Some people don’t know how to just come correct and be straight up about what they want, so for example, when they want to end your relationship, they choose to opt for behaving badly in the hopes that you will do their dirty work and call time on it. What’s even funnier is that while some people who act this way do so because they actually want to opt out but have a fear of confrontation, plenty of people do it because they lack self-awareness and are afraid of committing so they act out to manage down your expectations but to also ease the discomfort that they’re afraid of being vulnerable enough to examine. What this means with the latter camp is that they will hint, you will [hopefully] end things but then they will suddenly feel out of control now that they’ve gotten the exact outcome that they wanted (not being committed, not having expectations, end of relationship) and start chasing you all over again and giving off mixed messages. You take the bait and boom, the cycle continues.
What you’re experiencing here is hinting and aside from it being indirect communication where the person ends up going around the houses and won’t take ownership of what they feel, think, want and need, it’s also a form of passive aggression and what is very often the case, especially with someone who is habitually passive aggressive, is that after you effectively being baited into exactly the reaction or outcome they wanted, not only will they not admit this but they will cling to their passive aggressive stance, claiming that your reaction is exactly why they were not honest. “See, this is why I don’t tell people how I feel or what I think. Look at the way he/she is reacting! They can’t handle the truth.” What the what now?
But here’s where things get extra confusing and problematic: when you won’t take the hint.
Sometimes, we’re too nice for our own good.
When a person keeps acting out and doing the equivalent of pulling down their pants and mooning at your relationship or slinking about as if they’re the teenager who has been grounded and is sulking at you in the hopes you will let them go out, yet you’re still right there trying to be all ‘super nice’ about it, not only will you lose respect for you but so will they.
You will inadvertently underline exactly why they feel that they ‘have’ to behave in this way.
They will then feel guilty about thinking bad things about you or acting out when you’re being so ‘nice’ and forgiving etc, so they’ll reach out or make promises that they cannot keep, so that they can relieve these uncomfortable feelings. Then they will feel resentful because when a person feels as if their conscience has been activated in order for them to comply with another person’s wishes or where they now feel as if they have to oblige themselves, it’s an automatic precursor to resentment.