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SITE P-A BEHAVIOR in Relationships
NOTE: Look for red flags, using the lists from the posts: ‘Passive-aggressive Comments‘, Symptoms of P-A anger – in us, & the set below
IN relationship with a P-A
Because neurotics (‘Givers) take on so much responsibility, they prevent P-As (‘Takers) from having to act differently, enabling the dysfunction to continue.
Character disordered people doesn’t change as long no one calls them on their behavior. But for that to happen everyone they deal with would have to recognize them for what they are, & react appropriately in the moment. Otherwise, they just continue to get away with assuming they’re always right.
EXP: Many women, in divorce court, have been humiliated & financially victimized by judges favoring clever & rich pathological spouses!
In the mean time, until pigs fly, anyone dealing with P-As (& other personality disorders) on a regular basis must verbalize reasonable expectations & stand firm on necessary limits. The ball always has to be tossed back into their court. It’s their responsibility to own up to and work on their issues, so the best you can do is make them accountable.
To start with, it’s important to recognize what’s going on so you don’t think you’re crazy. You may already think you are if you grew up with at least one P-A parent, or everyone in the family – denying how hurt & angry they were, but never acknowledging, much less having dealt with it. But it’s not you!
Because of that beginning, we may have picked up the P-A habit ourselves, but more often we unconsciously choose work environments & personal relationships with P-As. To change that, notice overall patterns of behavior in the people around you, monitor your emotions & never ignore gut reactions.
EXP: You are likely to feel angry, confused, or powerless – when needing to get their cooperation or trying to be heard. But since you can’t have an honest, direct conversation with a P-A person, nothing ever gets resolved.
AND if you continually, compulsively surround yourself with P-As, review your own Fear of Intimacy, because P-As keep everyone at bay. They are not able to be intimate – without Recovery – being cut off from parts of themselves & functioning from the False Self.
If we stay around them for too long we’re guaranteed to feel abandoned – because we are.
Some ways P-As express anger in Relationships:
ATTITUDE / BEHAVIOR
Procrastinates – is deliberately slow &/or puts things off
Always late/leaves early. Walks out on people. Bangs doors
Refuses to do what is reasonably expected
Refuses to listen. Pretends not to hear or see
ATTITUDE / BEHAVIOR
Acts sick or helpless. Refuses to clean oneself or the home
Impulsive – fails to plan ahead. Deliberately makes mistakes
Refuses to function as a responsible parent or spouse
Works markedly below ability. Refuses to work regularly. Absenteeism at work
Refuses to be responsible. Overly stubborn
Distances others. Deliberately avoid or ignore someone
Distances others. Won’t communicate & gives Silent Treatment
Always negative. Withholds support. Refuses to praise or compliment
Enjoys seeing people become upset. Is Divisive
ATTITUDE / BEHAVIOR
Refuses to eat. Refuses to take care of a serious health problems
Fails to attend to the needs of the spouse or children
Deliberately fails at work. Fails to pay bills. Neglects the home
Doesn’t receive love. Withholds love from a spouse. Avoids intimacy
Undermines children’s trust/respect for spouse or other important relatives/friends
Always in victim role. Deliberately acts to be sick or makes themselves sick
Makes false accusations. Con-artist
Dealing with a passive-aggressive is always frustrating & sometimes enraging, especially when it’s your spouse. One of the many problems is that they find it much easier to say what they don’t want than what they do want.
Inside the P-A is a wounded child who isn’t safe enough to voice how it really feels – from fear of punishment, rejection, sarcasm, engulfment …. Their True Self has retreated, making it hard for the P-A to say what’s bothering them, so they expect others to read their mind! & provide unspoken, even unacknowledged needs. And if you don’t, you will be punished – no matter how indirectly.
REMEMBER – their tactics are never about us! even tho it does have a great impact on our interactions with them.