So, if you live with a passive aggressive person, do you start to take on passive aggressive traits? I’ve heard it can happen.
But I have a few thoughts about it.
For one thing, from what I understand, passive aggressive behavior is a learned defense mechanism, starting in childhood. Passive aggressive people tend not to admit that they are passive aggressive or are behaving in a passive aggressive way. So I would think that a person who sees themselves acting in a passive aggressive way may be doing so in a given situation, but that they themselves are not truly passive aggressive.
Living with a passive aggressive person has made me feel crazy. My brain will run a million miles an hour trying to figure out what he is doing, what he might be doing, what he might do next, how will I react, what if he does this… then I… but if he does this… then I… but what if… and did I do this that made him do that… etc. So that has been my reaction to his passive aggressive behavior. That “crazy brain” thing is part of codependency – trying to fix everything, solve everything, control everything. Part of overcoming co-dependency is learning to let go.
I very often hide my feelings from him. Yes, hiding true feelings is a trait of passive aggressive behavior. But the goal of a passive aggressive person in hiding his/her feelings is to distance themselves, to keep themselves unavailable, to exercise a certain amount of control. It is a manipulative technique. And a passive aggressive person hides their true feelings from everyone.
I have often hid my feelings from my husband for basically two reasons. One reason stems from codependency. If I tell him how I really feel, he might get upset. And the other reason, when I actually have told him my true feelings, they do not seem to matter to him one single bit.
Hiding my feelings because of fear is not healthy. There are right times and right ways and right places to express any emotion, any feeling, any thought. I’m learning to be better at this.
Ideally, my husband would respect my thoughts and feelings and emotions. But since this really does not seem to be the case, I try to put my energy somewhere else. Sometimes I talk to my daughters about what is bothering me. Or my brother. Or one of my friends. And I blog.
So, will passive aggressive behavior rub off on you? Not if you don’t let it!!!