Psychological DISORDERS (3c)

 

MY CHARACTER DEFECTS
are just twisted versions of the True me!

PREVIOUS: Disorders #3a

SITE:   What is High-functioning Anxiety?

 


2. NEUROSES  – 
From a DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE (cont.)

c. Transactional Analysis  – The IMPASSE
Def : 
A road or passage having no exit, as a cul-de-sac
A situation so difficult that no progress can be made. Deadlock/stalemate

In psychological terms, impasses are formed as Type 1, 2 & 3 developmental stages in childhood, during which script-decisions are made. Scripts – our unconscious plan for life /internal ‘story’ – are usually based on unmet needs & abuse. This causes inner conflicts between one’s Parent & Child ego states, & usually experienced by the child first as a personal failure – an internalized sense of inadequacy. Parents, wider family & society present, repeat & reinforce scripts – in some cases positive, but in most cases harmful. (See the Gouldings’ 12 script themes – similar to the ACoA Toxic Rules)
This shows the power & active participation of children in their own development.

As adults, we all carry a representation (model) of the world  & ourselves – where we belong, how we fit in, our work & how we do it, & where we’re headed. If the source of this model comes from a dysfunctional family, it will always fall short of dynamic, ever-changing reality – limiting our S & I growth.
An impasse (being stuck in some area of life) indicates a need for change in order to move forward. The different intensities of psychological disorders represent various stages & intensities of impasse. (MORE...)

CHART: 3 development stages of conflicts between inner Parent (P) & Child (C)
3rd degree impasse (Po-Co: Birth to 6 months, pre-verbal, even pre-natal)
These earliest conflicts are produced by the type of connection between mother & child, depending on how they relate day after day. They will be around the issue of survival, between: abandonment & engulfment, destroying or being destroyed, worth & worthlessness….

EXPIf the mother has an unhealed WIC – stuck in her own impasse – her wounds get communicated to the baby, day after day. If she is insensitive, controlling or brutal – the effect on the baby is predictable.
However – much more difficult to identify later on –  if h
er grown up Adult & Parent parts are used to activate, even improve her parenting style, without Recovery her behavior won’t have any affect on her little C1 ego state. No matter how she tries to cover it up, her deepest damage will unconsciously keep re-traumatizing the baby. 

A depressed or angry mother can ‘responsibly’ feed & look after her baby son every day, but he knows / senses his mother is emotionally bereft. He intuits (or is told) that he needs to take care of her – all focus must be on her instead of his own feelings & needs – OR ELSE she may somehow leave (die). So he feels unworthy to be taken care of & worthless for not being able to help her, which causes intense anxiety. So he slowly develops defensive patterns like people-pleasing / isolation / addictions…., which form his False Self.

As an adult, this earliest impasse continues as deep-seated conflicts in PMES forms such as muscle tension, psychosomatic complaints, immune disorders…. & expressed verbally in symbolic images, such as “I feel as if I’m in a fog, lost, cold & alone, there’s a wall up between me & everyone else” …. 

 2 degree impasse (P1-C1:  6 mths – 6 yrs)
Made up of Injunctions (authoritative orders) carried by feelings /emotions. They become internalized, often through non-verbal comman
ds, at a time when the child has only a basic grasp of language. Script-decisions made are around basic theme about the child’s identity, such as: “Who am I? // Am I important? // Don’t grow up // Don’t feel”….. Later on, it’s much harder to remember how these issues developed, so the person usually doesn’t know they’re stuck back there

 1 degree impasse (P2-C2 : 6+ yrs old, when they can understand language)
The struggle here is between what the child should & should not do, what behaviors are socially acceptable or not. Internalized verbal
instructions (counter-injunctions) will be things like: “Please others // Always try hard // Be a good boy or good girl // Never get angry”….. These are more accessible to awareness, so later on it’s easier to remember who gave them & in what form.

BREAKING the Impasse – options
When the Bad Parent is so strong that it keeps the messages in place, the person gives in & continues to live by the original ‘rules’, keeping the Healthy Child bound. HOWEVER – 
a. When the person’s Wounded Child refuses to go along with its Bad Parent’s messages & is finally allowed to get angry, it liberates the Healthy / Free Child
b. The Bad Parent’s injunctions are agreed with, but the Healthy Child’s needs are ‘redefined’, often in humorous terms. Then both sides win.
EXP = Parent voice: “You’re crazy”
Child: “I may be crazy, but I’m never boring!”:)

NEXT: Disorders #4a

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Psychological DISORDERS (Part 2a)

I ADMIRE OTHERS WHO
easily know how to function

PREVIOUS: Disorders #1

IMAGE from: The Truman College Wellness Center

SITEPsychological Disorders:  PowerPoints with Video Links & Lecture Notes (To purchase. Aimed at teachers)

HUMOR:  Psychological Disorders of Winnie the Pooh Characters

LEVELS of Mental Health
The hierarchy of mental states, from highest to lowest functioning, is:
1. Healthy —-> 2. Neurotic —-> 3. Personality Disordered —->
4. Sociopathic/Psychopathic —-> 5. Psychotic 
(deranged)

1. NORMAL
 (Healthy)
DEF: Mental health is a state of emotional & psychological well-being based on realizing & developing ones potential, with the ability to cope with normal life stressors, to work productively & fruitfully, & contribute to ones community. This comes from the True Self.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health includes : Autonomy, competence, inter-generational dependence, perceived self-efficacy, self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential…… & subjective well-being, which comes from acting on their abilities, coping with normal life-stressors, productive work & contribution to their community.

HOWEVER: People with long-term, stable mental health are in the minority. Several long-term studies – in the US, Switzerland & New Zealand – (covering a span of 27 yrs, during ages 11 to 38) found that up to 83% of participants developed mental disorders sometime during those ages.

Re. the continually health people: while having loving, drama-free childhoods helped, these people were (born) naturally up-beat (emotionally not moody), had lots of friends & had superior self-control.
As adults, they reported more education, better jobs, higher-quality relationships & more satisfaction with their lives.
Also, in New Zealand, the healthiest Kiwis had fewer first- & second-degree relatives with mental disorders. (More….)

OVERVIEW
Basically – mental health is about knowing who you are – the very essence of you (not just your damage expressed as self-hate) but rather the person you were born as, called the True Self, found in the Natural Child.

• It’s being comfortable in your own skin, even when things aren’t going well or you’re experiencing great difficulties (More….)

• It’s having access to all emotions (not all at once ):), knowing how to comfort yourself when in any kind of pain, AND being able to enjoy all the good things about yourself & your life

• It’s knowing what your talents are & using them  to your best ability, learning what you don’t know & using all your imagination to express your ideas

• It’s having strong, clear boundaries (not walls) so you can have safe relationships which can be loving, interesting &/or fun

• It’s knowing what your limitations are, based on your natural personality, you experiences & your age. Accepting that you are imperfect & not all-powerful, both as a human being & as your unique self. It’s ACCEPTING this & being OK with it

• It’s being curious about yourself, other people & the world, always looking for new ways to grow & stay interested in life

💕 Healthier people can tolerate a wider, deeper range of emotion, so don’t have a compulsive need for distractions (alcohol, sugar, internet surfing, sex, doing / doing….). Being more honestly self-aware allows them to feel:
😟 the pain of their own human failings, limitations & eventual mortality, and
😍 the beauty of everyday living – precious moments with loved ones, appreciating delicate flowers, a kind word from someone, time spent with a pet or listening to favorite music….
‼️as well as the high points, like weddings, births, promotions, personal milestones, artistic accomplishments….(SITE: Children’s Mental Health 2–8)

Theresa Lowry-Lehnen, Health Psychology lecturer, writes:
“Emotional stability refers to the level of control a person has over their own emotions. A healthy personality does not have unreasonable & unwanted negative thoughts & feelings towards others, nor indulges in self-loathing. They can be spontaneous but not impulsive, can make rational, well-judged decisions, & are able to protect their health, self-esteem & well-being – despite any problems in their life.”

