Passive Aggressive Anger

Passive Aggressive Anger

Passive Aggressive Anger Management

What is Passive Aggressive Anger?

Everyone feels anger. The intensity may vary and way anger is expressed may be different but everyone has the ability to feel anger.


Anger management can help you learn different ways of reacting when you feel angry or frustrated. Passive Aggressive Anger is one way to express anger.


The meaning of Passive Aggressive Anger is non-verbal aggression. Non verbal means you will feel angry but you won’t express it in words, you won’t yell or scream and you won’t talk about it. Then it turns into into negative behaviour.


When you do your anger as passive aggressive anger you can’t talk to people about what they have done or why they have upset you because ultimately you don’t want to cause more trouble and you don’t want the problem to get worse.


But the problem does get worse because instead of being able to communicate with whoever is involve with honesty, you will probably:

  • Bottle up your emotions
  • Change your behaviour toward them
  • Make rude gestures or comments
  • Become really fake and pretend everything is okay
  • Cut people off and cut them out of your life
  • You won’t communicate
  • Avoid or ignore the person or people
  • Feel miserable and sulk
  • Make excuses to not be around them
  • Blame others for things that go wrong
  • Being critical about everything
  • Victimise yourself
  • Feel self-pity

It doesn’t sound like great behaviour but it’s done out of self protection. No-one likes feeling let down or used.  When you can’t talk about how you feel  when a problem arises it means you either don’t see a possible solution or you don’t want there to be a solution. That means no-one wins here.


If you fake it and pretend everything is ok you will only build resentment towards the person involved so your anger will build.  When you feel anger it’s going to come out somewhere.


Sarcastic comments are just little bursts of anger and bitterness coming out.  It isn’t pleasant and it doesn’t stop until you have dealt with how you feel.


Unless the people in your life are clueless they will know when you are angry with them.  They will see the signs because they know you so you probably aren’t kidding anyone.  The thing is when your behaviour is passive aggressive anger no-one really knows what to do to resolve the situation.


It makes you unpredictable because no-one knows what to expect from you or what you need them to do to resolve things.


Passive aggressive behaviour creates a negative energy for you and for the people around you.


Underneath anger is always sadness.  When someone has made you feel anger you need to check-in with your feelings to understand if what you are feeling really is anger or if it is hurt or disappointment.


If your reasons for passive aggressive anger is to be accepted by someone regardless of what they have done to you, you depend on others or you want to avoid further conflict you need to learn to do it differently. Passive aggressive anger hurts you and the person involved.


Remember you are holding in your feelings and repressing your feelings means they are still there.  That means you can either deal with your emotions appropriately or you will end up dealing with them inappropriately and that means at some point – losing your shit.


When you lose your shit it’s usually at the wrong person at the wrong time and in the wrong place.  It isn’t pretty.  If this sounds like you don’t worry, we’ve all done it at one point in time. It doesn’t necessarily mean we are passive aggressive people.


Why People Have Passive Aggressive Anger


Passive aggressive anger can be a learned behaviour from really childhood. You may have had a parent who displayed passive aggressive anger by not arguing in front of you and instead chose to be moody or withdrawn to deal with the issue at hand.


If you learned from that parent you shouldn’t confront people when your angry or it’s not ok to have an argument then you would have also learned why.  Why wasn’t it ok to show how you felt or to be angry or to have an argument?


What was your parent trying to achieve? Were they trying to keep the peace or was it easier to keep quiet that to stand up for themself? Whatever you learnt become conditioned learning.  You didn’t question it you just repeated it yourself.


Many People Pleasers have passive aggressive anger. They want to belong and they want to make people happy. They don’t want to ruffle feathers or make anyone else feel bad so they bottle it all up inside and hide their anger.


Passive aggressive anger can also be learnt by experience too.  There are certain situations where you are not allowed to be yourself. You are not allowed to express your true emotions because it’s not appropriate.  Society has many rules and you need to conform.


Society likes people who follow the rules. They don’t like people who are willing to take a stand against the majority. If you are conforming against your own values and beliefs then you will feel the anger and frustration.


You can’t express it appropriately because it’s not allowed so passive aggressive anger is a way you can conform but show people that you are not happy about it in less obvious ways.  This is typical in school settings and government settings.


These places teach people passive aggressive anger as a result of people not being allowed the freedom to speak up.


The workplace is one of those places where Passive aggressive anger is rife too. There are many disgruntled employees in the workplace but they can’t speak up because of fear of losing their job, being alienated or causing a bigger conflict.


Instead of standing up for themselves they seek out others in the workplace and share their story placing themselves as the victim. They make excuses for their behaviour and reactions and blame others. There is a lot of bitchiness and backstabbing too.


Work places teach people passive aggressive anger as a result of not wanting to go against the grain, to be able to complain and whinge without causing too much trouble.


Passive aggressive behaviour can become toxic to your relationships, friendships and to your health. If you have passive aggressive anger you need to think about what you are really trying to achieve by holding everything in.

  • Are you trying to hold onto friendships?
  • Are you trying to hold onto a relationship?
  • Are you scared you will create more conflict?
  • Are you trying to fit in and belong?


Every behaviour has a good intention.  Look for the intention behind your behaviour and find another way to achieve the result. You will feel better when you learn to express how you feel in an appropriate way without upsetting others.


If you need some managing passive aggressive anger, help click here to book an appointment.