your tone.
Work on your security
A study done on passive aggression found that people whose parents had more control over their actions tended to become withdrawn and cold in their adult relationships. One of the effects of living in a controlled environment is that our voices can get lost.
If we believe in ourselves and what we have to say, and respect ourselves enough to show how we feel, it will be easier for us to be more assertive in how we respond to others.
Make yourself a priority
The more you believe you have the right to express your wants and needs, the less likely you are to fear being influenced by the opinions of others or rejected for expressing what you want. And the less you are afraid of these things, the more direct you can be.
So how do you teach yourself that your needs are just as valid as anyone else's? Prioritize yourself. Practice listening to what you want and giving it to yourself instead of doing what you think you should be doing and going after what you think you should want.
If you start to treat your desires as valid and feel how good it is, you will start to believe that you deserve the same treatment.
By making yourself a priority, you will learn to respect that you can meet their needs by communicating clearly.
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