One of the common themes I notice about people trying to deal with a passive aggressive spouse or partner is the total lack of control we feel. Of course that is their primary tactic, to make us think we’re crazy, but it doesn’t mean we have to go there.
Practicing positive thinking allows people to focus on our strengths and accomplishments, which increases happiness and motivation. This, in turn, allows us to spend more time making progress, and less time feeling down and stuck. The following tips provide practical suggestions that you can use to help you shift into more positive thinking patterns:
1. Take Good Care of Yourself
It’s much easier to be positive when you are eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest.
2. Remind Yourself of the Things You Are Grateful For
Stresses and challenges don’t seem quite as bad when you are constantly reminding yourself of the things that are right in life. Taking just 60 seconds a day to stop and appreciate the good things will make a huge difference. This is a really nice idea for just before you fall asleep.
3. Look for the Proof Instead of Making Assumptions
A fear of not being liked or accepted sometimes leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but our fears are not necessarily reality. It’s really easy to fall into this trap if your passive aggressive partner is withholding sex, which is very common. If you have a fear that your partner’s bad mood is due to something you did, speak up and ask them. You may get the usual answer “nothing’s wrong” but at least you have faced the problem and make them face it to a certain extent. Don’t waste time worrying that you did something wrong unless you have proof that there is something to worry about.
4. Refrain from Using Absolutes
Have you ever told a partner “You’re ALWAYS late!” or complained “You NEVER talk to me!”? Thinking and speaking in absolutes like ‘always’ and ‘never’ makes the situation seem worse than it is, and programs your brain into believing that certain people are incapable of delivering.
5. Detach From Negative Thoughts
Your thoughts can’t hold any power over you if you don’t judge them. If you notice yourself having a negative thought, detach from it, witness it, and don’t follow it. Our negative “self talk” can be more damaging than anything others say.
6. Squash the “ANTs”
In his book “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” Dr. Daniel Amen talks about “ANTs” – Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the bad thoughts that are usually reactionary, like “Those people are laughing, they must be talking about me,” or “The boss wants to see me? It must be bad!” When you notice these thoughts, realize that they are nothing more than ANTs and squash them!
7. Practice Lovin’, Touchin’ & Squeezin’ (Your Friends and Family)
You don’t have to be an expert to know the benefits of a good hug. Positive physical contact with friends, loved ones, and even pets, is an instant pick-me-up. One research study on this subject had a waitress touch some of her customers on the arm as she handed them their checks. She received higher tips from these customers than from the ones she didn’t touch! We all need this and if your passive aggressive partner is withholding to punish you, you can still benefit from the hugs, love and support of others.
8. Increase Your Social Activity
By increasing social activity, you decrease loneliness. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their positive energy will affect you in a positive way!
9. Volunteer for an Organization, or Help another Person
Everyone feels good after helping. You can volunteer your time, your money, or your resources. The more positive energy you put out into the world, the more you will receive in return and for a little while you can concentrate on someone else’s problems. (I think that’s why we get so addicted to soap operas. LOL).
10. Use Pattern Interrupts to Combat Rumination
If you find yourself ruminating, a great way to stop it is to interrupt the pattern and force yourself to do something completely different. Rumination is like hyper-focus on something negative. It’s never productive, because it’s not rational or solution-oriented, it’s just excessive worry. Try changing your physical environment – go for a walk or sit outside. You could also call a friend, pick up a book, or turn on some music.
Some of these are really easy and don’t cost anything to do. Some will take a lot of practice, but the sooner we start the sooner we’ll have more, or better control over our lives.
Filed under: abuse, causes, coping, hidden feelings, mental health, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, personality disorders | Tagged: behaviour problems, coping, coping skills, coping with a passive aggressive, games passive aggressives play, mental health, passive aggressive boyfriend, passive aggressive relationships, passive aggressive spouse, withholding sex |