Seeing the Passive Aggressive Through “Sweet” Eyes

I found this this morning, and I thought I would post just in case there is someone out there it may help. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and then I will spill mine.


20 Responses

  1. This is the best advice I’ve heard or read so far. It’s simple, direct, logical and a fair solution for both individuals. I think even the PA would have to accept that it’s totally reasonable. I especially liked her suggestion about taking that break if you need one but making sure that you set a time when you will be back to continue your conversation. If you can get a PA to agree to that stipulation, you’ve achieved something of major importance. Their habit of walking out to avoid talking is one of the most destructive traits they have. Thanks for this. I wish I had learned this before I needed it.Too late for my PA / Narcissist relationship but it is a valuable tool for ANY relationship.

    • So true. This was advice i got from a therapist years ago. Everyone processes at different speeds, but as long as you agree on a time to regroup, thats fair. Well, I’m still waiting for years for my PA to “get back to me”. Its already a joke when he says he’ll get back to me (tho I don’t think he gets it….)

    • Hi Marilyn- So good to hear from you.

      I think this could be good advise if you were dealing with normal people, or like I said in my new post, if you are just starting your relationship. You and I both know getting them to actually play by the rules when it comes to discussing anything to do with the relationship, is next to impossible. No offense, My Dear Friend, in your situation, I don’t think this would have been much help for you either. Although I will give him credit. He would walk out and go “process” for days, but it did seem he would “get back to you”. LOL. For most, once the walkout, there’s no “getting back” to that discussion again.

      • Ya, he’d come back but it wouldn’t be discussion time.His leaving wasn’t about processing anything I’d said. It was just an avoidance tactic. It would be him hoping I’d forgotten about the topic and poised to head for the door again if I tried to pick up where I’d left off. He won’t change…ever. I know that now. From what I hear, the female he’s with now will tolerate anything so there won’t be a reason for him to change. I wanted you to know that I still hear your words in my head often. In fact I say them aloud often….You said ” you’re lucky to have dodged a bullet. You are so right about that but damn, I still think about him much too much and it’s been almost three years. I still do a double take when I see a car like his…in fact I’m thinking about buying one. Now tell me, how sick is that?

  2. IMNSHO… The tactics in this video work with reasonable people who actually participate in important discussions. However, I have yet to meet a PA with whom these work… been there, done that, burned the T-shirt.

  3. Interesting clip. I was excited to hear her 4 statements, but a) doubt I cud pull those off without sarcasm and b) don’t quite see how to use them when my PA simply ignores me altogether. There’s no opportunity for conversation. 😦

  4. Passive aggression is aggression. A person trying to talk to a PA about a problem is a target of aggression. Remember, there probably wouldn’t be an attempt at a serious discussion unless you needed the PAs help or partnership in the first place. You need something, you are going to him for it, he is gatekeeping, he is on top. Good luck getting him to relinquish that power. I’m sure most women on this board have applied all those techniques to no avail. I would be very surprised if anyone here applies those techniques and is met with anything other than responses intended to escalate conflict rather than solve problems.

    • Val- I agree totally. Usually, from what I’ve seen here, when the discussion does start, it’s them accusing us of something, or something that they didn’t do was our fault. The advice didn’t seem truly practical to me.

  5. […] BehaviorHow Does Someone Become Passive Aggressive?Leaving The Passive Aggressive- Now What?Seeing the Passive Aggressive Through "Sweet" EyesThe Passive Aggressive Loves […]

  6. I’m with Val……I have applied these techniques, tried to have an adult conversation, tried to elicit some empathy in a couple of situations, took ownership of my feelings and declared it so……I am always ASTOUNDED , and unfortunately that is not an exaggeration , about my PAs aggression in these situations.. I am no saint nor angel …..I did suggest to my PA that you get what you give…….

