Passive Aggression 101: Part I

The scourge of your energy and smile….. We’ve all encountered it, we’ve all had to deal with it. For those of you currently faced with this you have my sympathy and indeed my empathy.

What is passive aggression? Essentially, it is behaviour categorised as hostile. Not out and out warfare but a negative aside, put down, deliberate failure to meet obligations and sulky behaviour. Quite often it can be hard to pinpoint. However, subtle clues are when situations and conversations with people can leave you feeling a little off as if you have had a verbal slap in the face, your energy left feeling quite low or ‘chipped away at’. What has actually taken place is energy transference, of the worst kind. When you are a sensitive or empath these situations can have a very negative effect on your space and environment. Indeed for everybody, having contact with others who feel entitled enough to be rude, dismissive or make comments designed deliberately to extinguish your flame can be exhausting and have a huge impact upon your sense of well being.

How do we deal with these interactions? Below are a few useful insights to help you with perspective and hopefully marginalise any negative effects these people have on you. The second post will follow this up with strategies you can employ to make you feel empowered, a little self-work and protection which will hopefully eradicate this negative nancy behaviour. We will discuss the personal work we can be doing in order to adjust our own energy levels and patterns of behaviour accordingly.

First, let’s take a look at things from their perspective. I know, trying to understand people who piss you off is not something any of us immediately wish to do but in order to combat or eradicate anything it must first be understood. This person has very real trouble expressing themselves, indeed they are simply not able to live their truth and deal with the issues they have probably been carrying around forever and a day. This can translate itself into a superiority complex whereby they are outwardly disdainful of many people and can even come across as outright entitled. Infuriating, isn’t it? However, knowing this should help you realise that ultimately the only person they are doing any real damage to is themselves. That is not to sound smug, we must avoid one-upmanship here. However, given that you are reading an article on a website dedicated to being in touch with the divine spiritual and coming from a place of unconditional love- congratulations on being imperfectly perfect!

It’s not your fault and it is not personal to you. Sure as hell they will want you to think it is, they may even believe it themselves but it isn’t. It’s their modus operandi and their shit that needs to be dealt with. Chances are you are not the first person to be on the receiving end of this. Its how they deal with the world, by displaying this superior behaviour and deflecting negatively on to you its a distraction from the personal issues they are trying to bury. By appearing superior and aloof they take the blame squarely away from themselves. Clever no? Also a little sad really that this is the coping mechanism they have when facing the outside world. We need to come from a place of love and support, not segregation and fear. At this point please also realise that it is not your job to fix them. Subconsciously you may well be drawn to them as you can see that they need to be healed but it is for them to realise and their own personal journey. Going back for more without insight and reflection will possibly only be detrimental to you and fuel their passive aggression even more.

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So now you have a little insight into what is driving them it’s over to you. Firstly do not react- passive aggression is a power play! By attempting to get one up on you and make you feel small they take some of your energy to feed their own weak flame. Whatever they say and however they say it just keep being you. Respond with a smile and rise above it -this should be easier now that you know that the power balance where the cosmos is concerned is actually charged more in your favour. Please release any feelings of inadequacy, guilt and hurt they are attempting to inflict. This is the largest way you can prevent your energy from being stolen. Letting them under your skin is energy transference, like a psychic leech.

Challenge a belittling comment constructively. For example: “Oh, I like the way you are dressed today, for a change” is clearly not a compliment at all although it is disguised as one superficially. I would suggest we meet this with a “Thank you, I dress for myself, to make me happy. I like the way I dress all of the time,”. Here we have flipped it on its head. Not only have we flipped the barbed comment into an actual compliment but also assertively taken control of our own sense of self. We have overcome the negative with a positive AND the perpetrator received a thank you as well! Toxicity met with rectification and positivity. Take time to seriously consider how you are going to respond to this type of challenging behaviour.

If this person is in your circle of friends the chances are that they are feeling it too and are left feeling awkward and sad. Everybody is suffering this inconsiderate and frustrating behaviour. Keep being you and respond to the positive energy within your friendship circle rather than the negative. This will create more abundance and outweigh any vibes the passive aggressive party feels like dishing out.

Sometimes they will also be out and out ignorant. By this I mean cut you dead as and when they feel. Again, total power play. Designed to make you feel small, insecure and guilty, if you are like me you will find yourself asking ‘what have I done wrong’ over and over again. Stop it. Stop it now. If this is a friend you have love in your heart for it is easy to remain persistent with them and keep making contact in an attempt to rectify the situation. Ask yourself- are they doing the same? A true friend would not treat you this way. If there were issues in the friendship they would want to communicate and rectify the situation, even if that meant ultimately going your separate ways amicably. By keeping you beholden to this behaviour they are keeping a hold over you.

This one is really tough and seriously, you may need to think long and hard about calling time on that person or at the very least whether or not you consider them a positive force in your life. We are here to grow as souls and if this person just makes you sad, anxious and small constant interaction will hinder growth for both of you and stop you showing the world your true worth.

It could well be that the universe is trying to teach you a lesson here. By making you face this situation you have to evaluate the space you wish to cultivate for yourself and the reality you wish to live in. Hopefully, it is one in which you actualise your potential while feeling safe and supported. Remember, the universe supports you and only wants you to live in love. Is your lack of self-love and living your true self not being addressed to the point that the cosmos has to step in with a (not so gentle) prodding finger?

Next up: Personal work and reflection for protection and growth. Stay tuned folks.

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