Using the criterion of personality organization, Dr. Otto Kernberg marks 3 degrees of dysfunctional severity: Neurotic, Borderline & Psychotic states. The more mentally & emotionally disorganized, the worse the person’s functioning.
To assess this, Kernberg suggests evaluating answers to 3 Qs:
1) Is your reality-testing intact? (Explanations)
2) Do you have an integrated sense of self & others?
3) What is the maturity level of your defenses?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAT BOT – talk to computer re. moods (Woebot on Facebook Messenger)

NEXT: Disorders #2b

COMMUNICATION Categories (Part 6)


NOBODY SEEMS
to be listening to me!

PREVIOUS: Comm categories #2 

QUOTE: “A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.”
Mark Twain

 

CATEGORIZING Communication (Comm) cont.

7. Re. WAYS to ENGAGE in comm
Level 1: Messages into the Ether
Snail mail, email & texting have some things in common. They’re sent out, & a response can sometimes take days or weeks. Since they’re not conversational (back & forth) there can be a high level of misunderstanding, possibly leading to hurt feelings, even fights.

Level 2: Back & forth Messaging
It’s conversational, but still done remotely (IM, text….). Such exchanges are more casual & direct, so confusion is less likely, since one or both can catch distortions or misses with each reply.
However, its bite-size style means it’s not well-suited to discussing complex issues.

Level 3: A Verbal Dialogue
Here participants get to express their opinions directly, plus adding a whole layer of implied info via Para-language. These can hint at excitement, pleasure, peacefulness OR annoyance, frustration, stress…. that are harder to detect in writing. A drawback is that they often require scheduling, but sometimes things need to be cleared up quickly via phone.

Level 4: In-Person Spontaneous Discussion
When something important comes up unexpectedly, we might decide to seek out the others person for a conversation. Spontaneous discussions can be  effective for problem-solving, getting an immediate need met or making a plan. Benefits come from adding a new level of mutual understanding & co-operation. But it doesn’t always work – discomfort with spontaneity, lack of privacy, the other person being too busy or not in the mood…. can get in the way.

Level 5: In-Person Scheduled Discussion
What makes this level special is the mutual agreement to set aside time.
Planning does not have to make the meeting Formal, but gives both parties time to think about the topic. Successful & dynamic interactions come from combining self-awareness, non-verbal intelligence & privacy, to ensure comfort & trust. (From )

VALUE: Observing admired leaders, we can see that good comm. judgment is very important to their success.
For example, knowing what
can be done at Level 2, versus what must be done Level 5 – & doing it – is a sign of sound leadership instinct, as well as knowing what to expect in personal relationships.

8. Re. PMES Categories
SOCIAL
: Talking about anything of mutual interest – news, sports, weather…. It’s superficial but truly useful, allowing us to function among strangers without burdening them with TMI about our life.  It also helps determine whether someone is neutral, a potential friend or enemy

MENTAL: Talking about facts, helpful tips, ideas, non-controversial beliefs, plans & strategies, as in professional conversations. Unfortunately, some people go out of their way to be the ‘best’ at it, so that no one is smarter, wittier or more knowledgeable, & they never have to be wrong.

The distance between the first two levels is relatively short. Polite conversation can turn into a mentally stimulating one very quickly & then collapse back into small talk or none at all – without discomfort. Except for conversations with a controlling know-it-all, these two levels are safe.

EMOTIONAL: Here talk is about aspirations, fears, wants, needs & joys. Sometimes eyes well up, lips quiver, & the voice chokes. Other times those same eyes light up, heart pounds & words flow with joy, or fail from awe.

• The distance between #1 & 2 AND #3 is rather wide, because #3 requires intimacy, transparency, trust & vulnerability. Most of us are afraid of being wrong or looking foolish, & absolutely terrified of rejection.
Participating at this level opens us to possible rejection, hurt & being scarred. Over-all, this level is easier for women to navigate, partly expressing emotions is more socially acceptable, & because a portion of women’s Corpus Callosum is thicker than men’s, perhaps allowing more access across the hemispheres emotions to be verbalized  (MORE….)

