We’ve all been there. That uncomfortable spot where we are confused whether our partners are acting out of concern or being plain mean to us for no reason. Passive aggressive behaviour is hard to detect but also difficult to live with. If you feel like you’re in a relationship with a partner who is making things increasingly complicated for both your lives, it’s about time you recognize the issue and tackle it head-on. Here are some ways you can use to deal with the passive aggressive partner in your life.
1. Identify the problem
You need to be certain there is a conflict in the first place. It’s unwise to jump on the blame bandwagon without sufficient reason to panic! If you are faced with enough instances of hostility, confront it.
2. Focus on conflict management
You know them well enough to know when to bring the issue to the surface. Be mindful of the mood, the comfort level you’re sharing with them, and the place you’re in, before addressing the issue.
3. Don’t be vague, get straight to the point
Make it a point to tell them exactly what it is that bothered you, and recall the incident with clear precision. A vague argument is as good as smoke in the air, difficult to pin down and will get lost in conversation without an end to it.
4. Set boundaries and limits
After identifying and speaking of the issue, tell your partner why you don’t appreciate their behaviour along with stating your limit to tolerating the same. Tell them you are willing to give them a chance to redeem their faults, but clearly define the extent to which you’ll let it go.
5. Follow through with your assertion
Once the problem is addressed and the solution is set, make sure you stay loyal to the limits you’ve set for yourself. If your partner sees that you’re willing to forgive them even after multiple incidents and repeated warnings, they are likely to take advantage of your good nature.
6. Work on it together
At the end of the day, the relationship is a two-way street. If their passive aggressiveness is somehow arising out of the effects of your behaviour towards them, or if they think you’re the cause to their effect, make it a point to stick to the methods of resolving conflict as a team.
7. Do NOT reciprocate
The worst way to deal with a passive aggressive partner is to go with the ‘tit-for-tat’ method and be twice as aggressive to give your partner a taste of their medicine. Do NOT do that. An eye for an eye makes the world blind, and in your case, makes you suffer in a toxic relationship.
8. Get rid of the accusatory tones
Refrain from using words like ‘you did this’ and opt for phrases like ‘we should work on’ and ‘our relationship’ so that you don’t burden your partner with accusations, that will further aggravate their aggressive behaviour.
9. Be open to communication and give yourself time to adjust
It may take a while before your partner comes to terms with handling situations with more maturity, but if you’re committed and willing to nurture your relationship, believe in them and support them for every little change they make to become a better person.