Okay everyone, we left off in “Resenting the Passive Aggressive” part 1 with doing a little “soul-searching”, making a list of who we resent and why. Now let’s get to how to quit resenting the passive aggressives in our lives, since the only one it truly seems to bother is us. LOL. (Not only that but if we openly show the resentment, it puts us at a disadvantage).
Now that you have your list of grievances, one by one, we need to work on forgiving those people. I did not say to necessarily forget, just to forgive. Easier said then done, I know, but it’s got to start somewhere. LOL.
The first place to start is with yourself. When I’m resentful and really angry it’s usually because I’m angry at me for “falling for the same old crap” or “they got to me again”. Then I have a tendency to beat myself up.
“How could you be so stupid?” or “Aren’t you ever going to wise up?”
We want so badly to believe things will be different, that everything is going to work out when the passive aggressive uses their charm, that it’s easy to fall into the trap all over again. It’s human. It’s natural when you care about someone, and the sense of loss, frustration and helplessness when it doesn’t work out is how the resentment for the passive aggressive begins. So put forgiving yourself for being human at the top of the list.
Now for the good stuff!
Go down your list and write each passive aggressive person you are holding resentment for, a letter. Not one to mail, but one you can truly express yourself in, the “down and dirty” stuff. Tell them exactly what you think of them, what they’ve done to you (the way you see it), and what effect it’s had on you and your life. Once you have that all out, save the last paragraph for telling them how you are “breaking the hold” they’ve had on you. That you are no longer going to let them affect your life this way, and that (here it comes), you “forgive them for they know not what they do”. (Luke 23:34).
Then throw the letter away, or burn it, what ever will suffice for “letting go” for you. I know, after all that hard work, aye? But if you hold on to it to read later, 1) you’re not really letting go of the resentments and 2) it’ll probably just make you mad when you read it again. LOL.
Now, figure out what it is the passive aggressive does that get’s to you so easily, ‘your hot buttons’. Figure out a way to counteract that. Have a ‘plan’ for the next time. Start seeing how your life could be if you diffused the situation. Let’s face it. You are never going to change the passive aggressive in your life, so why not change how you react so they don’t upset you so? One of the reasons we get so resentful is that we cannot accept the reality of the fact that “it is what it is”. The sooner that you start dealing with how things are instead of how you wish them to be, the sooner your “hot buttons” won’t be so hot.
The Plan- Now that you’ve gotten all that resentment and anger out into the open, we need a plan to stop it from rebuilding or coming back. You should be feeling a little freer already.
Think about what you think about. Are you being just a little irrational when it comes to this person or these people? Did you cause them to be how they are? I don’t think any of us took our spouse or partner on to raise. And if you’re the parent of a passive aggressive child, remember many things influence how they perceive things growing up. People you don’t even know or realize will have said things or done things regarding your child that influence them, or maybe they’ve taken on traits of your spouse.You are not the cause, you can’t control them, and you’re not the cure (to borrow a quote from AA).
If all the resentment of the past, if all the wrongs were forgotten, how would your life be different? If you started today looking forward instead of looking back, what would change for you? Would you allow yourself to be happy? Would you get along better with the people that matter to you that surround this relationship between you and the passive aggressive? I see it in my own kids. When I start bitching about my passive aggressive boyfriend, it’s like they turn off. “Oh Mom’s ranting again”. Do you find you’re alienating people because they don’t want to get caught up in the crossfire? Would you be able to get on with your life?
Then starting right now, for each passive aggressive person on your list devise a plan for the next time you see them. Think about how they are, what they will probably do, and how you can not react in your usual manner. As you get better at this, you’ll realize more and more how much better you feel after an encounter than you used to. You’ll start to feel the control over the situation coming back to you. It really is in your hands, you know. You may not be able to change them, but you can certainly change how you react to them.
The last step is to do a little day dreaming. In a perfect world, how would your life be different for you? If you didn’t have these resentments hanging around your neck like an albatross, what would you be like? Would you be carefree? Would you take a class? Go out for cocktails with friends and laugh it up? Would you start singing to the radio even if you can’t carry a tune? (Alright, so I do that, but what the heck? LOL).
We all meet people as we are growing up that we admire, and we want to emulate. Why can’t that person for you now be the “you” you want to be, or maybe the person you used to be? What is stopping you? Whatever it is, dissect it, and get rid of it. When you look at it under a microscope, it’s probably not all that rational anyway. You need to be careful and recognize what negative things you’re telling yourself and when you start to hear those thoughts in your head, stop yourself and think of something else, even if it’s just “la, la, la, I can’t hear you”. Negative thinking is a habit. Like any other habit, we have to break it if we want to be free.
Write on a piece of paper the person you want to be, the way you would be if you didn’t have all this negative resentment of the passive aggressive impacting your life. Make a list of the things you enjoy, the things that make you happy. These are the steps to making you the you you want to be. It’s just like setting any other goal, we’re just setting a lifetime goal to be happier and less out of control.
Keep this paper with you. Read it every day. Carry it with you to read either waiting at the doctor’s office, or when you’re feeling down due to some offense, any time you need it. Reinforce the good feelings you get from knowing that “every day in every way, I’m getting better and better.”
It takes practice. Our old habits don’t change over night, but don’t lose faith in yourself or your new plan for a brighter future. You’ll get there. Be good to yourself. You are worthy of a happier life, despite what any one tells you, or even what you tell yourself. If you can make yourself happier, think what you can do for those around you.
Feel free to leave any comments. I’d love to hear if any of this is working for you, or how you felt about it. Like I always say, I’m no therapist, I can only share with you what has helped me. Nothing is going to work for everyone, but hopefully you’ll get something useful out of just trying the steps. If you aren’t happy anyway, what do you have to lose?
Filed under: passive aggressive, passive aggressive boyfriend, passive aggressive parent, passive aggressive spouse | Tagged: coping with a passive aggressive, dealing with passive aggressive peopl, passive aggressive boyfriend, passive aggressive parenting, passive aggressive relationships, passive aggressive spouse, resenting the passive aggressive, self esteem |