SPIRITUAL. This is the hardest to identify & describe, not only because our culture is so secular, but because few people are willing to drop down into the level of faith – for themselves – much less to speak of it to others.
It melts away push-pull, give-take win-lose, me-you. There are no distortions from emotional mental or social games, allowing for the highest level of resonance, creating an energetic embrace that sustains & heals.

‼️ Understanding all these forms of comm allows us to identify & then choose which is most appropriate for any given situation.
It can be too easy to go down the path of least resistance, but that can get us into trouble, so it’s important to be more thoughtful about how & when we communicate.
It’s better to do it the right way – focusing on our goals & using whichever level will help us get there.

NEXT: Comm. Levels #3

COMMUNICATION Categories (Part 5)


IT HELPS TO KNOW
what the rules are

PREVIOUS: Comm. #4

SITE: “….How Relationships influence Behavior”

⬆️ Image designed & assembled by DMT

CATEGORIES of Communication (Comm) cont..

6b. Re. Human Networks  (biz, academia, military, even family)
The form of an organization’s comm. networks dictates the method & speed by which ideas flow between managers & employees. Their efficiency can be tested on the basis of : Nature of task, Leader emergence, Group satisfaction, & Speed of work

a. RELATIONSHIP (channel):
FORMAL Networks
CENTRALIZED
This is when one group member has access to more comm. channels than any other, & so tends to process more info than others in that group, which is disbursed to others based on status & hierarchy.
EXP: The boss needs to address any negative grapevine comm., or the rumors can become fact in the minds of employees

Wheel  – the most centralized form, where all info flows from the leader, & other members have little or no comm. link with each other. Here, the boss deliberately controls comm., making sure his/her wishes reaches everyone

Chain (scalar): People comm. in a set sequence, via the line of command….. proceeding from A to B, B to C ….. or in reverse. This type is slow but carries the most authentic communication

DECENTRALIZED
Here all group members have access to the same number of comm channels. Info is comm. by any person on the hierarchy scale & can be accessed by other employees. Research has shown that decentralized networks or organizations perform better, & have more satisfied members than centralized ones.

Circle – Here the info is shared equally among all members. Each person gives & receives info from two or more others in the network

Star – Comm. revolve around a central point. Each person in the outer branches of the star passes on a message to a central authority, who then distributes it to the other participants. A must for groups or for teamwork, but can limit or inhibit ease of comm. between members

Inverted “V” – Here subordinates are allowed to comm with their immediate superior, as well as with that boss’s boss – but limited

Common (Free-flow / All-channel)the most decentralized type of formal comm., where everyone is connected to each other, so info can flow freely from anywhere in the organization

INFORMAL
Usually deals with interpersonal, horizontal comm. Traditionally it was considered a potential hindrance to effective performance, but that is no longer the case. However, leaders of modern organizations see it as an important way to ensure effective conduct in employees

Informal comm. is via the grapevine, represented by sociograms. Grapevines are important since they are a large part of daily comm. Friendship, usage & efficiency are 3 important parts. It can be as a:

Single strand
Info flows from one person to the next, until it reaches everyone ….. but is generally a less reliable or accurate way to pass on the message. However, it can be used to pass on some urgent or emergency news

Gossip Chain
There is generally a central person who looks for, finds & then passes on info to all other members in the network directly (water cooler, lunchtime…..), often used when the topic is not related to the job

Probability Chain
Here info passes randomly from persons to persons – used when the info is interesting but not important

Cluster Chain
The most common type of informal network – where a person who is source of a message passes info to a pre-selected group, from which a few individuals repeat it to other selected groups – until the whole network is covered, like a telephone tree.

b. MEDIAWritten, oral & gestural. see Part 2

c. DIRECTION
Vertical comm. – Info is passed between different levels of the organizational hierarchy. Orders moves down from the top through a formal chain of command, to the place where it will be implemented. Responses & collected info flow up to the top for review & decision-making

Horizontal (lateral) Comm. occurs between any two parts of the organization at the same level – between 2 people, divisions or departments – allowing for greater degree of informality. The purpose is to co-ordinate the activities of the various units of the organization

Diagonal – Sharing of info among different structural levels. This term was introduced to capture the new comm. challenges associated with new organizational forms, such as matrix & project-based businesses.
EXP: It could involve higher level management with a lower level to indicate a shift in objectives, as well as the following dialog about how best to achieve the new goals.

