The psychology of passive aggression

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The psychology of passive aggression
The psychology of passive aggression

What is passive aggression, its psychology. The development of such a disorder in men and women, how to deal with it. Passive aggression is a tacit resistance to the speech (beliefs, actions) of your opponent, when they are not going to enter into open angry polemics with him. A person who has been subjected to such mental pressure remains “on his own mind” with his own, even if wrong, opinion. Such passive-aggressive behavior is considered a mental disorder, inherent in individuals who cannot openly resist someone else's judgment, are constantly irritated and look for flaws in other people.

What is a passive aggressor?

Passive aggression

Passive aggression occurs in individuals with a weak nervous system who indifferently meet the hardships of life, without even trying to somehow minimize their negative impact. Such people are restless and indecisive, they question everyone, they are cautious on every occasion. For example, they can silently nod their heads, as if approving their opponent, but at the same time think, they say, “Emelya’s shallow, shallow, and we’ll see what happens.”

Unwillingness to solve their problems makes the person passive, trying not to run into a conflict even when it is inevitable. Such people follow the path of least resistance, preferring not to do anything, but to look from the outside and condemn the actions of, say, the authorities, having their own “special” opinion on everything. These are vulnerable to external influences, which makes it possible to manipulate their consciousness and behavior.

Unwillingness to openly confront other people's opinions causes dissatisfaction with oneself, but a person cannot do anything about it. He withdraws into himself and is very worried, becomes a grouch, considers everyone around him bad, deceitful and selfish. Such people can be identified by eternal dissatisfaction, constant negative assessments of others, attempts to oppose their "passive" views to a different opinion.

It's important to know! The passive aggressor sees everyone in a black light, his people are bad, you should not trust them.

The main causes of passive aggression

The psychology of passive aggression is a poorly understood phenomenon, but psychologists have found that the passive-aggressive style of behavior is less pronounced in women. In men, it occurs 2 times more often.

Common causes of passive aggression

Passive aggression in a child

Such manners are manifested in addicted people who are afraid to openly express their opinions because of the fear of being punished. In interpersonal relationships, they feel humiliated, they are oppressed by a sense of guilt.

Let's consider all these factors in more detail. These include:

  • Passivity… When, due to the weakness of their character, they shy away from decisive actions even to the detriment of themselves. I don’t want to be active, it’s better to let it be. Such a person is easy to manipulate, although he may not agree with another point of view, but he will not openly criticize it. The main thing is your own calmness, and therefore it is better to silently "serve" any objectionable opinion.
  • Indecision… It is associated with low self-esteem, inability to independently solve their problems. A person is afraid to express his judgment, because he considers him immature, frivolous. If he offers his point of view, they will laugh at him. Such a "downturn" of oneself leads to a tacit agreement with the imposed gaze. A silent "aggression" to a contrary opinion arises in the soul.
  • Anxiety… Too suspicious in constant anxiety that everything in life is not at all like that. This leads to depression.Anxious-depressive individuals fall into apathy when there is no strength to resist. In this state, they may agree to an opinion that runs counter to their own. If only they were left behind. Although in the soul there is a tacit resistance against the one who "stuck" with his judgment.
  • Desire to look good in the eyes of others… It is peculiar to indecisive people. It is associated with a weakness of character, when your judgment is hidden deep inside the soul. I will do as you say, just to say good about me. Such conformism often hides passive aggression, anger does not come out so that others do not think badly of the person.
  • Credulity… When the inclination to trust borders on the naivety of the child. A person does not even think about what can happen to him if he agrees with someone else's opinion, which is sharply different from his own. He just takes his word for it, and this leads to the manipulation of his mind.
  • Fear of negative experiences… I do not agree with the other opinion, but if I speak out against it, I will get a bunch of negative emotions. Why are they? It is better to silently accept a different judgment, but on occasion always have your own "special" point of view. A sort of tacitly aggressive, irritable personality.
  • Psychological addiction… A person is dependent, for example, on his employer. He "presses", imposes his point of view, although it is completely unacceptable, but you need to agree with it, otherwise you can lose your job. This is how a person becomes in the "pose" of a silent aggressor.
  • Vague self-awareness… When everything around is perceived as lacking clarity, alienated. With such a perception, a different opinion is perceived uncritically, although it can differ sharply from one's own.
  • Love for pleasure… A person has his own position, but the craving for pleasure makes him restrain his judgments, as this can affect his image. In such cases, he will confine himself to "cautious aggression", tacitly or secretly condemn people who impose their point of view on him.
  • Impressionability… Often combined with suspiciousness and gullibility. Overly impressionable people quite often sacrifice their opinions to something else. Realizing that they did wrong, they get irritated, but hide their anger behind passive aggression - harsh words against the person who imposed his position on them.
  • Greed… Those who are too greedy cover up their disagreement with someone with quiet aggression - they do not express their anger vividly, because they are afraid to speak out publicly against the person on whom their material well-being depends, for example.
  • Arrogance… Too confident in themselves can act rashly, without consulting family and friends, then get upset, blaming the whole world for their failures. Realizing that they are wrong, they hide their dissatisfaction behind passive aggression, for example, in a close circle discussing people who made them make the wrong decision.

