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How to Deal with a Passive Aggressive Relationship: 12 Steps

11 Apr How to Deal With Passive Aggressive Behavior. Passive aggressiveness is an indirect expression of anger in which someone tries to upset or hurt you but not in an obvious way. The challenge is that the person can easily deny that they're. If, in the process of getting on with your life, the passive-aggressive person turns out to be completely unable to handle it, you have an answer to your question as to whether it's worth hanging around or not. On the other hand, you may find he/ she will. 26 Jun And for the target of the passive aggression, experiencing this kind of behavior can “make you feel like a crazy person,” explains Scott Wetzler, Ph.D., vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center and author of Living With the Passive-Aggressive Man.

How you and your partner handle anger and conflict plays a key role in the success of your relationship. Rewarding connection is incompatible with suppressed feelings and restricted communication. When the person you love is passive-aggressiveemotional honesty and open dialogue is difficult.

Passive-aggression can be a hard game to play as a partner, even for the most emotionally healthy and stable individual. The game is winnable, though, if you use strategies aimed at reducing your partner's passive-aggressive behavior.

By learning to recognize a few body language signs, you may be able to help your partner identify his or her feelings and examine their sources. For instance, a downward gaze can be a sign of hurt feelings or an attempt to hide something emotional. Passive-aggressiveness often expresses itself through rigidity. If you try to hug your partner and his or her body seems to resist and is uncomfortable with contact, they may be angry.

1. Their behavior is sneaky, so respond in kind, honest ways.

If you can notice these body signs—and your own body is telling you that something is wrong—it may be useful to try to open a discussion. As a rule, however, only describe things from your point of view. Remember, you want a conversationnot a confrontation, so wait until you're in a comfortable place emotionally to speak.

Your passive-aggressive partner may have difficulty setting his or her own boundaries, so you'll need to be firm about enforcing your own. If your partner's How To Live With A Passive Aggressive Person has gotten to a point where you find yourself constantly questioning whether to stay in the relationship, but you're not yet ready to give up, it's time to set explicit limits.

Be specific about what bothers you and what behavior you find unacceptable. You want performancenot just a promise of compliance. Be specific about your expectations, too. If it's important to you that your partner gets to know your friends, for example, say, "I've invited a few friends over for dinner on Saturday at 7pm.

How to Deal with Passive Aggressive People

I need for you to be there so you can meet them and talk to them. If your partner shows up late and then barely says a word during dinner, it's vital that you communicate your displeasure clearly: If you care about me, then knowing my friends should matter to you.

If you're going to set explicit limits with your partner, you must be prepared to enforce them. For example, if you moved in with your partner six months ago and they still haven't made room for your stuff in a closet despite repeated requests, you need to set a clear limit: I'd like to have my read more unpacked by Monday; otherwise I'm moving out.

If Monday rolls around and your partner still hasn't cleaned out space for you, you need to move out. If you say you'll move out and then don'tyou're just confusing your partner. You should wait to have a conversation about boundaries and limits until you have understood and released your own anger about your partner's behavior in a healthy, mindful way.

You love this person and you want to be with them, so it's important to approach the conversation in a spirit of togetherness. Your goal in setting these limits is to safeguard your own boundaries and to make your relationship work, not to punish them. Let your partner know that you're telling them what to do or avoid doing if they also want to be with you.

Passive-aggression is an obstacle standing in the way of intimacy with your partner. While you can help a partner verbalize their feelings and tell them what is and isn't OK with you—and hold them accountable— you are the only person whose behavior you can control. Together, you can disassemble passive-aggressiveness and pack it away in your past. For more information on how to stop How To Live With A Passive Aggressive Person aggressive behavior in its tracks, see Dr.

I would add one more thought--lower your expectations. People who do this learned it young and aren't likely to give it up easily or completely. If you can improve their behavior with the advice in the article, you're batting a thousand. Yea expectations can be a relationship killer This sounds like a relationship from hell.

If one person is acting like a therapist and doing all the workthat can't be ok. It doesn't sound like a relationship at all. I've dated a passive-aggressive man, and it was a job! He needed therapy and not a partner. I couldn't agree more. This sounds more like therapy, except that the passive-aggressive person doesn't want to participate.

How To Live With A Passive Aggressive Person

My passive-aggressive mother sometimes tried this with my even more passive-aggressive father, you can imagine it never worked out well. Growing up near such people leaves children emotionally exhausted and, of course, unsupported.

They were too busy passive-aggressively taking chunks out of each other to provide much nurturing. Sad to say, I am now married to a man who is also passive-aggressive he came from a family which is also, in a rather different way, poor at communication and I gave up trying the kind of approach recommended above a long time ago.

