Passive Aggressive Behavior In Relationships

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Passive aggressive behavior in relationships: A reader left a message saying that she recently had some problems with her boyfriend, and she wanted to work out the problems between them, but his boyfriend kept refusing to communicate…

I’m Jocelyn. If you have emotional problems, you can ask me for advice. If you are single, maybe you can meet him/her on latemeet.


“Negative confrontation” is more destructive than “fighting

Passive aggressive in relationship: In fact, “negative confrontation” in an intimate relationship is more destructive than “quarrel”.

As the saying goes, “the bedside manner and the end of the bed”, the quarrelsome people appear to be red-faced and uncontrollable, but the emotions are often released in the exchange of “one word and one word”. And the willingness to fight is a positive attitude in communication with each other, in an attempt to express themselves, trying to reach an understanding of the other party, the final result of reconciliation between the two sides.


But “negative confrontation” completely blocked the road to communication. You are full of enthusiasm or full of anger or, he does not respond, do not cooperate, and do not take the trick. Passive aggressive partner: You have a thousand words in your heart, a thousand thoughts, like a dead end blocked there. You even begin to wonder if you have nothing to do, why the relationship problems seem to have nothing to do with him, just you are facing alone.

Not only is “passive aggression” extremely frustrating for both parties, but it also does not benefit the person who is doing it because he is not letting anyone else know about his needs. It’s almost like a “lose-lose” situation.

Read more: Grief And New Relationships



Why does “passive aggression” occur?

Passive aggressive behavior in relationships: In fact, the American psychologist Tim Murphy defines “negative confrontation” as: the weaker party in a relationship expresses the accumulated anger of the stronger party due to unequal status by non-direct means such as delay, avoidance, deliberate anger, and covert retaliation. Passive aggressive behavior in relationships: “Negative confrontation” is usually the result of a person’s inability to properly express anger and deal with conflict in an appropriate manner, so that grievances are expressed in a covert manner.


People who use “negative confrontation” are not usually hotheads. In their upbringing, they were not allowed to freely express negative emotions or insecurities. For example, as a child, when you show anger will be punished, then he learned to suppress emotions, but also afraid to express their opinions decisively.

Passive aggressive in relationship: Second, another situation is that direct conflict with others in the past has caused greater conflict, and he or she is in trouble because of it, then he or she will be afraid of direct conflict with people again.

Third, in the interpersonal interaction found that direct conflict can not solve the problem, but the lack of other effective ways to cope and self-expression, a sense of helplessness slowly formed a “negative confrontation” habit.


Passive aggressive partner:

“Common manifestations of “negative confrontation

Silence, complaining, tardiness, procrastination

Shifting responsibility, pretending to forget

Denial – “I was just kidding”

Qualified praise

Intimacy with reservations



What should I do if I encounter “negative confrontation” in an intimate relationship?

Passive aggressive behavior in relationships:

1. Do not criticize him for this character, so that he will not be more resistant to talk to you.

2. When communicating with him, try to talk more about your feelings and less about his behavior.

 Wrong: “You are too much!”

 Right: “It makes me feel bad that you threw the door open because it makes me feel like you don’t want to listen to me.”

3. Don’t take things personally, and don’t rehash old scores.

 Wrong: “You’re always angry!”

 Right : “You seem upset that you weren’t invited to the party, do you want to talk about it?”


Passive aggressive behavior in relationships:

4. If he temporarily wants to avoid the conversation, let him retreat with dignity, but you must agree on a time to reopen the conversation and not let him confront you endlessly.

5. Make your demands clear. 6.

6. Make him understand that you care about him and that you are doing everything to make the relationship work.



Protect yourself from “negative confrontation

Passive aggressive behavior in relationships: People who are used to “negative confrontation” often believe that it is the best way to deal with conflict, and they often take pride in their emotional control. What they don’t realize is that avoiding direct conflict often leads to more and more serious problems. So how do we protect ourselves from the stealthy aggression of “passive-aggressive” behavior?


1. Set a limit for the other party’s “passive-aggressive”.

Passive aggressive behavior in relationships: Negative aggression can be very damaging, even abusive, and you have the power to set such a limit. Allow the person to escape for a while, but agree on a time to reopen the conversation. You can clearly state your demands.


2. Practice assertive communication.

Passive aggressive in relationship: Firm and assertive communication means being assertive, not passive, and not losing respect. Express a cooperative attitude that you want to solve the problem in a way that works for both parties.

It is also important to listen, to consider the other person’s opinion and acknowledge it, to identify with the other person’s feelings, and not to add blame and reproach to the conversation.


3. Seek professional psychological help to find and resolve the root of the problem.

Passive aggressive in relationship: When we encounter a “negative confrontational” partner, we often feel very frustrated, angry, and powerless after one invisible blow after another. If you feel that you are unable to deal with these emotions and to sort out these problems, you can seek professional psychological help. Through long-term in-depth discussions with a counselor, we can get to the root of the anger buried under the “negative confrontation” and correct the behavior at the source.

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