When we think of passivity we often think of nonparticipation, indifference, apathy, unresponsiveness, inactiveness. When we take a new look at passivity, we may consider that passivity is a major part of passive-aggressive behaviors. If a person responds aggressive toward us, we know how to respond. We move away or attempt to defend ourselves in some way. However, if a person behaves in a passive way, we are often caught off-guard.
So, what is a helpful way to respond to the passive behavior? Remain calm and Reflect and Ask. You are summarizing/reflecting the situation or behavior and then you are “asking” to clarify that in fact this is the comments or behaviors the person intended.
Now, if the person is being passive-aggressive— do you really believe they are going to be honest with you about their intent. Perhaps not—however, you will remain calm and be protective of yourself. You have done your part of the event or conversation in a constructive way and that is the only part of the event that belongs to you. The other person has control of how they behave.
Often times we think that if we behave kindly– then the other person is obligated to respond kindly—not so. They can be as mean and obnoxious as they choose. That is their choice. Your choice is to respond in a mature way by Reflecting and Asking.
Ask yourself—if I respond in the Passive-Aggressive (hateful) way they are behaving, how will I feel about myself when this event is completed. You have a choice to respond factually in the current moment or go whizzing back to the past and treat yourself hateful—remember, you can do this to yourself—or, you can use your effective communication skills, problem solve and attempt to team play.
The CHOICE is yours…
Keep your Power in your pocket or give it away.
You get to DECIDE….
Learn Cognitive Behavioral Skills to: