Tags: Actions match words, assclowns, Commitment, Communication, direct communication, emotional unavailability, healthy boundaries, healthy communication in relationships, how to be more honest, indirect communication, passive aggression, passive-aggressive behaviour

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In parts one and two of this series, I explored the dynamics of passive-aggressive behaviour and how Mr Unavailables or assclowns may behave, but also how a woman might behave in some common scenarios.

In today’s post, I will look at some ways of dealing with passive-aggressive behaviour and some tips for avoiding it. But before we get to that, I will do a quick recap.

Passive-aggressive behaviour can take shape in many forms but a very common form of it is saying and agreeing to something but actually having no intention of doing it. Basically conflicting words and actions, the cornerstone of relationships with Mr Unavailables and assclowns.

In the typical Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl relationship, she confronts him about his behaviour. She demands that the situation change or that she leave (even though it’s more likely that she’s not – another form of passive aggression). Because he lacks the balls to admit that he is incapable of doing what is asked and also because he doesn’t like being out of control of the situation, he insists that things will be different even though he often knows they won’t be. He then ends up doing what he always does. He gets his way and manages down your expectations.

But she has numerous ways of being passive-aggressive, such as refusing to accept his character and behaviour for what they are and leaving, and instead often quietly trying to impose change without much success. She doesn’t communicate directly because to do so may force a decision.

Passive-aggressive behaviour means that we avoid responsibility for our actions. 

What can often end up taking place in these dysfunctional relationships is that he indulges in passive-aggressive behaviour because he doesn’t want a confrontation. She indulges in passive-aggressive behaviour because she feels ‘powerless’ and doesn’t want to or doesn’t think she can change things.

Have you ever been in a situation where you have had yet another intense discussion about your relationship with the man in your life, and he insists he will change, so you start trying to do more coupley things? Still, he behaves like a complete assclown, ruining things?

  • Like planning a romantic meal to show your ‘togetherness’ and him not turning up or turning up late.
  • Agreeing to go on holiday and then behaving like a complete dickhead in the lead-up to it or on the holiday so that you end up arguing and wondering why the hell you bothered.
  • Agreeing to move in together. He hates every apartment/house he sees, though, or comes up with excuse after excuse as to why you can’t move into his yet or him into yours. 

All of this screams I DON’T WANT TO BE WITH YOU! OR AT LEAST I DON’T WANT TO BE WITH YOU IN THE WAY YOU WANT ME TO BE WITH YOU. SO I’M GOING TO ACT LIKE AN ASSCLOWN BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE THE BALLS TO BE DIRECT.

Passive aggression is about obstacles.

He creates obstacles, and after a while, YOU become the obstacle, and you create obstacles and focus on all of the wrong things so that you don’t have to concentrate on the things that matter and make a change. But keep in mind that both parties are capable of the same types of behaviour.

Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl book banner

So how to deal with passive aggression in relationships

Stop talking and not following through with actions. 

This is one of the primary trappings of women in poor relationships. You love having umpteen Defining The Relationship talks, breakups, analysis, intense discussions, etc., but you do nothing. Learn to commit to what you say and follow through. Or zip it. You’ll find that when there are consequences of having to do something, you’ll be more careful about running your mouth.

Is there a purpose to what you are saying or doing?

If something isn’t going to result from what you are saying or doing, why say or do it? Remember, if you keep doing something and getting the same shitty result, stop doing it. That’s relationship insanity. When you start to engage with him, say to yourself,  Have I been down this road before? Are things going to be any different?

Learn to communicate your expectations. 

Saying what’s on your mind is an opportunity to sanity-check yourself and ensure that the other party is on board. Just because you feel something for someone does not mean you can place your expectations on them.

Stop being a yes person.

No is not a dirty word and helps to set boundaries. If you end up feeling negative and not being true to your words, it creates distrust. Discover the joy of saying no.

Stop pretending to be happier than what you are. 

At least if you start behaving in a way that is more consistent with how you really feel, you have a greater chance of opting out far sooner from inappropriate relationships.

Avoid creating drama for effect and reacting to your internal fears. 

People quickly see through your acting up to test them out. You’ll have no impact. They will also regard you as a Drama Seeker. It’s incredibly manipulative to use creating drama to elicit reaction or change. Halt and step back.

Create boundaries and maintain them. 

Every woman should know the unacceptable core things so that these act as her sign to take a parachute and jump, even when the libido and the heart may be running interference. Women wouldn’t be in these dodgy relationships if they learned to have boundaries. This is about knowing what is unacceptable as well as who you are and sticking to it instead of making excuses.

Be direct. 

Instead of saying one thing and meaning another, “Yes, of course, I’m OK with us being casual”, when inside you’re having a nervous breakdown, speak up. The moment you agree to things you don’t want is when he can shelve responsibility.

Accept when you behave inappropriately. 

Don’t legitimise your behaviour by saying, “Well, he’s an assclown, so I did X, Y, Z,” because you know what? You’re responsible for you. Start recognising when you’re not being honest, inconsistent about what you’re saying and doing, and when you create drama. These actions are about avoiding responsibility, facing up to yourself, and making a change.

Stop accepting BS and force him to communicate directly. 

Rather than take any glimmer of something he says and turn a crumb into a king-size loaf, take what he says and question it further. Please don’t allow him to be wishy-washy; ask the who, what, where, when, and why, and get clever about using closed questions to force directness.

Step into a new chapter of love and self-awareness with the ‘Break The Cycle’ ecourse.

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