Would you say you are an angry person?
If you’re not you must still (very naturally) become angry. Anger is made up of passive and aggressive forms, of these it can be hard to know which is the most detrimental to you and most infuriating to others.
Passive aggression comes from our primal response. In essence we are angry but internationalise it, and demonstrate it through our body language and things we don’t do, which could be seen as a form of denial. Aggressive behaviour is associated with our response. We use both our physical and verbal power to overthrow others and assert ourselves.
Our behaviour can be made up of several different types of presentation. Do you rage when angry and feel yourself burning up, do you identify with any of these behaviours: Threatening, hurtful, destructive, bullying, unjustly blame others, manic, grandiose (It’s all about me!), selfish, revengeful and unpredictable.
These are what we commonly think of as angry people, however passive anger is just as destructive and gets in the way of our rational choice making too.
Passive presentations include behaviour that is
Secretive – do you complain anonymously, write mean things, troll, avoid eye contact and spread malicious rumours?
Manipulative – do you spread rumours, emotionally blackmail others, sabotage relationships and use sexual provocation?
Self-blaming – “I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I’m sorry – I’m such a bad bad person!”
Selfless – overly helpful and makes friendly digs and sighs.
Catastrophising – making mountains out of molehills, being cool and giving people the cold shoulder treatment.
Obsessive – diets, exercise, food, cleanliness – whatever your poison of choice, you’re addicted.
Evasive – do you let the phone ring and block people out to teach them a lesson?
It’s OK to tackle things we don’t agree with and be assertive. Assertiveness can really boost our self-esteem. A starting point is to be direct – express your anger to the person who has made you angry and tell them directly what you’re angry about. Speak of yourself, never use “you made me…”, be honourable and clear, not bullish or abusive, focus and stand your ground – repeating your point until it’s heard but be clear about what this issue is.
Most importantly forgive. Give others the benefit of the doubt, work towards change and moving forward, hear other outs, wipe the slate clean and remind yourself that we all make mistakes – forgive and grow.