It's important to know! People who are unsuccessful in their personal life and professional activity often become passive-aggressive.

What pushes men to quiet aggression?

Male passive aggressor

Why men become quiet aggressors depends on many factors. First of all, this is due to the character formed under the influence of a weak nervous system. Let's say a person keeps quiet about a problem or leaves it in dirty jokes. This happens because he is afraid to express his point of view, so as not to run into trouble, although he is not averse to scandal. It is good if upbringing, the general culture of the individual is reflected in such behavior. However, this is not always the case.

To recognize passive aggression in men, you need to know the signs of passive-aggressive behavior. These may include:

  1. Speaks badly about everyone… He is afraid to be openly angry, he shows his discontent secretly. As in the joke about the lion and the hare. They were sitting in a restaurant, the lion got drunk and banged his fist on the table, they say, I'll show you now how to disagree with me. The hare with fright broke loose and ran away.At home, he tightly closed all the windows and also banged his fist on the table: "You won't scare me!"
  2. Lack of initiative… When he silently listens and agrees with everything. Although he has his own opinion, he is afraid to express it due to his weakness of character. Such a person always tries to shift the responsibility onto others, often lies, apologizes for trifles.
  3. Optional… He never fulfills his promise, having started work, he can quit with the words that he will finish later. And this "after" will drag on for a long time. He reacts weakly to suggestions to do something, they say, all this is nonsense, nothing will work out. In such actions and words lies the lack of confidence in their own actions, which is covered by hidden aggression, opposition to your opponent.
  4. Genophobia… An insecure man is afraid of women, does not know how to talk to them, is afraid, for example, of hearing a harsh word from them in his address. He hides his quiet aggression towards the female sex behind bravura behavior, often accompanied by the words that they are all so-and-so, it is not worth communicating with them.
  5. Modesty in everyday life… Such a person does not like to attract too much attention to himself. His behavior does not cause any complaints, the quiet-aggressive type does nasty things to people with a smile. A sort of innocent lamb.
  6. Weak-willed character… She does not take the initiative, she seeks to hide behind someone else's back, often it is female. Completely under the thumb of the mother or wife, they solve all household problems for him. At work, he is dependent on his superiors, he always agrees with him in everything. Even if he doesn't think so at all. Because of this, he constantly feels guilty, but does not "resist evil with violence." All his resistance goes into quiet aggression: bad reviews, for example, about a boss or a neighbor.
  7. Alcoholism, substance abuse… A striking example of the passive aggression of men is a passion for alcohol or any kind of "mania", for example, drug addiction. Complexity, fear of openly declaring their position, entering into a public dispute, make you worry. A person seems to himself a coward, in order to look bold, he begins to use intoxicants. In a state of intoxication, he feels a surge of strength. Then he will show those who do not reckon with him! And when he sober up, the aggressiveness disappears, he is again quieter than water below the grass.
  8. Soullessness… A man suffers so much from his worthlessness, fear of proving himself, that he has no time for others. He simply forgets that he is surrounded by people who want to be kind to themselves. They never apologize if they did something awkward. And why, he (she) and so will survive.
  9. Never clearly states his position… He always has it vague and vague. Today there may be one opinion, but after a while - quite another. It all depends on the environment in which he is.
  10. Comes contradictory… Yesterday I said one thing, but today it is completely different, it acts depending on the situation, adjusts to the momentary opinion.

It's important to know! A passive-aggressive man is an immature, weak-willed and lack of initiative person who cannot properly dispose of the abilities given to him by nature, and therefore covers his passivity with hidden aggression towards active, active people.

Woman is a silent aggressor

Girl passive aggressor

Passive aggression in women is much less common than in men. The fair sex, getting into an unpleasant situation, tries to throw out negative emotions, noisily reacting to criticism addressed to him. This is due to the peculiarities of the emotional sphere. However, such a character trait as, for example, caution, makes you refrain from harsh assessments of your interlocutor.

