Passive Aggression can make the holidays, whether joyous or already emotionally challenging, almost unbearable. Hopes run high for peace and happiness and Passive Aggressive behaviors are the perfect tools for crushing those hopes. A well timed comment about the richness of your gravy can dampen the spirit of a holiday dinner. Missing the traditional toast at a party because of a partner’s lateness can destroy the mood for the whole evening. Finding the mashed potatoes are filled with heavy cream when the cook knows you are lactose intolerant can start the evening off on an angry note.
Many people are surprised to find how much passive aggression runs rampant through the holidays and are left in a state of frustrated confusion. Passive Aggressive behaviors are the results of an Avoidant attachment style developed through emotional neglect and abandonment in childhood. Because the holidays draw many people back to their childhoods one way or another, an increase in Passive Aggressive behaviors in people with Avoidant attachment styles is actually not so surprising.
With the expectations and activities that are a part of the holidays, sensitivity to these behaviors is not surprising either. Many people hope for successful hostessing, delicious and comforting meals, fun, celebratory parties and even some romantic kissing under the mistletoe. All of these are opportunities for passive aggressive behaviors to strike out and cause disappointment and hurt.
Passive Aggression doesn’t have to ruin your holidays any more though. Get to know and understand the deep reasons behind the increased behaviors this time of year. Learn how to manage your response both internally and externally. Help someone in your life to stop his passive aggressive behaviors, and begin enjoying your holiday season right now.