If you’re in a relationship with a passive aggressive, whether it be a spouse, partner, your mother, etc. being fore-warned is being fore-armed. If you want to spend this or any holiday pleasantly, without upset, here are some steps you must take and some things you must first understand.
The first thing when spending the holidays with a passive aggressive is to always have a “plan B”. Your whole life more likely than not, is made up of small sabotages. Why do we allow ourselves to think because it’s a special day that things will be different? If you think this even for a second, you are already setting yourself up to be disappointed and upset.
The second tip: Never leave anything really important up to the passive aggressive. If it means you have to do everything yourself in order to preserve the day, then that’s the way it will have to be. Whatever you do leave up to them, see tip 1 above. If you’re going to a passive aggressive’s house for dinner, say your mother or sister, etc. and there is a part of the meal that’s very important to you, tell them you’ll bring it. I have a friend allergic to peanuts and every time she goes to dinner she can’t eat dessert, even though the whole family knows of her allergies. Now she takes a dessert herself so that she can be indulging after dinner with everyone else. There are some things all the fake apologies in the world just won’t fix.
Tip 3: If your passive aggressive is always late, waits until the last minute to get dressed, drags their feet you have two choices instead of getting upset. 1) tell them you have to leave a half hour earlier than you really do, or 2) if you have 2 cars be prepared to leave when you’re ready to leave and let them meet you there. If you’re having people to your house, once again tell the passive aggressive guests will be arriving about a half hour earlier than when you really expect them 2) don’t count on your passive aggressive to do anything helpful to get ready for them, unless he/she really likes having guests over and entertaining.
If you’re dating a passive aggressive, expect them to be late if they show up at all. I had a husband once that stayed in the bar and bragged about how I had a big Thanksgiving dinner at home waiting for him. By the time he wondered home we had all eaten and I had everything cleaned up and put away. I didn’t make excuses for why he wasn’t there. It was the way it was. Our trying to excuse their behavior is part of how they keep getting away with it.
Now for one of the hardest tips of all. If you have a passive aggressive spouse or partner, etc. that you are spending the holidays with and they are the type that makes rude comments or snide remarks in front of other people, you are not going to retrain them today. If you haven’t stopped this behavior already, you’re too late to not have it continue in front of family and friends for the holidays. The most important thing you can do is not react to whatever is said. Now you know why I said it’s the hardest.
You can 1)snipe back in humor which may shut them up. It’s worked quite well for me in the past, but then you can’t be surprised if they spend the rest of the time sulking like a small child. 2) If you just ignore it and go past it, odds are he/she will either prove what an ass they are by steadily getting worse on the comments, or they will get bored and go on to something else. If what they are doing/saying doesn’t get to you, they aren’t getting the reaction they want which is for you to “lose it”, odds are they will stop.
If you’ve spent more than one holiday with this person or these people (in case it’s your whole family) and they are passive aggressive, you know what to expect. This year do something different. Expect it to be the same as it has been. It is insane to think that by some miracle these people are going to change, but we can change how we react to them.
Filed under: abuse, coping, dealing with holidays, handling stress, mental health, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive boyfriend, passive aggressive families, passive aggressive holidays, passive aggressive parent, passive aggressive spouse | Tagged: abuse, coping with a passive aggressive, dealing with passive aggression, holidays and the passive aggressive, living with a passive aggressive, mental health, passive aggressive boyfriend, passive aggressive holidays, passive aggressive parents, passive aggressive relationships, passive aggressive spouse, Thanksgiving day |