PASSIVE, AGGRESSIVE, PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE, AND ASSERTIVE

passive, aggressive, assertive, boundaries, communication, abuse, negative thoughts, stress, courage

 PASSIVE PEOPLE may be afraid to respond. They may feel fear and anxiety. They may not want to offend you. They may have internalized their emotions. They avoid close relationships because they don’t feel they can protect themselves from the normal infringes of their boundaries. They don't stand up for their rights.


PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE PEOPLE assert themselves, but nobody knows it. They use subtle attacks and sabotage to confuse and control you. They make you lose control of yourself and your thoughts. Anything that you react to, controls you. Passive-aggression is when a person makes you pay for something. He may never tell you what you are paying for and he will never be responsible for the aggression. “I’m sorry I didn’t buy the things you wanted at the store. I left the list in the car. I can’t go with you like we planned. I think I’m coming down with a cold and you wouldn’t want me to go out and get really sick, would you?”


AGGRESSIVE PEOPLE may externalize their emotions. They may not be concerned about how their feelings affect you. The aggressive person invades and ignores your boundaries They are suspicious of people. They lash out. They push people away because they don’t trust others and they can be abusive.


ASSERTIVE PEOPLE are aware of your feelings and speak in a non-confrontational way. They stand up for their own rights. They are fair to others and are mature. They uses I statements. "I feel", "I want", "I think." They try to help you win. They take your feelings into consideration. They can maintain a long-term relationship.
If the other person doesn't give you consideration, they are abusing you.
If they do not honor your wants and needs, if they override you, they are being abusive. This is emotional abuse. You have the right and responsibility to assert yourself:

  • When it's in your own best interest
  • To express yourself. You have a right to your opinion and your feelings.
  • Stand up for yourself

You may want to ask yourself why you aren’t asserting yourself. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of not asserting yourself. It may be that you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. You may feel that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Remember the 3 types of relationships. You can assert yourself in a pleasant way. The other person may not know what you are feeling unless you tell him or her.


Some things you can do instead of asserting yourself are:

        ●  Separate yourself emotionally from it. This may result in PTSD

        ●  Let it eat away at you until you die from some disease such as cancer, etc.


If you address the problem two things can happen. You act assertively, stating the problem and how you want it resolved or you act aggressively and attack the person.


Problems come when we feel unable or unwilling to cope with critical and manipulative people who put you in an uncomfortable position. Try to find out what buttons they push, to find out where you are most vulnerable and uncomfortable.


Don't justify your actions. It sets you up to be on the defensive which means someone will be on the offensive and you have left it open for them to control  you. You don't have to make any excuses for your actions. If your actions have had an effect on them, you may want to explain yourself. That is not quite the same as defending yourself. Much of it comes from your tone of voice. 

passive, aggressive, assertive, boundaries, communication, abuse, negative thoughts, stress, courage

-  I am not happy with your actions/words

 - I expect to be treated properly by your actions/words

  - I expect to be treated with respect.

 - Please don't shout at me

- Please don't speak down to me 

 - Please don't presume to know what I'm thinking 

- Please don't presume to know what is best for me

- Please don't ignore me

- Please don't make my decisions for me 

IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO ASSERT YOURSELF:

Physically, you can: 

  • Assert yourself in a non-confrontational way. Don’t get into another person’s space. People put out a positive or negative energy up to about 3 feet. Your brain recognizes that space and anyone not invited into that space is communicating aggression to your brain. Staring too long at another person is interpreted as aggression. Obvious body language, hands on hips, frown, etc is aggressive. Inviting a person into your space is often done by smiling. Your body is pouring out positive energy and inviting the other person into your space. Try this at the grocery store. When you smile, you will find that the other person will smile back and you can feel the positive energy between the two of you.
  • Remove yourself from the person’s presence. If you are on the phone, explain what your problem with them is and tell them that if they continue, you will have to hang up, and do hang up if they continue.
  • If you are wrong, admit it.
  • Assert yourself about the other person's aggression.

Verbally, you can:

  • Shout back
  •  Speak quietly
  •  Use "broken record" Ignore what they say and repeat your statement.

               -  I am not happy with your actions/words

               - I expect to be treated properly by your actions/words

               - I expect to be treated with respect.

               - Please don't shout at me

              - Please don't speak down to me 

               - Please don't presume to know what I'm thinking

               - Please don't presume to know what is best for me

               - Please don't ignore me

               - Please don't make my decisions for me

               - Please don't assume my responsibilities

               - Please don't tell me what to do, how to think, how to feel

               - I have the right to choose

               - Don't try to undermine my success


SITUATION: You’re waiting in line and someone steps ahead of you as though you weren’t there.


Passive: Pretend it didn’t happen. After all, they may be in more of a hurry than you.


Passive Aggressive: accidentally bump into him, enough to get him to lose his balance. “I’m sorry. I just wasn’t looking where I was going.”


Aggressive: Demand the person go to the end of the line and make him go back to the end.


Assertive: Show the person the end of the line and suggest he go back there. If he ignores you, mention it to them 2 or 3 times. Then drop it. He isn’t worth raising your stress level.


SITUATION: One of the organizations you belong to asks you to be vice-president but you don't want to. Why you don't want to is irrelevant. 


Passive: You say yes and inside you, the voice goes wild. “I’ve got too much to do now.”


Aggressive: You say, "Can't you see how much I have to do? Why would you ask such a thing? You've got to be kidding. No!"


Passive Aggressive: “I’ll have to get back to you in a week or two” and you never get around to it.


Assertive: You say, thank you for asking, but I really can't this year. I'm very honored that you considered me.


SITUATION: You invite a friend to a dinner party. He agrees to come, doesn’t come, doesn’t call, doesn’t cancel, doesn’t apologize. Your feelings are hurt.


Passive: You act like nothing happened.


Passive Aggression: You ignore it, but get even. The next party he has, you intentionally don’t show up. That will show him.


Aggressive: End the friendship. Tell the friend off. How dare he treat you this way?


Assertive: Call your friend and see if there was a problem.

NEGATIVE ATTITUDES IN ACTION

 Negative attitudes create: 

  • fear, pessimism  
  • hate, cruelty  
  • anger  
  • suspicion  
  • indecision, weakness  
  • self-pity  
  • criticism, rudeness  
  • poor self esteem  
  • greed 

 Negative attitudes result in:

  • worry 
  • loneliness
  • frustration
  • tension
  • failure
  • fatigue 
  • unfriendliness
  • despondency
  • unsatisfied feeling

passive, aggressive, assertive, boundaries, communication, abuse, negative thoughts, stress, courage

POSITIVE ATTITUDES ON ACTION

Positive attitudes result in:

  • recognition and trust from others
  • achievement, adventure
  • energy
  • more and deeper friendships
  • inner peace, security
  • growth
  • health
  • love from others
  • happiness 
  • focused life

Example:

If you feel you can allow another opinion, you are a mature person. You are showing self respect. Below are some statements to counteract the attitude.


"People should follow my rules because my rules are right."


1. People don't have to agree with me for me to have value.


2. I don't have to appear "right" to others if I'm sure of my opinion. If I'm not sure, I can check it out.


3. People have different perspectives on things.


4. I may not know all the information and want to keep an open mind. I can maintain this opinion until I learn more and then decide if I want to change it.


5. I may believe something but that doesn't mean I have to say everything that's on my mind.


6. Other people are just as intelligent as I am only on different subjects. This implies a lack of respect for people who don't agree with you.


7. I can accept another person for who he is without agreeing with everything he says and thinks.


This may help you set boundaries, to help you maintain your integrity, your own self value. 


©LifeSkills International 2014

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