NEXT:

RED FLAGS from Psychopaths (Part 2)


LISTEN TO PATTERN

of their conversation

PREVIOUS: Red Flags #1

BOOK HOW to TAKE REVENGE on a NARCISSIST: Take your power back by using their secret techniques 

 

List BASED ON: “30 Red Flags of Manipulative People”

2. SOCIAL Manipulation
Comparing – you with everyone else in their life, including your eventual replacement. When idealizing you, they make you feel special by telling you how much better you are than these people. Later, when devaluing you, they use these comparisons to cut you down

Communicating – texts you dozens of times a day, adding compliments, flattery, songs & poems on Facebook….  You come to rely on this flood of attention as a source of confidence

In Demand – they surround themselves with former lovers and potential mates,  bragging that their exes still want to sleep with him/her, but assures you not to worry. You feel jealous believing your partner is in high demand

Exes, exes, exes – it’s the psychopath’s favorite topic of conversation & you’re stuck listening about them all the time – their names & everything that happened between them – but only the psychopath’s version

Denouncing – they seem to have an unusually amount of crazies in their past. They bad-mouth previous business & personal exes who ‘abandoned’ them, labeling those people as disloyal,  jealous, bipolar, alcoholic….  They will speak about you the same way to their next target

Rivalry – psychopaths shift their laser focus from you back to previously denounced exes, using social media to post ambiguous videos & status updates, old songs & inside jokes, making you doubt your importance to them, while seemingly innocent.

Boredom – They focus more on their new activity & ignore older ones with you. They don’t seem to care when you leave their side, since they can just as easily move on to the next source of energy

• Isolating – If you try to maintain ties with family & friends outside your relationship, they will ensure to undermine each one until you’re severed.
And if you work hard to foster inner peace in your life, they will make it their mission to destroy every avenue you use

Mind reading. Psychopaths expect you to always be able to know what they want or need, when they’re upset, when they don’t feel well, when they want you to do something – all without saying!

Shape shifting. They adopt different personae for different people or groups, transforming their outward personality to match their audience. But sometimes they forget what role they’re playing with you, then slip & accidentally use the wrong mask. You begin to wonder – Who are they really?
Very eerie, but it’s not Multiple Personality Disorder. Each shift is conscious & cleverly molded – all to cover their inner emptiness.

3. GENERAL
• Fun – They actively search our extreme sports & dangerous activities, from a need to feel excitement via high risk & intensity. Anything from BASE jumping to having sex in public, from juggling matches to carelessly cheating on a mate

Dichotomy – they confuse you with a combination of swaggering street-smarts toughness, while at the same time giving off a little boy/girl ‘innocence’ or goodness (not real!).

Fake ‘tears’ – Their emotions are shallow & short-lived.
— While they know how to copy emotions they see in others, only occasionally does the mask slip – unconsciously, giving you the feeling that something’s ‘off’
— You may catch flashes of contempt (feeling superior), unrelated to anything going at the time. Micro-expressions leak out their true opinions
— Rage is one of the few Es they actually feel, but even so they can go from being in a rage to compete calm in a minute

TMI – They love to tell about shady & ‘dirty’ things they’ve done (business & sexual) – as if those were something to be proud of – while giving the impression that’s all in the past for them

Fake goodness
– They create a ‘saintly’ aura engaging in phony altruism (volunteering, donating, gift-giving…), & can’t wait to boast about the great things they do for others – to gain your trust

Talking style – On the one hand their speech is filled with ‘umm / er / uh’ s… maybe needing the time or mental effort to come up with the next lie, ‘story’ or way to make a good impression.
On the other hand – they can barrage with endless (sometimes interesting) monologues, like being on stage, but ignore responses or interruptions

Blame others – nothing is ever their fault. They spend all their time rationalizing their behavior rather than improving it

Overwhelming selfishness – only their needs, desires, opinions, upsets… count    (Modified from “Identifying a Psychopath….”)

