After my post titled “When Choices Are Made For Me…”, an old friend messaged me accusing me of bad mouthing her and being passive aggressive within that post. That was not the point of the post at all and I wasn’t even thinking about this girl while I was writing it. But it did give me an idea for this post.
All throughout this academic year, I’ve been told that I’m very passive aggressive, and I haven’t really understood what it meant exactly, or why everyone was tossing it around like it was a bad thing. So I did some research and I brought it up during one of my weekly counselling sessions. Through these sources I realized that I can indeed be categorized as passive aggressive, but it isn’t something I do on purpose.
The way I see it, and my counselor agrees, is that there are at least two different types of passive aggressive people. There are the ones who intend to hurt people, who get angry when their hints aren’t picked up, or when things don’t go their way. These people make jabs at those around them, insulting them in a backhanded way, and exacting revenge.
Then there are the second type, the kind that I believe I’m a part of. These people are passive aggressive as “a strategy we use when we think we don’t deserve to speak our minds or we’re afraid to be honest and open,” says psychotherapist Tina Gilbertson, LPC,. Thus this behavior stems from a lack of self-esteem. People in this group are afraid to voice their opinions, are afraid to ask questions outright. Then, they get upset because in their heads their hints should have been picked up on, or the person it’s directed at should just know. These people tend to just withdrawal rather then continue to try because they don’t feel wanted, understood.
Being who are passive aggressive are not necessarily bad people, in fact they’re really just frustrated and different people react in different ways, hence the break into different types.
What are your experiences with passive aggressive people? Are you passive aggressive? Let’s discuss this!