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When does a passive aggressor break their silence?

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Old 13th July 2010, 1:44 AM   #1
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When does a passive aggressor break their silence?

I have been dating this guy for 6 months and quite often he would give me the silent treatment. Most of the time I have no idea what I did to him. Then there are times he would say I am overreacting to things or he doesn't like how I am behaving. He would walk away or I just wouldn't hear from him. I would usually reach out to him 1-2 weeks later and we would start talking again like everything was ok.
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Old 13th July 2010, 4:31 AM   #2
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Do not believe them

hey do not believe these kind of persons in long term.
the following characteristics might fit them :
1) they might be independent thinkers.
2) they never depend on anyone
3) when the other person agitates or argues, they silently listen(so it seem) for long long time until the person finishes and finally use them later for denying the person him/herself by delivering crude criticism, insult and unwanted comments upon us.
4)they have some background of disappointment with some people in his family or friend circle.
5) In the later stages of being together, he starts using you for his benefits in many ways until you are drained out and accuse you for silly reasons and ditch you.
6) The sad part is, it is that much hard to avoid these kind of people because they move so softly and convincingly as if they adjust with the other person and we feel much of the comfort when being with them. But only after it is too late, we would be realising the fact of cheating.

Last edited by rajesh.kumar; 13th July 2010 at 4:36 AM.. Reason: Extra Points
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Old 13th July 2010, 10:12 AM   #3
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Your thread title suggests that you think this guy is going to change how he's been acting and treating you, and that it's just a matter of "when". Obvious also, that you want/need him to do that (for good reason.)

The thing is: He is not going to change how he does his relationships...because he cannot do that without first learning better relationship, communication, conflict resolution and self-management skills.

of his behaviour is passive-aggressive, but that's the least of his problems. You've described at least four other, more destructive (to self and others) maladaptive patterns that he utilizes.

You can decide to "wait it out", if you wish. But if he thinks-believes that he possess 'good enough' interpersonal and coping skills, then you're already on the losing side of that battle of wills. Chances are, in any case, that he thinks-believes his skills are excellent...and you are the one who is out-of-whack.

Ask him to rate his own skills. Ask him how he feels about other people who try to learn new skills or improve their current levels, through therapy or self-help. Ask him under what circumstances would he do that.

Your relationship is only six months old; still in its supposed 'honeymoon' phase. Is it not more likely you've been seeing and getting the BEST he has to give you (and everyone else)? His best is just not very good, is the reality.

rajesh's points 3, 5 and 6 are particularly relevant, IMO (excluding the comment about cheating.)
If there is deception going on, it has to do with you deceiving yourself, that this man actually has something better to give you and if you just wait long enough then you will get it. He doesn't have it; he will need to acquire it. Find out if he has any needs, desires and intentions of doing that.
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Old 13th July 2010, 10:47 AM   #4
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The only time a person who employs the silent treatment starts speaking again before they want is if you get them at their character. Some accusal of their character that they can't stand to not defend.

Its so not worth it.
may your sons' wives rejoice as often as your own; may your daughters marry men of your worth.
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Old 13th July 2010, 11:11 AM   #5
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hi Anna,

Passive-aggressive behavior is a form of manipulation to intentionally keep the other person off balance and steer a certain reaction someone wants from someone else. But... people who are this way are usually pretty consistent and are this way in all their relationships and they usually don't turn it on and off.

If these behaviors have always been there, then I agree with the other two posters.... but if these behaviors are something that is a change in him, then if I were you I might be a little wary. Many dumpers begin to emotionally detach (sometimes long before) to prepare themselves emotionally for a break. Some people are really good at completely hiding the emotional detachment so they aren't actually caught off guard themselves. But some aren't so good at hiding it or (intentionally or unintentionally) want to push the relationship closer to a breaking point. He can probably easily see how frustrating his behavior is to you. He either doesn't care or is doing it on purpose. Since you seem to be looking for answers after 6 months with him, I would guess that he hasn't always been quite this way with you.

Personally, to me, these sort of sound like signs of emotional detachment.

my $ .02 anyway

Last edited by r6060; 13th July 2010 at 11:17 AM..
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Old 13th July 2010, 11:43 AM   #6
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It's one thing to walk away from someone with the express purpose of not wanting to have contact and another to use passive-aggressive tactics. But if each time you contact, he's happy to hear from you, he's passive-aggressive.

Passive-aggressives can control their behaviours. Whether they want to, is another story. The more you contact him after he withdraws, the less he'll see any need to change. After all, why fix anything if it's working for you?

We used to have another member who was married to a passive-aggressive, who drove her insane since his behaviours got worse. Even their psychiatrist dropped him as a patient.

Are you willing to sign on for some serious hurting?
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Old 14th July 2010, 1:25 PM   #7
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First make sure it is passive aggression. The silence doesn't necessarily mean he is passive aggressive. If he is PA he will act out his feelings particularly when he knows you are looking. LOL. Like slamming doors, stomping around, distressed sighs, well, you get the picture. All it amounts to is a calculated tantrum that he saves for only you. If someone else drops by or calls on the phone it will usually subside until you two are alone again.

Some people are quiet because they have a certain process. They need time to think about a situation and they can go into a sort of emotional cave to do it. It might seem like they withdraw because their mind is on other things,but it is not what they mean to do --it is just their process. But aside from that, they do not treat you badly, or act aggressively.

If it is passive aggression, he is not going to stop doing it until you stop enabling him to do it. If you let it affect you to the point of begging what is wrong, changing your routine, walking on eggshells and so on, then he is going to keep doing it because he knows it bothers you.

If you want it to stop then leave him to it. Do not change your own behavior; go about your business as if it wasn't happening. I know it is hard, but it is the same way you have to deal with a child who is in a temper tantrum. You have to ignore it, and eventually they they will stop.
Trust is not a willed emotion; it is an earned privilege. Treat trust with the most consideration; otherwise, you will have to work twice as hard to earn half of it back. ~Me~
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