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The EQ GYM

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How to Meet Passive Aggressive

The silent treatment sucks 

Ever gotten a text message and your gut reaction went something like this: What an idiot! Jesus, such a loser! I don’t have the time/energy/interest in this person and all his shit anymore. Most of us know the feeling. But how did you reply?

Chances are, you didn’t. Or you sent back a few half-ass words along the lines of: OK. Sounds good. Simply put, you just couldn’t give a damn.Maybe you’re proud of yourself for not entering attack mode. You kept your cool. Stayed on high ground. Maintained your integrity. But the feeling remains. You look down on the other person, and judge him. You remained passive – and pissed off. That, friends, is the very definition of passive aggressive. 

“Girl, don’t go away mad
Girl, just go away”
– Motley Crue

But how can the silent treatment hurt? How is saying less shittier than saying more? We’re here to tell you that passive aggressive is – prepare yourself – violent. Oh come on, how can you classify it as violence? It doesn’t actually hurt or harm me – or the other person. 

Oh yes it does.

By choosing to be passive, you ignore something. By pretending you don’t recognize a feeling or acting like it doesn’t affect you is lazy, unfair business. Maybe you label a situation or feeling as beneath you. Like whatever, that shit doesn’t reach me. But we all know – Ignoring or pushing something away doesn’t make it disappear. It’s still there, somewhere. You know that. But what does this mean in the long run? Each and every feeling, thought, or impulse you ignore enters your subconscious. For real. Over time a big mountain of ignored stuff forms. A virtual Mount Everest of unresolved shit.

Over time, this pile drags you down. You feel tired, heavy, and hopeless. The world’s not as great, as wonderful, as full of potential as it was when you were a kid. You’re even angry about it. Let down, big time. This anger is released like air seeping out from a pin prick in a balloon. You leak irritation, quickly pissed off, easily out of whack with everything and everyone. Suppressing feelings is a form of self-abuse. By not addressing your real needs, you beat up yourself and the people in your life. Whether the bus driver or your brother. And what is abuse great at building? Distance. From irritated sigh to pissy comment to full-on silent treatment, you build a wall between you, yourself, and everyone else. 

Passive aggressive behavior sucks. Why?

Because it distances us from others, building a lonely existence. And our most basic human need – yours, ours, the bus driver’s – is belonging. Connection. Intimacy. Community. All that gorgeous stuff. What’s the opposite? Separation. Solitude. Sadness. Sucks.

But there is hope. Lots of it!

By identifying your behavior and backing up into what caused it in the first place, you can rebuild a system of belonging. Yes! Seriously! We are living examples, former outsiders gone all community. And we’re here to show you how.   

For more info about the EQ GYM’s spring and summer Master Classes or Meditations Courses, send an email to april.wicktrom@theeqgym.com.

This is a guest post. Any opinions expressed are the writer’s own.

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