How do I deal with an aggressive woman
Relationship stress: how to deal with passive-aggressive behavior
Saying “I'm fine” when that's obviously not the case is undoubtedly a brake on communication. It can feel incredibly frustrating to be the target of such a passive-aggressive discharge. So what's the best way to react when your partner acts like this towards you? Well that depends on your relationship. But it can be helpful to learn a little more about why some of us are prone to this behavior in the first place, says psychology professor Dr. David Ludden.
"Passive aggression can be a sign that a person is unable to deal with conflict in a direct way," says Dr. Ludden. Ultimately, passive-aggressive partners try to communicate their needs - but do not feel confident enough to address them in an unequivocal way. Some people are taught from an early age to prefer not to express their emotions, while others may resort to passive-aggressive behavior because they don't know how to respond appropriately when someone is upset or defensive, explains Dr. Ludden. Either way, “it is necessary to help each other out and try to figure out what the real problem is and how it can be solved,” he recommends.
Ignoring your significant other won't do you any good. You only intensify their passive-aggressive behavior, says Dr. Ludden. "You shouldn't go into it too much, either," he says. If you talk to your partner about his or her passive-aggressive behavior and put a label on it, it could only lead to an increased defiant reaction from your counterpart. Remember, passive aggression isn't always a cry for attention. Nor is it always intended immature behavior. According to Dr. Ludden are the sign that a person is not able to express himself clearly without keeping behind the mountain with his actual emotions and thoughts. So if you are often the target of passive aggression in your relationship, it can be helpful to analyze these problematic circumstances more closely. Try to determine if there is an underlying cause that is the real challenge and should be addressed instead.
Ignoring your significant other won't do you any good. So you only intensify their passive-aggressive behavior.
In general, there are two forms of passive aggression, says Dr. Ludden. One is not keeping promises, he says. For example, the other person may have "forgotten" to help you with a task that you've been bothering them with for months. Your partner may also postpone an event that you wanted to go to together. Passive-aggressive behavior can, however, also express itself as follows: The other person may withdraw and suddenly be abrupt, says the expert. All of these behaviors can be very stressful because they don't really address the real problem.
So how do you find out what's actually going on? If you feel that the situation is too tense, Dr. Invite them to write down your feelings in an email or letter. "Expressing your emotions in writing enables you to be more critical of them," he says. If writing isn't your thing, you can try to tell your significant other how you feel by using first-person statements (“I feel helpless when I don't know what's going on” instead of “you are always like that and don't tell me what's going on ”). Then let the other person have their say and share how they picked up your words. This way you can avoid misunderstandings and make sure that nothing has been misinterpreted (this is a technique from Imago Therapy that can be very helpful for couples working on a conflict).
These are all just suggestions, however. Which communication channel you choose depends on your particular situation. However, it is advisable to approach relationship problems in a calm, supportive, constructive manner, advises Dr. Ludden.
So sometimes passive aggressive behavior is a deeply ingrained habit in a relationship. In this case, couples therapy could be of use, says Dr. Ludden. “To help your partner, you need to show emotional strength and fight your way through his or her defense mechanism,” he says. Sometimes this requires the help of experts who can help you address your issues in a safe environment.
Ultimately, habits suggestive of passive aggression are common and a widespread phenomenon. But that doesn't mean they are healthy. After all, none of us can read minds. You shouldn't feel compelled to decipher your significant other's behavior just because she can't be honest and direct with you. And one more thing: you cannot change the way other people act. But what you can change is how you react to others. The best thing you can do in a relationship is to be patient and give the other person space to express their feelings, whether they are "okay" or not.
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