My Passive Aggresive Plight
To be passive aggressive means to avoid direct confrontation, yet making it painfully clear to others with body language and tone of voice that...
Well.…that’s my definition at least.
I can own up to the fact that I have a very strong & vocal personality.......but I really hate confrontation. I don’t like having problems or issues with people & I don’t like awkward vibes. However, because of my flawed communication at times, I can create the very confrontations that I so very much despise. This is mainly because my approach to confrontation is...dare I say it?
extremely passive aggressive.
I know. I know. What a B!T%$, you're probably thinking. But don’t get me wrong & confuse this with “spiteful or vindictive” behavior. I really only know this about myself because so many of my friends & the people closest to me have brought this to my attention & yet sometimes I still don’t even realize that I’m doing it. I'm a work in progress, bare with me! These actions are not done out of malice or purposely *holds hand to heart* but being told this many times from my peers, I’m now re-evaluating it for myself.
On one of my #ThoughtForThursday Instagram posts, I wrote about how I’ve been thinking so much lately about what it means to protect your energy and set boundaries. The thought weighed heavy on my mind & got me to realize that I really do lack in areas like these. Simply because I just love being around people. Friendly people, fun people, really cool people. But sometimes, I can’t tell the difference between whether someone is being genuine in their first impression with me or putting up a façade. Since I was young, I’ve always been this way. Too trusting, naïve, “too nice” & I've had to always learn my lesson about ill-intended people the hard way. This has played a huge part in my passive aggression as an adult now. It's been said that you’re supposed to “trust the vibe” and “feel a person's aura/energy” but let’s be real; some people are really damn good at faking the funk.
So I propose these questions...
How should you know when to respectfully pull yourself back from someone?
How do you find the grey area between being super inviting or cold-shouldered & standoffish?
Because I’ll be frank, there’s hardly ever an in-between with me. I’m either super friendly, or I don’t mess with you at all. And quite often I'm stuck in between a rock and a hard place when it comes to my relationships with people. There are times when I first meet a person & I’m friendly at first, later realizing that after a few more encounters...I really don’t like who that person is at all. At that point of realization, I scold myself for allowing a person into my space without properly assessing them. On the flip side, I don’t want to feel like I’m assessing someone when all I want is for the connection to be genuine. You see how that works? Or in my case, doesn’t?
But after all of this self-reflection that I've done, I just don’t believe that changing who you are based on the actions of others is the solution. I think in doing that you’re only being disingenuous to yourself. The solution that I've come up with is simple: BE AWARE. I believe that people will tell you who they are if and when you pay attention. Being a loving care-free spirit is beautiful, but if you’re not aware of who you let experience the beauty of your nature you may get taken advantage of and taken for granted. We must hold firm the power of discernment. In our minds, in our hearts & in our lives. This kind of insight will allow us to find a balance between knowing who is beneficial to you as a friend, acquaintance, partner, etc’ & knowing who to keep at an arm’s length. As I’m getting older, I think the answer as to why I've been passive aggressive simplifies, and the solution arises. And as I continue to move forward in life, I’m currently putting into practice how to face confrontation, without disrespecting others. I’m trying to learn how to say my peace without disrupting yours. I’m figuring out when to use my voice & when to listen with open ears, an open-mind, and a discerning eye. I'm understanding that it's not so much what you say, but how you say it. And every time I feel an ounce of passive aggression sneaking up, I vow to always try and communicate FIRST.
What are some ways you handle confrontation? Feel free to leave a comment if you have any thoughts or tips for me ;)