I admit that I have a hard time dealing with passive-aggressive people. Passive-aggressive people (P/A for short) use passive means to display aggressive behavior. They use every means possible to look like the good guy, and the other person like the bad guy.
Passive-aggressive people are untouchable. They never apologize, they don't take responsibility for their behavior, they complain that other people don't live up to their expectations, and they avoid facing hard truths, especially when it means they have to look at themselves. Oh, and when they hurt others, they turn it around so it's always the other person's fault and they deserved it.
We all show p/a behaviors from time to time. Nobody's perfect. But people who live their life this way are so tiring to be around. I am able to "feel" people's emotions and attitudes pretty clearly. P/a people "feel" different than they are acting. They act so strong and confident, when inside they are so incredibly fearful. I don't know which version of them to respond to. The surface acting or the true person who is hiding.
Most people who are p/a, I have to distance myself from them and basically ignore. I can't get involved with those kinds of people. But there are people in my life who are like this and I am not able to walk away from due to circumstances. I'm sure a lot of people have this same experience, with p/a people in their families or at work.
P/a people have friends and loved-ones who don't seem to be bothered by their behavior. How do they deal with it? How can anyone be close to someone like that? I'm baffled.
So, I'm going along, trying to learn how to deal with the people in my life who act passively and yet are aggressive underneath.
Perhaps the first thing I need to do is let go of any desire to get their approval. It's not going to happen. They complain about everyone (except those who they are in complete awe of or who they seek their approval), so I'm going to be one of those people they complain about.
Perhaps I also need to let go of the idea that having any kind of "real" relationship with them is necessary. I'm naturally a "connect with the universe" kind of person. But they are sending a clear message to the universe, "Do not try to connect with me unless I invite you in." Perhaps if I let go of my attachment to being "real" about things, I can deal better with them.
Perhaps I also need to let the universe, or karma, take care of it. There are a lot of things I can change, but p/a behavior is not one of those things. I need to let these people make their own choices, absent of my judgment of them, and then let the universe and karma take care of it. In the big scheme of things, it doesn't matter if that one person is p/a.
Lastly, focusing on my own behavior is key. P/a behavior is a way to control a situation or person. Instead of trying to defend myself from their p/a attacks or clarify my position, I can simply do what needs to be done, focus on keeping my own integrity intact, and move on. I have no power to change the other person. I can only affect my own behavior. And when I focus on my own behavior, I can't be controlled.
I think it p/a behavior boils down to a fear of intimacy. And since I'm naturally an intimate person (perhaps to a fault), if a person acts the act of what intimacy looks like, but who is actually creating as much distance as possible, it makes me agitated.
It's my choice whether to allow them to continue agitating me, or to let it go. I will practice letting go, and see if I can make it a habit, or at least be conscious that I have a choice.
Do you know any passive-aggressive people? How do you handle them?