We covered the 12 types of anger that we (as people) come across most often. One of those types was passive aggressive anger, or passive anger, as it’s referred to on that list.
Our interpretation on those of us who use passive anger as an outlet was:
People who use sarcasm or mockery as a way to hide their feelings, typically express this form of anger. They tend to avoid confrontations with people or situations.
Here’s another explanation by Mike Fisher of The British Association of Anger Management. Let’s see what he says:
Mr. Fisher goes on to explain:
Passive aggression or passive aggressives are usually individuals who are very afraid to communicate their feelings of anger.
So instead of saying to someone that “I’m angry with you,” they will use language which is cynical, patronizing, shaming, blaming, discounting, and demeaning. And not only in the language they use, but in their actions.
So, for example, you ask someone to do something and they make a commitment to doing it, but they tell you they’ve forgotten to do it. They had no intention to do it.
So, with passive aggression, you’ll find people stealing as passive aggressive, people withholding information as passive aggressive, people who spread rumors – that’s passive aggressive.
People who write graffiti on the walls – passive aggressive. People who are committed to working a full eight-hour day and spending three hours online without permission for their own personal use is passive aggressive.
So passive aggressive essentially is anger which is not explosive. It is anger which is surreptitious, it is quiet. It is anger through the back door, and is often very, very confusing.
And why I say this is that some of the most angry people that I know are the passive aggressives. And you’ll usually hear somebody say things like, “I never get angry” or “I can’t remember when I was last angry.” Those individuals are usually passive aggressive.
So, there’s no screaming, shouting, high drama, but it’s loaded with cynicism and criticism, self-harming and harming to others, but in a passive way.
How do you feel about Mr. Fisher’s explanation of passive aggression? Do you agree or did he miss the mark? Did anyone in particular come to mind, as you were listening to his explanation? Share your thoughts in the comments below… I’d love to hear your feedback.