Passive Aggressive Behaviour

Passive aggressive behaviour is triggered by a desire to please people and may include reasons such as:

  • trying to keep the peace
  • trying to avoid mistakes
  • trying to preserve self-respect
  • trying to appear more confident and authoritative
  • being unable to express emotions very well
  • being afraid of rejection
  • being afraid of criticism
  • feeling worthless.

However, because by nature passive aggressive people are unwilling to expose their true feelings, it can be hard to understand the routes of their behaviour. These behaviours often come across instead as:

  • stubbornness
  • contrariness
  • bitterness
  • closed-mindedness
  • unreasonableness
  • being difficult
  • frustratingly forgetful
  • cold
  • lazy
  • careless
  • manipulative
  • secretive
  • sly.

There is no 'one way' of dealing with passive aggression because tactics vary from person to person and situation to situation.

Counselling for passive aggressive behaviour can often be an extremely delicate process, mainly because people who display this form of behaviour do not react well to being ordered to think in a certain way or reveal certain details about themselves. Passive aggressive people may often spend their whole lives denying or repressing their true feelings and opinions, and they will go out of their way to expose the source of authority as ineffective or incompetent.

At Castle Counselling Services we can offer you a secure, confidential and no-judgemental space in which to explore your own passive aggressive behaviours or help to manage dealing with the passive aggressive behaviour of others.

The therapeutic work will be done collaboratively and very much client-led. Our integrative approach would be using psychodynamic concepts to explore your past, to see if any past events have triggered your fears and anxieties. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy methods of change can also be used for you to consider how your cognitions in certain events may be adding to your passive aggressive behaviour.

Who can help you?

Counselling services in the North Coast Causeway area of Northern Ireland, we can offer you an initial telephone consultation for 15/20 minutes free of charge for you to discuss the reason you are seeking counselling.