Let us consider in more detail what character traits help a woman to restrain anger, translating it into a channel of quiet aggression. These include:

  • The ability to think about the consequences… They say that women are very emotional, at first they shout, swear, and then they begin to comprehend what they have done. But this is not entirely correct judgment.Many representatives of the fairer sex quite adequately react in a critical situation for them. And they restrain their negative emotions, ready to escape from their lips with screaming and abuse. Because they understand that the consequences of such behavior can affect their, say, career. It is better to restrain yourself and not "paraffin" your boss, but to express all the taunts against him in a narrow circle, when there is confidence that these words will not cause undesirable consequences.
  • Flattery… Some famous person said that "flattery is aggression on your knees." If a person flatters a lot, it means that he hates, but is afraid to openly say about it, hiding his hatred under the guise of obsequiousness. To a greater extent, this behavior is inherent in women. Let's say she is afraid of the man with whom she has brought life, and hides her true attitude towards him with excessive praise. In fact, she lives in a humiliated position.
  • Humility… Being overly submissive has never been a good quality for either man or woman. A submissive person is like a doormat on which anyone who wants to can wipe their feet. This gives rise to aggression, which, due to the nature of his character, a person cannot express publicly. The Nobel Prize laureate writer Elias Canetti (1905-1994) owns the expression that “Whoever fulfills the order needs some kind of compensation. Obedience breeds aggressiveness. "
  • Eternal discontent… If a woman is unhappy with everyone around her, she constantly condemns everyone, speaks of people with disdain. He disguises his aggression towards the outside world in negative statements.
  • Flawed self-awareness… When any remark hurts a woman's pride, a lady is capable of any bad deed, but she is afraid to openly do it, "as if something happens." Aggressiveness turns into a quiet, completely harmless form, often hiding behind verbal "secret" attacks towards the offender.
  • Dissatisfaction with yourself… She is unhappy with her actions, understands this, but she cannot help herself. The accumulated irritation breaks down on others, speaks out towards them in an aggressive form, but within the bounds of decency. Not accompanied by screams, tears and beating, for example, dishes. It calms you down and gives you a false sense of superiority over your supposed enemy.
  • Jealousy… Let's say a girlfriend is to a loved one. Or at work they praise the friend, not her. Envy arises, but you don't want to openly break off the relationship. How will others react? On this basis, quiet aggression arises, which can be expressed in exaggerated praise of the girlfriend. Unfriendliness towards her is diligently hiding.
  • Low self-esteem… From childhood, the little girl in the family was humiliated, spoke badly about her. She resigned herself to such an assessment of her personality, she was afraid to openly oppose her. With age, the feeling of inferiority has firmly settled in the soul. The girl grew up insecure, fearful, deeply hiding the germs of aggression in her heart, considering the world cruel and unfair. Therefore, he condemns him in his statements.

It's important to know! From a psychological point of view, passive aggression is beneficial. Since it is a kind of spiritual fulcrum, which gives a hidden feeling of superiority over those who, willingly or unwittingly, offend. However, you need to understand that this is typical for people who are physically and spiritually weak.

What if there is a passive aggressor nearby?

Girl at a psychologist

How to resist passive aggression if you know that, for example, your friends treat you kindly in words, and muddy you behind your back? What should be done to avoid unpleasant communication with them, or maybe it is necessary to interrupt it forever? Tips here can be different.

In this case, the fight against passive aggression depends primarily on the realization of the fact that in your environment there are persons suffering from this mental defect. If this understanding comes, then a number of measures should be taken to get rid of the influence of these people. Let's say, talk to them frankly.

However, there may be another option when you yourself suffer from such a disorder. And then what needs to be done, how to deal with passive aggression, so as not to disturb your own peace, your loved ones and friends?

First of all, you need to figure out why this person causes an unpleasant feeling in me. Who is to blame for this, perhaps I give him a reason to talk about me unflattering. Also, you should not judge other people for their actions if they do not concern you directly. "And who cares where the spray will fly?" This means that it is not at all necessary to react nervously to something that does not affect you personally.

To know how to get rid of passive aggression, you need to understand that it is the lot of the weak in spirit. Various psychological trainings will help here to work on character, for example, on introspection and correction of their actions.

Envy is not life's best counselor. An English proverb says that "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." When they are jealous of others, speaking angrily or unkindly about them, they destroy their own lives. Because any aggression, be it open or quiet, underlies destruction, not creation.

And one must remember that one should never destroy the joy of others. Even if it seems to you a trifle. Let people rejoice if it gives them pleasure. And pouring your “spoon” of causticity into someone else's "barrel" of delight is evil. Such involuntary aggression, even if uttered in a completely harmless way, is a guarantee of a bad relationship.

Passive aggressors are usually losers. No need to buy a ticket for the unlucky carriage. In such a good life you will not leave. What is passive aggression - look at the video:

Sigmund Freud said that "the other person is always an object to satisfy his aggressiveness." But this is for a morally immature person. Only spiritual work on oneself will help to avoid all the troubles associated with passive aggression.

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