3 Ways to Deal With Hidden Anger

Pause for a minute and think about how you like to get your own way.

Perhaps this scenario sounds familiar. Your partner has dinner booked at an expensive restaurant with some of their friends that you don’t really like but have agreed to go along begrudgingly.

The evening has arrived and it’s time to go. You’re faffing around looking for your shoes, see a work email and decide it needs an immediate response and finally you’ve misplaced the car keys.

By this stage you’re running at least 15 minutes late and still haven’t even left the house let alone negotiated the peak hour to get to the restaurant on the other side of town.

Your partner is fuming, the dinner is cancelled and they storm off to bed. This suits you just fine because it happens to be the same evening of the State of Origin showdown, which you really wanted to watch all along.

So what’s really going on here?

Well, you’ve just fallen into the trap of passive aggressive behaviour.

This type of behaviour is passive aggressive way because we like to think we’re taking no responsibility for our actions while at the same time it’s being aggressive because it’s masking an underlying anger and resentment.

If we look at our scenario, you find ways to make yourself late to miss the event without ever admitting to your partner that you never really wanted to go in the first place.

The next time you find yourself falling into the passive aggressive trap stop and reflect for a moment on these tips.

1. Identify your behaviour
The most important thing you can do is to start to notice when you are acting in a passive aggressive way. It usually arises when are trying to please other people and avoid conflict. Notice what you do when you are in a particular situation. If you catch yourself being sarcastic, giving someone the silent treatment or stalling then you know that you’re behaving in a passive aggressive way.

2. Recognise the triggers
The next step is to start to think about what triggers this type of behaviour in you. You will find that there is usually a pattern to your behaviour. Is it a particular person, a situation or a certain topic that triggers you? By pinpointing your triggers then it becomes easier to stop yourself from reacting in a passive aggressive way.

3. Communicate what you want
It is important that you start to express your needs and desires. Listen to what you want and stop doing what you think you should do. We usually find that we don’t express what we really want because we’re afraid of being judged in some way.

If we can learn to express what we want, we’re more likely to be heard and this can hopefully prevent unnecessary hurt and resentment caused by our behaviour.


Douglas Channing



Category : Blog & Men and Anger & Self Esteem & Stress Reduction

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