NEXT: Psychopath RED FLAGS #3

DEALING with P-As: Managing (Part 5)


I’LL DO WHAT I CAN
but it’s not all up to me!

PREVIOUS: Dealing with PAs – #4

SITE: Confronting P-A behavior
 re. resistance to being confronted = #4

 

OUR RESPONSES
Set limits, set consequences – & then follow through.
CRUCIAL: Identify the P-A’s dysfunctional behavior, & then state what it will cost them to continue it – with you. It’s a powerful tool – throwing down the gauntlet. It says you’re not the pushover they’re used to dealing with. Their maneuvers are basically a power struggle – with the whole world, but especially against anyone they see as an authority figure – in relation to themselves (spouse, teacher, family member, church, governments….) . So you can’t let it pass.

One of the biggest mistakes Receivers make is to be much too lenient. Once you give in to the P-A’s pattern, you’ve lost the game they’re playing. Ignoring or going along with their tactics, or taking on their responsibilities, is enabling & encourage them to continue.

Although you don’t want to provoke an angry confrontation, you also don’t need to be the P-A’s punching bag. Make it clear that you won’t tolerate being mistreated. It’s your right to set boundaries. This is equally true about their language & their non-actions, all of which are forms of abuse & therefore damaging to your relationship, & to work outcomes. For most people it takes practice to be assertive, & sometimes even courage.

Offer one or more serious/important consequences. Said simply & calmly, it may make them think twice about their automatic reactions & perhaps encourage them to modify their behavior – shifting from obstruction to cooperation. READ  7  types of power that encourages positive change.

Make sure the punishment fits the crime. Because P-A patterns are so frustrating, consequences/punishments can quickly go overboard (like screaming “I’m never ever talking to you again!” in the heat of the moment). Taking a time-out for yourself can help to come up with the best response. AND – you may need to talk to someone you trust to give you another perspective – or just a word of encouragement to stay strong. There’s nothing weak or shameful in getting support.

EXP
: If this problem has gone on for too long – decide: Do I just need a break, or is it time to end the friendship altogether? / Is this person  needed in this job, or should I fire them?….. OR – If someone is habitually late to meet you at an agreed upon time – after the 3rd or 4th time Let them know that from now on that you’ll only wait 15 min. & then leave. Don’t keep waiting.

So no matter what their reaction is to being called out, as an Rs you need to stand pat about how much you’re willing to take going forward. Follow through on the limits you set – to let the P-A know you’re not willing to pay the price for their acting out.
If possible, give the P-A a chance to help solve the problem at hand, asking them for constructive, practical solutions to improve or fix the situation (at work or at home). BUT if all you get are complaints & criticisms, don’t agree or disagree. Just say that you’ll keep what they said in mind, & go back to the point

Reinforce appropriate/good behavior – with the goal of increasing its frequency. It can be: punishing bad responses or rewarding good ones – which are harder so notice. So be on the lookout for positive changes – which include expressions of true emotions & any unhealthy tactic not done.

Decide when to detach or avoid the P-A completely. If you’ve given them every chance to ‘correct’, spoken to them reasonable, given them options &/or consequences – AND nothing changes – it’s perfectly reasonable to spend a lot less time with them or end the relationship. Sometimes this can be very difficult & painful, but you have to put your own well-being first. (Self-care)
However, if it’s a casual acquaintance – it’s easier to just avoid them.

What can help you deal with a P-A you care deeply about is to focus on their best qualities. Make a list & add to it if/when you see positive changes. Sometimes reinforcing the best in others will give them a reason to improve themselves.
NOTE: This does not apply to active addicts or other narcissists. Their S-H won’t allow for compliments & their acting-out can not be reinforced or excused.

