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tips & tricks for growth
5 ways to tell if you’re a passive-aggressive spouse
Has your spouse accused you of being passive-aggressive? Maybe they say you’re manipulative. Maybe they tell you that you never speak your mind. Sometimes it may seem like you’ve gained the upper hand in disagreements, but it still feels like the relationship never wins. Are you passive-aggressive or being falsely accused? Well, let’s look at a few ways to shed more light on whether you’re passive-aggressive or not.
Different Levels of Passive-Aggressiveness:
1. Passive-Aggressive Moments.
Many people have moments of passive-aggressiveness. Sometimes, you just don’t have the emotional energy to deal with a conflict, so you use passive-aggressive behavior to keep control of the issue. You may not demonstrate this behavior often, but every now and then, you might pull it out of your bag of tricks. You probably know it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but the alternative at the moment isn’t worth it.
2. Passive-Aggressive Habits.
Being passive-aggressive is your primary way of addressing issues with your spouse. You may even find it hard to initiate a conversation about an issue head-on. You may have become “effective” at passive-aggressive behavior. It seems to get you what you want.
3. Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder.
The American Psychiatric Association defines this as a “pervasive pattern of negativistic attitudes and passive resistance to demands for adequate performance in social and occupational situations.” 2,3 This person feels impossible to tackle conflict with. Their passive-aggressive nature spreads throughout every part of their life.
Understanding how you deal with issues in your marriage can help your marriage thrive through difficult times.
5 ways to be more present when talking to someone
Have you ever been in the presence of someone who was supposed to be listening to you and even though they’re looking you straight in the eyes, you 100% knew they were not really present with you? Not a very good feeling is it? There is really an art to being present and engaged with someone. We all want it from others, but sometimes we aren’t great at doing it for them.
Here are some ways to be more present in conversation:
I used to think of listening as just hearing. Then I thought of listening as a skill. Now, I realize listening is a skill and a choice. Listening is choosing to block out distractions, choosing to empty my mind of clutter, choosing to focus on the speaker, and choosing to let them know they are heard.
2. Body Language.
Do you look like you are present? Do you look like you’re listening? Your body is sending signals about how engaged you are and even how much you care about what is being said.
3. WAIT (Why Am I Talking?)
Our own self-talk or mental dialogue is the biggest enemy of being present and listening. “What am I going to say next?” “Do I have a thought or story as good as that one?” “That can’t be right because…” In the meantime, we have mentally disengaged from the conversation.
Multitasking causes us to miss so many moments. The truth is we cannot do multiple things effectively—so pick one thing and do it with gusto. Being present with the people in our lives—what is more important than that?
This isn’t anything fancy. It’s just self-awareness. Minding your mind. Minding your body. Being aware of what you’re thinking and doing. Being aware of your breathing. This is really the foundation of being present with people and in the moment with them.
Practice a few of these tips to be more present with people and see the difference it makes. You can do it!