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Confront a passive aggresive behavior?

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by ChicanaRose, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    This includes silent treatment, and other underhanded hostile behaviors (see article below for more details):

    10 Signs of a Passive-Aggressive Relationship

    Should you confront a passive-aggressive behavior in a Christian community?
    Why or why not?

    Some say yes, because you need to have accountability.

    Some say no, because the person would also deal with the confrontation in a passive-aggressive manner (Pretending to be sorry and then retaliate with more passive-aggressive behaviors; or sarcastically accuse you of misunderstanding because it is difficult to prove a passive-aggressive behavior due to its covert nature).
     
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  2. Ghostjunkie

    Ghostjunkie Member

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  3. Gordon Wright

    Gordon Wright Newbie

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    Accountability has limitations, and this is one of them.

    I cut such people out of my life at the earliest opportunity. They're just not worth dealing with.
     
  4. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    I think the labels lead to a humanistic approach.
    Rather in prayer with Jesus and the Father, learn what to speak, and what to do.
     
  5. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    I think the first response is prayer. The Lord may direct you to leave the matter in His hands. Or you may be told to consult with others or address the person yourself.

    Although the practice is commonly associated with women. Both sexes employ it. The key is recognizing their intent. Some people aren’t confrontational and that’s their way of handling differences.

    Others won’t rock the boat and will show their displeasure indirectly while giving the appearance all is well. Finally, there are some who use the practice as a mechanism for control and manipulation.

    I am rarely told to confront someone. And when the Lord has me address an issue it’s always in the spirit of peace. Sometimes He instructs me to apologize or offer an olive branch. The latter does bother me on occasion.

    But He reminds me I don’t hold grudges and separating is easy for me to do. Humbling myself is the better course in those instances. I don’t always agree but I do it anyway.

    In respect to silence, there are two instances when it occurs. I am told to be silent and let Him address the matter. This is especially true when conflict arises. I am never told to slug it out.

    The other is for serious situations often involving warfare. If its negative He’ll tell me to remove myself from the person and separate. It doesn’t happen often.

    I see this subject like other failings. Only God can move a person’s heart. Timing is important as is our relationship with the person. Hard truths are rarely received when strife is present. They ssume you’re speaking out of anger. You’d need the Lord to soften their heart and open their ears before your words would be received as intended.
     
  6. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid A Crash Test Dummy's work is never done! Supporter

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    There's always the "forgive them 70 times 7 approach"? No? :dontcare:

    I'm sure glad I'm not passive-aggressive. I gave up passivity long ago.
     
  7. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid A Crash Test Dummy's work is never done! Supporter

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    Y'know. I'm going down the list provided in the list, and as a social philosophy and social science major, I'm not sure that #2 should be on the list, or at least it should be modified in the definition so as not to be so "PC" sounding.

    Otherwise, when folks like me try to use some levity and someone simply doesn't like my own point of view, they can just point at me and say, "Take off that Halloween mask! It's not funny!" I mean, let's face it: some of Jesus' parables are laced with Jewish humor and/or hyperbole (some, not all), and some people would take offense and some would not, which.......was part of the very design for why Jesus used that mode of communication. Sometimes, the truth just hurts, no matter how someone packages it, and now that we live in an era where feelings are worn on everyone's sleeve, well......you get the picture.

    2. Disguised Hostile Humor

    Examples: Sarcasm. Veiled hostile joking — often followed by "just kidding." Repetitive teasing. Subtle “digs” at one’s appearance, gender, socio-cultural background, credentials, behavior, decisions, social relations, etc.

    Possible Intention(s): Express hidden anger, disapproval, or rejection towards an individual. Distain towards an individual for what she or he represents. Using humor as a weapon in an attempt to marginalize another's humanity, dignity and credibility.​
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  8. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid A Crash Test Dummy's work is never done! Supporter

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    I hate to say this, but #1 on the list probably needs to be modified somewhat, or else us Philosophers could never, ever even get off of the ground. We'd just be constantly locked up and fed Hemlock drinks ... like Socrates was. Off course, didn't something similar happen to Jesus, too, because he dared to ....... well, criticize His opponents? :dontcare: (Of course, that's not all Jesus did and said, obviously, but I'm just sayin'!)
     
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  9. PKFox

    PKFox Child of God

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    Pray about it, maybe seek counsel from a professional if you really aren't sure (like a psychologist or counselor or something). But if the passive-aggressive behavior continues or worsens, I think it should be addressed with the other person before things get out of hand. From personal experience, the passive-aggressive individual may not realize the effect their behavior is having on you, and simply bringing it up in a loving way could help immensely (no guarantees, but it's better than sucking it up and not saying anything). The passive-aggressiveness could be either a behavioral issue or a maturity issue (again, from my experience), which likely have to be addressed using different approaches (because a behavioral issue can change over time with effort, but a maturity issue can't without the immature side going through some major growth that can't be forced).
     
  10. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    I agree, this is not a one-size-fits-all list. And I do not make a quick assessment either.
     
  11. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid A Crash Test Dummy's work is never done! Supporter

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    Oh, I didn't figure you were making a quick assessment. I just wanted to comment on the article for balance being as it is seemingly laced with Left leaning ideas. (Not that I'm Right leaning, really. No, I'm just leaning on Jesus and holding His Purple robe ... :rolleyes: )

    Anyway, this is definitely an important issue, and I understand that some folks here might even think I'm .... *ahem*... passive-aggressive, but I'm pretty sure I'm not. This isn't to say that, like all of us, I don't have some rough edges to work on (being the 'perturbed at this Raunchy world' kind of guy that I am), but I can spot a few folks around here who may very well be passive-aggressive. Regardless, I don't like to name names like that, and I'm not seeing that many here on CF who truly are that way. Besides, I think it's best to hold out hope for everyone, even for those who seem to try to control everyone else.