NEXT: P-A

DEALING with P-As: Emotions (Part 3)


HIDDEN ANGER

is tricky to deal with

PREVIOUS :
Dealing with P-As #2

SITE: BLOG re. P-A relationship


Our EMOTIONS
Notice how you feel around the P-A.
Pay close attention to your instincts. You’ll definitely feel frustrated, & then angry. If you don’t know what’s happening or you’re blaming yourself you may even despair. You are actually in a situation you can’t win – nothing you say or do seems to please them or get them to hear you.
• You can feel hurt if they give you the silent treatment
• You’ll feel annoyed that they’re always complaining, but don’t do anything to improve their situation
• You’ll likely feel tired or deflated, IF you’ve been trying to make sense of their behavior, & spending a lot of energy trying to get them to co-operate.

Make Friends With Your Anger
To be effective in dealing with P-As you have to be OK with your own feeling of anger at them (acceptance) – because that’s a normal reaction to being jerked around.

REMEMBER: We have our own hot buttons, which P-As can take advantage of  – once they get to know us. Identify them, & then notice when you get real anxious or have a strong angry reaction when one of them is bumped into.
EXP
: When ignored / accused wrongly / called ‘too sensitive’ / treated as stupid / taken advantage of / not given credit…..

Moderate your response
Develop a “Teflon coating” for yourself when dealing with P-As — stay calm, keep your voice neutral, hold your emotions in check. The less reactive you are, the less fuel they have for their hidden anger tactics

• If possible, find out what the P-A’s angry about – in the present situation. Notice a problem they’re reacting to as soon as you can

• Because P-As don’t show their anger, you can talk to someone who knows them well enough to tell you the P-A’s buttons, & what subtle signs to look for

• Think seriously about what might really be driving the P-A’s behavior, which is usually a symptom of something else (or deeper) that’s upsetting them. NOTE: these is a tools for you, not in order to fix them

Stay as neutral as you can manage – even if you have to act-as-if. When you do get upset (which is likely), calm yourself down first before addressing whatever issue that’s bothering you – take a walk, crank up the music & dance, call a sponsor, read a page or two from the Al-Anon “Just for Today” Meditations…..
Then figure out exactly what you need/want from this situation, what is actually possible & what realistic outcome you can live with

It’s also good to practice ++ self-talk (until it’s automatic), such as:
• I recognize his ______ as P-A behavior – it’s a familiar pattern which I see & acknowledge
• He wants me to get angry & yell, so it’ll end up being my problem, not his
• I know what’s behind her procrastination, intentional inefficiency, ‘laziness’…
• It is her anger/ resentment that she’s not owning up to

🤔”I didn’t cause it / I can’t control it / I can’t cure it”.
• I don’t want to (& won’t) participate in this pointless P-A manipulation
• I deserve to be treated at least with respect, at best more lovingly
• I trust my gut reaction when I feel jabbed – because that’s what just happened

Empathize
Learn reflective listening & express empathy toward the P-A, which can sometimes be helpful in dealing with sideways anger.
In any case, be compassionate toward yourself & the other person. While this may be difficult, expressing empathy for the P-A can help disarm them. You can reflect (mirror back) their suppressed emotions by saying things like, “It seems like you were frustrated by what happened in school / at work….  today. That makes sense & must have been hard…..”
It helps to remind yourself that someone has probably been patient, understanding & compassionate towards you at times when you were not at our best. Pay it forward.

FROM Elephant Journal: “The passive-aggressive individual is not a bad person, they are simply a person who has been deeply hurt.
And when such a person is a family member, friend, or intimate partner, the only way to stay present is with expansive love.
Pushing such a person to be honest or direct does not work because they cannot see past their own fear and hurt.
Space and time are essential for healing.
Even more so, trusting that person & seeing the best in them can alleviate the fear, & reassure them that they are trusted, held with love, & embraced with security.”

PS: In most cases it’s the P-A’s behavior / communication that’s hurtful / unhealthy (bad), not the essence of the person. This is because the ‘acting out’ comes from the person’s False Self, rather than their hidden Healthy / True Self. However – their hurtful behavior is not to be excused or overlooked.

NEXT: Dealing w/ P-As #4