Unless the person is only mildly affected, it is like flogging a dead horse. One of my main problems with my mother still alive; my father is dead is that she never How To Live With A Passive Aggressive Person how to quite: The relationship described is all to familiar. The problem, for me at least, is once I make up my mind to leave if a particular request is not met eg make room in the closet one foot is already out the door as is my love.

This is Andrea and I just wanted to say that I would agree with all of you. You can give up the relationships and in some instances that is the only way to go! However, you can also use the relationship as a vehicle for your own growth before giving it up.

You can answer such questions, but avoid giving detailed information. Perhaps they respond to conflict by shutting others out and giving them the "silent treatment," rather than addressing issues head on. When this is the case, encourage them to develop the skills and confidence to speak to others directly. People may act like this because they fear losing control, are insecure, or lack self-esteem. Still, not getting a reaction to "punishing" me for not pandering to her scheme to get me to buy her food, so she wouldn't have to go to the store, she left passive-aggressive notes about how someone had stolen her food -- even though she had stolen mine!

Because if you've spent any time in a relationship with a passive-aggressive person, you have indeed been getting something out of it. And it might be worthwhile to find out what that is. I understand learning about ones self in a relationship but not if there are kids involved. I'd rather see someone get a therapist and work at their mental health read more a safe place instead of in a relationship.

I stayed in a relationship for 20 years I was not supported to leave. Leave for your own sake. I don't care how much you can learn from itit's not worth the trauma you are eventually left with. This is no joke and this is not manageable.

How to Spot and Deal With Passive-Aggressive People

This is not a chance to grow, but a very real chance to die during the process. Not clearing out closet space for you is a beautiful example of PA behavior. If it's just that, then there's an opportunity to discuss the meaning of non-action. If it's a never ending series of this, then you have a genuine problem.

PA's don't interpret How To Live With A Passive Aggressive Person boundaries' as a good thing, they call them ultimatums. And here you have to get to that, more than once, you don't have a real relationship, you just have a difficult roommate. The part in the article about how it is necessary to avoid coming off in a confrontational fashion is particularly hard because boundaries themselves will be interpreted as "confrontation".

To be honest, I got more out of the first comment here about lowering expectations. That's something that I've failed to do and if I would give up the ghost and not expect anything I'd probably be able to "make do". My partner of 15 years and How To Live With A Passive Aggressive Person for five has been unable to articulate "own" his issues, except to say "sorry" for the sake of expedience.

It's very telling that he can't bring himself to say WHAT he is sorry for even when he gets to the point of saying that he's sorry. If I ask him to verbalize what he is apologizing for, that will provoke anger and to me anger is the Ego talking. Apologies and Pride don't go hand-in-hand in my book.

To me, a real apology is going to come with humility. I don't see that from my partner. He is only trying to say Way To Meet In College it takes to get out of the conversation and if he can't have that he literally exits the room.

In fact, it's to the point where I can speak three sentences and all I see is his back going out the door. I am beginning to suspect that behind the chronically passive-aggressive person is a Narcissistic Personality. As a partner or child of such an individual, you can't question the holy trinity of Me, Myself and I because any form of approach is something these individuals are overly sensitive to on the lookout for.

I have been guilty of trying to "punish" my partner thinking it might make him adverse to repeating the same exact causes of hurt over and over again. I took it at face value for years that he didn't like conflict so I thought that if I make a big stink about a particular behavior — not the initial infractions but only concerning issues that have become chronic — would LEARN to avoid the hurtful behavior in question as a strategy to keep the peace.

But all he does is claim to have "forgotten".

You are reading Communication Success. Instead of relying on the passive-aggressive person, change your approach and never rely on them. Get on with doing what needs to be done instead of hoping vainly that this person will clear the way. And may I add:

Back to square one! Because my spouse said so many times that his only intention in whatever action was to avoid conflict I thought that learned adversion to a specific conflict would evoke an incentive for change but it had no effect. As a result, I no longer "buy" that he has any problem with conflict at all. Instigating a conflict becomes a rational for the passive aggressive person's behavior.

How To Live With A Passive Aggressive Person

And all I've done is play into that viscous tit-for-a-tat cycle. I explain that it hurts my feelings that he gets up and sleeps on the couch multiple times per week just because I've told him to change positions as a result of his snoring.

I'm not the type to elbow my spouse in bed but I sometimes ask, at most three times a night, for him to change positions when it gets so bad that even my earplugs don't drown out the racket. Over the course of the past year my spouse has developed his habitual exit strategy: By the second or third no matter how mild complaint, he's gone without explanation. I've told him I don't want him to leave without saying he's headed for the couch. Despite this repeated request, he either says nothing or claims to be headed for the bathroom and then doesn't come back.

I then lie there awake, wondering if he'll come back, only to find him on the couch.