  7. This advice is compete nonsense! They don’t work for an actual PA. PA is not just a coping mechanism but a control mechanism. People who want control do not want to hear what you say or be loving to you. Anyone with in a PA marriage does not need a therapist advice about how they are just misunderstood loving people who are constantly abused by their spouses and are trying to cope in the best way they know how. It is not possible to communicate with someone who is delusional and therefore sees what they want to see whether we are being loving are not.

  8. Oh man, this video makes me roll my eyes just as hard as Ladybeams. Anyone who has been in a relationship with a PA comprehends that NONE of what she offers helps… she might as well be giving birth control advice to a pregnant lady!

    By the time you realize you’re in a relationship with a PA, you’ve tried all those things, feel like you’ve failed, and are starting to feel like you’re a lunatic.

    PA’s don’t TALK; they sulk, sneak, sabotage, sneak attack and use subterfuge to ‘communicate’… the only way to deal with a full blown PA is to watch their actions, set your boundaries, and get help to disengage from them.

    The tactics listed in this video are NOT good advice when dealing with a PA.

  9. The ‘advice’ in this video is completely wrong for dealing with a PA, and anyone who has ever truly been involved with a PA knows that. This advice is like giving birth control instructions to a pregnant lady; anyone who is involved in a PA relationship is already WAY beyond doing any of these things; they’ve TRIED and know it’s not working.

    PA’s don’t talk; they communicate through silence, sulking, sabotage, subterfuge, sneak attacks and storming out. They do it in very small and subtle ways in increments that are just enough to make the recipient feel like a complete nutball. They participate in relationships and tasks at a minimal level; they show up late, fein confusion, and deny any responsibility. They are a day late, a dollar short and one tool shy for the job.

    If you are in a relationship with a PA you need to do nearly the OPPOSITE of what this ‘expert’ is touting; you need to learn to recognize the BEHAVIORS, set boundaries and learn strategies to disengage from the PA. You need to reduce your negative reactions to their infuriating choices and instead learn to remain neutral and eventually learn to calmly state what behaviors are unacceptable. Ultimately, you need to get the F out. 🙂


    • Peggy,
      Spoken like someone who has been there, done that. I am trying hard to get to that point, but damn! those negative reactions still happen :(.
      Thankfully tho, I am really coming to grips with your solution to dealing with the PA- getting the F out. Your words are oddly very supportive. Thanks.

      • If their goal is to “get your goat”, it doesn’t matter how hard you try to communicate and resolve issues. You would be able to accomplish that if their goal were to make the relationship better, but it’s not.

        Some people refer to “passive aggression” as “covert aggression”. The trap is that the aggression is hidden. Sadly, it’s also hidden from therapists who believe that the perpetrator’s true intentions are to have a good relationship. They are human beings and also get caught in the trap of listening to the words rather than analyzing the actions. By the time therapists usually witness relationship dynamics, it’s when the PA has control of the situation and can therefore control the spin.

        Honestly, we should confront this lady and ask her what her experience is with these relationships. We should ask her how long people are supposed to apply her techniques before having to acknowledge that a one sided relationship cannot work.

        BOTH partners must be equally committed to laying aside their feelings to work things out. If not, the person acting on their feelings really does control the relationship, which will always settle down to the lowest common denominator.

  10. It has been almost three weeks since I broke up with my PA ex-boyfriend. His behavior towards me made me feel as though I was losing my mind! I had never met a man who acted in such a subtly crazy making manner. When he told me that his negative quality was that he could be passive-aggressive, I went online and looked it up. What I found out blew me away!! Everything that I read about PA men described his behavior with 100% accuracy! My advice is not to try and work on your relationship with these kinds of men–they will waste years of your life and drain you emotionally!! My ex, whom I had been with for only seven months thought he was ‘winning’ when I calmly broke up with him after reaching the breaking point caused by yet another one of his silly mind games. Ha! Ha! I am currently celebrating my new found peace of mind on the beautiful island of Hawaii. My advice on how to deal with a PA man is to cut your losses and get as far away from them as you can!! RUN FORREST RUN!!!!!

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