Simply, describe their behavior and explain the effect it has on you and the relationship in factual terms. Using words such as:
When you do X, I feel Y and I believe it would be better for our relationship if instead we try Z
It’s all about having strong boundaries, which are key to signaling to them how you expect to be treated.
There are even times when you can find yourself acting passive aggressively. I have.
There was one time when I started to use sarcasm and put-downs to covertly bully my husband. I wasn’t even aware I was doing it at the time.
It was when certain events impacted our relationship and we fell into an unhealthy parent-child dynamic.
Thankfully, I recognized this and that it was coming from a place of insecurity within both of us.
I learned love is a verb, not a noun. To get us back on track I needed to show him I loved him with my actions, not just words.
We both needed to nurture our boundaries, sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
So, back to her question:
Is passive aggressiveness a part of the dynamic? A form of emotional abuse?
The answer is: Yes. In codependent relationships, definitely.
Passive anger or passive-aggressiveness is a form of emotional abuse. Coercive control.
It’s aimed at making the other person feel small, so they can feel greater about themselves.
Related Video: Things Narcissists Do
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