Nobody enjoys being with someone who is always passive aggressive. If you're not sure what that looks like, here's an excellent, and funny, demonstration.
"The key to a great relationship is control..." says the doomed couple in this video from the AwakenWithJP YouTube channel. "Control is the thread that keeps your relationship together, and we found that being passive aggressive is the best way to control your partner." Obviously, these two are playing for laughs, but the lesson they share is right on the money.
Being passive aggressive is more than just frustrating to the people you care about, it sends mixed signals about how you really feel. If you want to be a good partner and keep things going well, here's a quick rundown of all the passive aggressive things you should always avoid doing:
- Cold shoulder treatment: Not only is it the worst way to let someone know they did something you didn't like, it slowly makes people assume they're just wrong for being who they are.
- Snarky comments: There's no room for snark or misdirected shaming when you want to show gratitude. It isn't "Thank you for cleaning the kitchen for once," it's "Thank you for cleaning the kitchen."
- Crushing your partners dreams: If your partner is excited about pursuing a goal, don't cut them down, support them. It's OK to help keep them grounded so they manage their expectations well, but don't make yourself another barrier for them to overcome.
- Backhanded compliments: These are always rude, no matter who you're talking to. Just be supportive and give regular compliments.
- Making your partner feel inept: This is perhaps the worst one of them all. Saying things like "...if you made more money", "...if you ever took time off for us", and "...if we had a nicer home" is a recipe for disaster.
There's no way around it — constant passive aggressive behaviour is a type of emotional abuse. To stop it, self awareness is key. When you know what to look for, it's easier to catch yourself before you say or do things like this.