Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Am I Passive Aggressive?

The other day a friend on Facebook posted a hilarious status update about how she handled a loud co-worker. She admitted to using passive aggressive tactics and followed those up with a smile. After cracking up for a bit, I found myself completely relating to this status update. My mind was racing as I thought of how I've witnessed this in my personal workplace. Suddenly I thought I was an expert at "dealing" with passive aggressiveness and not dishing it out. 

Turns out my first instinct wasn't completely inaccurate. I originally entitled this blog post: "How to Deal with Passive Aggressive Co-Workers." Then I googled the definition of passive aggressive behavior. 

As I read the following list of passive aggressive tendencies,

  • Sarcasm
  • The silent treatment
  • Withholding of intimacy
  • Withholding of praise
  • Being critical
  • Sabotage
  • Running late
  • Not doing something that's asked of him/her
….  an epiphany collapsed all over me like soggy bread. Could I be the passive aggressive type? 

In my workplace I'm usually very direct. I'm honest above all and that honesty has allowed me to grow, promote and build solid, evolving relationships. It hasn't always been easy to be the one who deals with difficulty head on and through sometimes tough conversations, but it's worth it. In fact, I am a better leader because of it and often get to be the voice for others when the going gets tough.

However, here's where I was hit hard by the list of passive aggressive tendencies, I could see myself doing all of the above to my hubby, all the time. I'm so passive aggressive towards him, it's scary. But how could this be? How could I not see how I do this to him? Truth is, we sometimes give the people we love most, the worst of us. After reading this list, I immediately texted my husband, "I am sorry for laying passive aggressiveness ALL OVER YOU!" 

An apology is a great start towards progress and improvement! It's like a 12-step program for bad habits. A good first step is admitting you have a problem. My problem? Being a total passive aggressive wifey. 

Do you tend to avoid direct conflict by enlisting passive aggressive tendencies or have to deal with these traits in co-workers, family or relationships? Please share your tips with us! 

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