Learning Not To Push The Passive Aggressive

Cecil Adams, columnist for The Chicago Reader says “Merely being passive-aggressive isn’t a disorder but a behavior — sometimes a perfectly rational behavior, which lets you dodge unpleasant chores while avoiding confrontation. It’s only pathological if it’s a habitual, crippling response reflecting a pervasively pessimistic attitude.”

I know better. I have suggested calls to his mother, calls to his kids, calls to get a haircut. The answer is always the same. Either “I was going to do that today” or “I’m going to do that a little later”.

The next day I ask “Did you call so and so?”

“Oh, I forgot. I’m such an idiot!”

I bought the passive aggressive BF a satellite radio for Father’s Day. It didn’t work so we bought a new car radio so the satellite radio would work. Still doesn’t work. Checked with the guys at the car stereo shop. Gave him the harness he needs and found out there’s an amplifier in the very back of the car we didn’t know about. It’s blowing fuses like crazy.

5:44pm I suggested calling the stereo place and see if they can give ideas as to why the fuses keep blowing. Reply: Can’t call. They’re closed by now. I’ll call tomorrow.

2nd day- 5:30pm  BF: “I think I’ll call the stereo place. I wanted to check thru everything first before I called”

Me: “Aren’t they closed? When I suggested yesterday that you call because most those places don’t close until 6, you said they would be closed. It was too late to get ahold of anyone.”

BF: “Oh I did?” and he proceeds to call and talk to someone.

Obvious lesson? He’ll call when he’s darn good and ready. If I suggest it he may never do it. This comes from the passive aggressive need to rebel against anyone in authority and no matter how close you think you are, that includes you. When I’m really on my game, when I suggest he call family, for a haircut, etc. I try to circumvent the “I forgot” with the follow up “Why don’t you call now so you don’t forget?” The passive aggressive isn’t very happy when you start taking away their excuses. While he’s outwardly irritated with me, passively of course, many times it works.



3 Responses

  1. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  2. Why “learn not to push”? I asked my passive/aggressive ex if he were planning to take two required math classes during the summer at a JC. He’s told me earlier this was his plan because classes would be easier at the JC. I had asked him simply because I wanted to plan my own summer schedule. He hit the ceiling and said,”Thanks for having so much faith in me.” I threw him out that night. I knew then that 1) he didn’t make any sense and 2) I could throw him out. I called him back, of course, and he was sorry, and stuff, but it didn’t stop. I told him sometime later after a classic PA vs. Normal Person fight that if we had one more of those episodes he was out. He is out. Push them? Let them crash and find out what they need to do THEMSELVES. It’s like alcoholism. There’s a bottom. They have every right to hit that bottom ON THEIR OWN.


  3. I just meant for my own sanity, instead of the classic excuses, I’m just better off letting sleeping dogs lie.

    My passive aggressive is very passive. I think the whole time we’ve been together (9 yrs.) he’s only raised his voice maybe less than a half a dozen times. He is definitely the kind of PA that hates confrontation and I am very confrontational.

    While I think it’s possible for anyone to “hit bottom” I think PA s do, but then they still don’t get it as to why. It’s good for you that you know you have control of your situation. It gives you much more freedom to make the choices you do. It’s just such a shame it has to be such a bumpy road getting there. LOL

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