On passive aggression

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David Holt
On passive aggression

In households silver cutlery is lost, dishes are broken and everyday products (food, cleaners, etc.) are wasted in the same way. In families, the complaints of parents when they demand their children to fulfill certain tasks are famous and what they receive is an out-of-temper. the laziness and the decision with which she is about to go to school and the indifference with which she assumes her school duties.

Passive aggression or rebellion at home

There are countless examples that we can give of similar situations in which spontaneous collaboration cannot be achieved, or where accidental damage inexplicably occurs due to lack of experience in the use of work materials, due to negligence and carelessness in the precautions to be taken. previously.

The common thread that unites all these situations is nothing more than an internal and unconscious force called passive aggression or rebellion..

The passive-aggressive character is structured as a result of an individual's inability to satisfactorily resolve a conflict with authority, or with an adverse condition before which he is defenseless, and ends up falling into a resignation full of anger and frustration..

His aggressive expression, then, is constrained by the threat of negative consequences and he looks for other ways to express himself.

The best example we can give to illustrate this phenomenon is that of a small child who, walking through a shopping center, stops enthusiastically in front of the window of a toy store and asks his mother to buy him one that is fashionable. or that he is particularly attracted to it. She cannot please him and urges him to continue on his way as she has to quickly do another errand..

The child insists with increasing force, believing that in this way he will achieve his purpose. The mother repeats that she cannot buy the toy and grabs him by the arm to separate him from the tempting display. He reiterates that he is in a hurry and that he did not come to buy anything extra.

The boy does not listen to her but gets desperate and begins to cry. She pulls him into the corridor, but he rebels, cries and pleads, before which there is no choice but to use force and impose authority.

The end result will probably be a dramatic scene where a woman grabs a small being by the arm who, while being dragged, cries, screams and tries to grab onto a column or a garbage dump and who, in any case, will not be willing to cooperate. so that the mother reaches her destination comfortably.

This is an expression of the helplessness that someone feels when they experience the effect of an action that is imposed on them, and before which they have no winning option. He can finally accept his defeat, but deep down in his unconscious a desire for vindication will surely remain latent, waiting for the moment to make his appearance..

That moment may be the one where the revengeful response is part of a complex repertoire and it is not easy to show it as intentional..

Falling asleep beyond the time set for the family's morning activities to be carried out comfortably can be a way of protesting the imposition of going to class.

Breaking "unintentionally" a fine vase, which has previously been identified as a valuable object that must be cared for. Hitting or "accidentally" scratching the door of a luxury car when the employee tries to park it in a restaurant or a car wash could be related to some kind of unconscious resentment on his part..

These statements do not mean that all misbehaviors or behaviors that produce undesirable results are motivated by passive aggression and that the person who executes them is condemnable in advance. What we want to point out is that we must carefully examine the way we act at times and review the style we use to impose our authority at a given moment.

Passive aggression generators

  • Personality characteristics in obsessive-compulsive disorders.
  • Inflexible hierarchical structures and unquestionable or imposed norms "without the right to kick.".
  • Individuals subjected to derision, slavery or unsatisfactory working conditions.
  • Use of the person without their consent, or without taking into account their affective world.
  • Individuals convinced of their physical, spiritual or social inferiority, either due to belonging to a proscribed race or to a disadvantaged sector of society, or for particular reasons when faced with a situation that they consider to be superior to their strength.

If you can identify in yourself behaviors derived from a passive-aggressive position, examine the following points:

  1. In your upbringing, did you have the opportunity to exercise your capacity to protest or were you the victim of an authoritarian father or mother, to whom there was no other way out than to surrender unconditionally??
  2. Are you at this time sufficiently evolved emotionally or do you still have childish reactions to frustration??
  3. Are you usually satisfied with the results of your actions or do you feel that you could get better benefits?
  4. Do you feel satisfied with your social condition, in your work or in your student activity?
  5. Do you think there is an authority above you that you consider unfair or abusive??
  6. Do you want to continue collaborating on the project in which you have been included or would you prefer to move elsewhere?
  7. Are there valid reasons why you want to attack someone in your environment?.
  8. Do you think that you can modify the factors that limit you or subdue you with an effective action or are you given over to resignation?.
  9. If you think you deserve better out of life. Why haven't you accessed it?

If you have managed to make contact with the passive aggressiveness that you may have inside, analyze your working diagrams and update them. Perhaps the boss in front of you is not your enemy, or an invincible titan but a person who does not know your work potentials, or someone who values ​​assertiveness and frontal communication instead of silent resignation..

Maybe you are not evaluated by others as inferior or as someone despicable but those concepts are yours and you have to overcome them.

Think if you do not have the power to change your life and you have not realized it.

Perhaps the world is not to blame for what happens to you, but the opportunity has not yet come for you to change your situation favorably.

Be prepared to think before acting negatively and look for all the sources of satisfaction that are within your reach..

If you feel like a victim of passive aggression from others

If you own a business or if you teach a classroom of "forgetful", "negligent" or saboteurs. If it is a father or mother who cannot obtain spontaneous collaboration or constantly stumbles upon the famous "Ya va!" and with other objects scattered on the floor of his house. Check the following:

  • Are you a passive - aggressive person yourself?
  • Are you openly aggressive and imposing, and like to have things done "your way"?
  • Have you updated your activity outline? Do you renew or use the same methods trying to obtain different results?
  • Do you have good communication with your subordinates?
  • Are you attentive to their needs or do you just use their services?
  • Can you put off fulfilling your wishes or orders, or do you want things to be “done NOW”?
  • Before acting, do you take some time to reflect and analyze different options, or do you just "shoot first, find out later?"?

Passive aggression can be very harmful, even to your health. Take the necessary actions to neutralize its effects before she puts you in an irreversible predicament.

If there is nothing you can do about it, or if the strength of your impulses is greater than your ability to change your behavior, then you should consider consulting with a specialized professional and improving your quality of life..

Cesar Landaeta H
Clinical psychologist


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