(excerpt from my article published on www.EveryDayPowerBlog.com)
Learning how to cope with inner resistance, disappointment, and conflict is part of the human experience.
As toddlers, we handle it boldly, directly, and honestly: we have full-on tantrums. As we grow, however, we learn how to handle negative life situations with more finesse. We are taught starting in preschool to learn to play well with others. We learn we must be nice to our friends.
Part of learning to play with others is to quell the inner storms long enough to listen to everyone’s point of view. Another important part is learning to speak your own point of view. If either of these aspects malfunction, we end up with results that can be characterized as passive aggressive behavior.
For example: all of us have had moments of being resentful, withdrawing in sullen protest, or talking about a situation behind a friend’s back.
By the time we are adults, we are expected to have figured out how to manage anger, how to listen, and how to clearly communicate and negotiate. So why are some adults routinely become passive aggressive?