Over the last couple years, I’ve realized that almost all of the conflicts that I have had with people, with myself or with God have been mostly because of my own passive-aggressive tendencies.
This is a really hard thing to realize because most of the time I didn’t/don’t even realize that I am doing it. I think it’s a sort of defense mechanism, a way of protecting myself from feeling responsible or guilty. It ensured that I never fully admitted fault for anything, or sincerely apologized, or truly forgave.
In short, I think it really kept me from showing love to people.
Passive-aggressiveness is a lot more complicated than most people think. It’s not simply an understated form of retaliation or defiance. It’s not just veiled anger hidden in my sarcasm or jokes. It’s not just protecting my sense of self-respect or self-worth by posting something on Facebook that’s just generic enough to deny that it was about something or someone specific that bothered or angered me.
These are all things that I have done in the past, and that I see every single day from other people., but it’s more deep-seated than that.
I want to be able to freely love people without having these instinctual reactions to protect myself from something that I likely only imagined. And I think trying to understand it is a good start, and it has certainly been helpful.
Here is an interesting article from the NY Times a few years ago that might be a good place to start if you are beginning to realize that this is something that you struggle with too. What is it that people always say? The first step to recovery is to admit I have a problem. And boy, do I have a problem.