    Just as a gesture of my good-will and proof that I'm not passive-aggressive, I'll refrain from criticizing the rest of the points on the article you've posted. (pa-tump!) [...and yes, that is an attempt at wit! Hugs!]
     
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  12. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    It should be confronted, wisely.

    Remember though, that is going right for a raw nerve. Be ready either for active aggression, or for their worse passive aggression to come your way (rumors, sabotage, whatever). Therefore, pre-emptively take away their ability to hurt you back as much as you can when you go in (without reducing your charity or credibility when confronting them, since your goal is still to win them over). Reduce their options to what you can stop, mitigate, or at least predict.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  13. Chadrho

    Chadrho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My grandfather gave me some wise counsel that may apply. We were working on my truck and one of the bolts was seized up. I was about to bear down on it with all I had. He stopped me and said, "Don't force anything." He sprayed some lube on it, we waited, and the bolt broke loose. Then he said, "I'm not just talking about turning wrenches. I'm talking about life. Don't force anything. You'll end up breaking something."

    I've done it and I've seen it happen. There's some tension, some relationship difficulty, and we get our hands in it and make it worse than it was. With good intentions of trying to fix something, we force a situation and it gets worse. I have learned that sometimes (maybe many times) time will take care of things.

    I am in a position of leadership where people will come to me asking me to intervene here, or intervene there. Usually it is some squabble between a couple of people that has nothing to do with the larger scheme of things. Rarely do I get involved. I counsel, I encourage, I make suggestions. But, rarely do I take it upon myself to set matters straight. I refrain for two reasons:

    1) Usually it will work itself out. Someone was in an irritable mood, or got their feelings hurt, or some such thing. Most people will get over it in time. Time is a friend, and there is no reason to rush it.

    2) I refrain from small squabbles and such, because I don't want the authority I have been entrusted with to be trivialized. If I have to get involved, then things are bad and I will have to make a decision that some folks won't like. I think the people under me understand that if I have to get involved, it's bad. Gratefully, that is not too often. On the other hand, if I am getting involved in every little situation that comes down the pipe it will work against the authority I have been entrusted with. Does that make sense? To me, confrontation is a last resort. Sometimes it has to happen. Until then, gentle guidance, encouragement, and the like is very effective. I really believe the old quip, "You'll catch more flies with honey."
     
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  14. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    Based on her reactions to someone who called her out (this person is a non-Christian outside of the church), she is likely to pull the victim card. She had everyone in the church, including me, fooled to think that the person who confronted her was a terrible person, who falsely accused her of disruptive behaviors (...which turned out to be a correct assessment as I found out in time).

    Would the confrontation help her at all, if she is just going to get sympathy from everyone again for "being falsely accused"?
     
  15. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    Sounds like you need to use a lot of "I statements" to show her that she has been hurting you, without exaggerating anything. You've been hurt, and you're asking for her hand to resolve this. If she gets aggressively defensive on you, tell her how that is hurting you. In other words, beat her to playing the victim card, and if she wants to talk about mutual hurts, you can have that conversation. If she aggressively goes after you and then ends the conversation, then you have a basis for bringing in another, per Matthew 18.

    By going at it this way, you are minimizing the aggression that you would display, giving her less to work with when her mind goes to her mechanism of playing the victim card. The less you give her to work with, the more she has to lie. And she has to lie to herself before she lies to other people. But you're not exaggerating, that's not who you are as a Christian, and she'll detect it and use that against you too anyway. So be real with her about the pain she is causing, but you're still retaining enough spine to talk to her about it and tell her that it needs to stop.
     
  16. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33 Supporter

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    I apologize, ChicanaRose. I didn't read your OP very well originally and thought this was a general question about passive/aggressive behavior - not dealing specifically with someone (what a poor job of skimming I did!).

    Do you have anyone that sees what you're seeing? Since you mentioned her apologizing......was that only between the two of you or were others in your church community affected by her behavior? You're right.....this is really difficult to prove behavior (and they're typically masters of deception with loads of practice behind them).
     
  17. Sam91

    Sam91 Child of the Living God Supporter

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    I have found that apologising to people who wrong me has worked in the past. Someone a few years ago sent me a really horrible message. I said 'I'm sorry' and then they apologised to me and said they are struggling at the moment.

    In another situation when a 60 year old lady was rude in our first sociology class together I went up to her at lunchtime and said 'I'm sorry if I have upset or offended you but we are both new and probably stressed. I'm sure we'll work together better by christmas' She was quite mean in her reply 'I don't know, I've met lots of people and get on with them but I've never met anyone like YOU' At that point I walked off and decided to love her. We became friends and a few weeks later she gave me a card saying I was an angel in her eyes and one of the nicest people she has met. She also started asking about Christ while gave me a lift to the bus stop regularly and said she's been feeling God drawing her to Him and wanted to go to church. Unfortunately, she left the course by Christmas.

    I have offended someone else at college. She is passive aggressive and ignores my presence. Last year I could handle it and preferred having the option of being able to be kind to her. I'm struggling now she isn't in most of my classes but I see her most days. She is still ignoring me when we pass and it is immature. I am getting bitterness. I may go up to her and apologise for the ill-feeling I'm developing because of the ignoring each other and ask if we can nod a greeting to each other.

    I don't know if it will help with your situation but if you say 'I am sorry for anything I've done to offend you' she may feel forced to stop acting that way. I'm sure you could say that and mean it as you seem a very nice, humble person. She may actually have a grievance against you, which is probably because of her own issues and not yours. However, she may be touched by your kindness and humility. At least that way you know that you've tried to love her. Of course, pray about it too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
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