What’s wrong with Being Passive Aggressive?

As per usual, I have to overanalyze, and overthink things prior to just jumping in. I am learning to be less analytical in my older years. I really don’t even know how I even found out about Medium. I am an avid reader and researcher, so it must have been one of my many google searches, the searches where I literally have to erase my history because it is slowing down my computer. Anyhow, I suppose it is irrelevant how I got here. Now what? 

The research suggests, write often, daily even, and about anything. Um, okay. Write what makes you angry. Well considering I am working on that particular aspect of my life, that seems counter-productive. I spent many years angry, (which I found out is outward depression) and I really don’t want to go back there. So, the irony is that according to Dr Googleheimer (why do we always associate intelligence with being German?), because Einstein was… so there’s that. Anyhow, way off topic. In today’s world — all though no-one wants labels, the paradox is we really do. So, I realized that I am still angry, I am just passively angry. (you can’t win).

According to the experts….

Passive aggressive behavior are indirect patterned actions of resistance to request or demands of others to avoid direct confrontation (Kantor, 2002).

To me, this doesn’t seem too bad, and in my defense, it stems from my childhood. It is difficult to confront emotions like anger, sadness and disappointment, harder, when we have to address those emotions in our relationships with other people. Enter, passive aggression, it enables people to delicately vocalize their negative feelings without directly addressing the foundation of the distress. Although passive aggressive behavior feels good, even virtuous, it slowly wears down relationships and eliminates any chance of fixing the underlying issue.

Apparently being overtly aggressive is not high up there either, the healthy way to combat issues are to be assertive. Well, in my life, I can be aggressive, passive aggressive, assertive, all of the above and it won’t matter. There should be another term invented that would describe how I deal with things. I am turning 50 this year, and I have one child, who is 19. I have imparted all the important things in life, and in his life, he has had to learn lessons, that I didn’t even have to learn. I have had to learn patience, tolerance, acceptance and empathy. Depression is inward aggression, anger is outward depression. I am not sure why passive aggression is a bad thing.

Apparently if you feel that you cannot share your emotions, you may be at risk… of engaging in passive aggressive behavior… ( I think that entire sentence was passive aggressive) Passive aggressive risk factors are:

· Feeling ashamed of or conflicted about your emotions.

· Fearing others will not care about your emotions.

· Fearing conflict in a relationship.

· Being in a subordinate position to another person with whom you have conflict.

· Not wanting to lose another person’s approval.

· A history of intense relationship conflict when bringing up problems.

· Having parents or family members who were often passive-aggressive.

· Not knowing how to productively talk about problems.

· Feeling angry with a person but unprepared to discuss your anger.

Okay, it’s official, I am passive aggressive. So what? Isn’t admitting the first step for recovery?


Hall-Flavin, D. K. (2016, June 9). What is passive-aggressive behavior? What are some of the signs? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/passive-aggressive-behavior/faq-20057901

Kantor, Martin (2002), Passive-aggression: a guide for the therapist, the patient and the victim, Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, ISBN978–0–275–97422–0, retrieved April 27, 2010.

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.