How does passive aggressive and assertive deals with interpersonal conflict

Aggression can be a scary form of confrontation. Some psychologists view anger as an iceberg. These could include:. You could just feel anger. I once set up a group to deal with a certain type of conflict. All of my colleagues attended weekly meetings except for one. He always accepted my invite but never turned up.

I asked him about this and I said that we could reschedule for a more convenient time if that was the problem. He told my other colleagues that he was angry with me because I had in his view, been offensive towards him. I had no idea what this related to and I racked my brains to think what it could be. Apparently, it was my objection to several sexist comments he had made. My ex-colleague may have learned this behaviour from his parents in some way. However, sometimes expressing your anger passively may be because of other reasons. I would probably not be as confrontational with my manager as I would with a colleague who is more junior to me.

Similarly, I feel unconditionally loved by my mother and so my conversations with her are more direct and open, even when I am angry. It all depends on context and sometimes, safety. For somebody like me who in general, feels comfortable with confrontation, dealing with passive aggressive behaviour is hard. These meetings are important because your ideas are valuable, and we need to hear them.

How would you like to deal with it? Stating your feelings about a fact, asking open questions and listening carefully to the response is crucial if you want to appear non-threatening. Your tone should be calm and neutral, and it also helps to reassure the other person that you are here to listen and to understand. I have to wonder why people respond to anger with respect.

I personally think it's sickening, but it is always what has worked for me. Maybe you could explain this to me or someone else might be able to explain why being assertive just gets me walked on. Please help before I start exploding on people again.


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Jack, I don't want to comment on whether you should be one way or another so I'll leave that up to you. I'm more interested in the academic discussion of why angry people get their way and also more importantly why they might gain life long friends. I think cost vs reward is important to look at here. When an individual is doing anything for someone, they are always conscious of the reaction they will receive. A person who is explosively angry presents a threat, or at the very least, a massive emotional cost, to upset.

That said, the spectrum increases at both ends. If something is a greater cost, we expect a greater reward. If we make a person who is typically angry and easily aggravated, instead, appreciate us; we feel great.

Active & Passive Responses to Conflict | Synonym

It's like we won some sort of acceptance that, in reality, we never asked for. I think it is a further elaborated idea to what Benjamin Franklin observed at least I think it was him. He found that if he asked someone who didn't like him, for some thing or some service, if they agreed, they would be more inclined to like him. The internal rationale would be "well if I'm doing this for them, they can't be so bad, in fact I must like them to some degree".


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In the case of why people would like the angry person and be "life long friends", it's usually when they are forgiven. Forgiving someone is an amazing thing, it is about acceptance and the foundation is love. People who are nice and easy to get along with don't ask for that sort of value from people - that love and acceptance. But people who are explosive ask for it, and when they get it, it makes the forgiver more invested. In relation to these people who are ignoring your assertive requests, who are you?

Is there some reason why the requests should be honored? Are you making those requests of your employees? Or your underage children? Or adult offspring living in your home? Those are hierarchical relationships, with you in a top-most position. Or are you simply trying to control your peers?

Your reply is written as if you should be obeyed and requests should be honored; but that is not a given.

How passive aggressive assertive deals with interpersonal conflict

That is not how requests work. Do you really want to be that person?

Is it worth it to become that person, in order to get your way? Ask yourself: Is there some reason why my requests should be honored? First, are they reasonable? Second, is my relationship with the person one that implies that they should do my bidding? This article provided fairly accurate examples of the three noted behaviors.

Understanding our Responses to conflict: Passive, Aggressive and Assertive

That's a sweet start. Having said that, I am more interested to know the whys rather than the hows in the case of passive-aggressive projections. I am guilty of employing a PA approach at times, either in personal relationships or at work, and I'd like to know what could be the possible triggers external , or does the answer simply lie in a person's psyche? Personally, I use the PA approach when I am angry with an individual while hoping to blow off some steam and avoid a direct confrontation at the same time.

Mostly, a good dose of sarcasm is involved as highlighted in the article. Ironically, however, the PA reaction is most likely to lead to a slow and painful meltdown as opposed to the aggressive or assertive approach, and yet I can't help behaving that way. The first 2, to me as a woman, sound like someone picking a fight, pouting, resentful about something, whatever. Not a nice or loving way to start the day. I think part of the issue is that we expect our SOs to be tools to a certain degree.

We want to use each other to make our own lives easier and marriage gets bogged down with these little expectations.

How to Spot and Deal With Passive-Aggressive People | Psychology Today

Personally, I've found in life that people just don't always manage to give you what you want. And there's very little that spouses 'owe' each other. Love isn't about emotional debt. At this point in my life if I want something done and it's important, I arrange my life so I can do it myself.

I've actually found that it isn't that hard. Single people manage to pick up their dry cleaning. Married or not, as adults we're all responsible, ultimately, for our own lives and our own contentment. It seems to me that the aggressive approach will work - for a while only though. People will eventually move as far away from you as possible. Eventually, they will quit the job, divorce you, refuse your calls, etc. Assertive communication is not a win-lose method of interacting — it is a win-win approach. Often when we are in uncomfortable situations, the needs or desires of one or more parties are not being met.

The goal is to find a meeting point in the middle without compromising yourself and what your requirements are.

Sound complex? The below examples will better illustrate this point. Your co-worker wants you to cover their shift on the weekend.


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