A Balanced Purpose Part 5 (Passive Aggressive)

PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE (adj.)

Denoting or pertaining to a personality type or behavior marked by the expression of negative emotions in passive, indirect ways, as through manipulation or noncooperation (stubbornness): of or relating to a personality that harbours aggressive motions while behaving in a calm or detached manner.

{www.dictionary.com}

If we are honest with ourselves we have all been the giver or taker of this emotion. Being on the receiving end it’s almost unbelievable how a person can go from being super confident on one hand to belligerent and stubborn on the other. Now if we are the one dishing it out, where is our example to glean from? How do we move forward? How can we practice not doing this in the future?

LUKE 1:18-23 KJV

18And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

In the verses above we see Zacharias being the giver and the angel Gabriel being the receiver of passive aggression. As we wrap up his story there are many take-aways. Not only had Zacharias been faithful to God but he walked righteously in His commandments. So how does a person living a life as he did have the audacity to question God’s messenger? Passive aggressive emotion. If you haven’t come across it in your life or don’t know what it looks like a part from the biblical example allow me to paint a picture. Imagine trying to explain something to someone. You are calmly if not methodically attempting to be as careful as possible with your words as not to confuse the other party. However as you continue your explanation it is suddenly met with yells of: I can’t ___, I won’t___, I don’t understand ___, it doesn’t work that way for me…and so on. This is just one example, hopefully you recognize it in yourself and in others. These melt downs, by adults and children alike, is the outward expression of failure to understand. It may be accompanied by whining and manipulation at some point. It is normal; however it can be very dangerous if the “receiver” is not in a good place emotionally and the behavior is never acknowledged by the “giver”. It can destroy bonds very quickly because it is a difficult emotion to grasp and the triggers may be laborious to pin down. It can also dilute conversations as certain topics are avoided at all costs and claiming no knowledge (even if we’re the expert) is considered a crisis avoided. We all have passive aggressive tendencies, how we maintain control over it is knowing why it happens and in what situations. What are we resistant to learning? What are we afraid of missing? How will this effect our relationships going forward? This is when mindfulness kicks in. When we pause long enough to ask ourselves: am I being resistant to someone who is trying to help?

But what if we prayed for help or an answer….

LUKE 1:13-14 KJV

13But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

The angel Gabriel was trying to deliver good news to Zacharias, letting him know that he would be a father, what to name his son, and that he would feel a great sense of joy. But Gabriel was met with the “I don’ts”. What should have been a resounding relief and unimaginable joy at receiving long-awaited confirmation, was handled in a passive aggressive human emotion. We should not miss that Zacharias was made silent and unable to speak (Luke 1:20). He would have no way of uttering a word or connecting with people verbally. I think this is what passive aggressiveness eventually does to us if we remain oblivious. Our circle grows smaller and as time goes on no one desires to talk to us…. rendering us silent.

I recognize how and when I have a passive aggressive attitude toward someone or something. The best way to thwart it is by being open minded and listening. We do not learn in the same manner as everyone else and that’s OK! Before we ask for help let’s pause and pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide our words, open our minds, and allow knowledge to be received. If we stop telling ourselves that we have a hard time, or we can’t do something, we will be able to have an intelligent conversation through listening, develop our communication skills and learn a new lesson as well.

 

 

© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and www.ourgivenpurpose.com (Our Given Purpose trademark pending), 2018-2048. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and www.ourgivenpurpose.com (Our Given Purpose) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About The Author


ourgivenpurpose

Greetings, my name is Torrie and I am an obedient God fearing woman, wife, and homeschooling mother. Our household is filled with men and it is important that we all continue to grow in the fruit of the spirit. Through this blog I hope to reach others as we journey closer to God and embrace our relational purposes.

6 Comments

  1. A challenge to recognize passive aggression which is something that we don’t pay much attention to. It’s much easier for us to see active aggression. So much food for thought and application. Thank you and keep the buffet coming. Love agape

  2. Hello There!!
    I thought I would add something… I see this behavior, not as a simple “event”, especially in people who do this sort of thing often…
    I tend to view it more as a “tool”, amongst many that, “that” personality type has at its disposal to create a desired outcome!😎😎😎

    1. Hello Sir!
      I agree this behavior is a tool for a lot of people. I believe all of us display passive aggressive behaviors at times. Even if it is not done in a negative way we all want, what we want, when we want it. I think those that have “mastered” this behavior will miss out on the bigger picture. We (😉) understand and know that even when we desire a specific outcome we do not have to resort to this behavior but rather seek Him who is greater.
      Thank you as always my friend for your input. 😊🎩

      1. Absolutely Correct!! As the focal point of such behaviors becomes more & more focused on the act of “manipulating” situations and the belief that you are good at it increases, most will not notice that the “intelligent” members of society will avoid them.. In effect they will be slowly cut off, to a situation where only those who are “ignorant” enough will be the only ones who have anything to do with them.. And they will be “oblivious” to it.. Sadly that us “normally” when the “hate & problems” kick in.. Thank “YOU” so much for “ALL YOU DO”!!!

        Les
        Mann, Jr.
        👍👍😀👍👍

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