[ESFJ] Anger and Passive-Aggressiveness

Anger and Passive-Aggressiveness

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This is a discussion on Anger and Passive-Aggressiveness within the ESFJ Forum - The Caregivers forums, part of the SJ's Temperament Forum- The Overseers category; I've noticed an unhealthy pattern with the way I act when I feel really hurt or angry. It's complete passive-aggressive ...

  1. #1
    ESFJ - The Caregivers

    Anger and Passive-Aggressiveness

    I've noticed an unhealthy pattern with the way I act when I feel really hurt or angry. It's complete passive-aggressive behavior and I can't seem to move past it. I'll completely shut down emotionally and become numb and unresponsive. I then proceed to ignore the person I'm mad at and convince them that I'm fine and not actually angry, but then keep ignoring them and the whole situation altogether. The rational side of me knows that I need to just tell them what's wrong and work it out, but the emotional side of me just wants to punish them with silence by deliberately dragging it out, and I can't bring myself to even look at them.

    My ESFJ mom does this too, has always done this, and maybe it's something I've picked up from her. I know it's annoying as hell to be on the receiving end of, but I've done it to my boyfriend a couple of times now, which alarms and frustrates him, and I want to stop being this icy bitch when it happens. Does anyone else do this and has anyone found a way to break out of this cycle?
    Little Cloud, hal0hal0 and rd93 thanked this post.

  2. #2
    ESFJ - The Caregivers

    but the emotional side of me just wants to punish them with silence by deliberately dragging it out, and I can't bring myself to even look at them.
    You are not alone

    For me, it's because I know I need some time to process what has happened before saying something I will regret later (and boy... do I regret it, lol)

    It's not a "bad" thing, as long as you don't let it go on beyond a reasonable amount of time. Once I'm mentally capable of discussing what has happened I'll talk about it with whomever, but not until then.

    Be honest with the people around you and let them know that you occasionally need time to work things out before talking.

    IF THEY PRESS THE ISSUE be sure to keep your calm and reiterate that you can proceed one of two ways... and it's in everyone's best interest if you have some alone-time to decompress.


  3. #3
    ESFJ - The Caregivers

    Sometimes I'm too passive-aggressive but, generally, that no last a lot, because after a while I realize that the best way is to face my anger and so to tell to the other person what I feel, even if is not very simple!
    lenabelle thanked this post.

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  5. #4
    ESFJ - The Caregivers

    I used to be that way... lol. My mom was the opposite of me though, so she didn't stand for the passive anger. So now, around close friends and family, my anger will actually come out right when I'm feeling it. Compared to everyone else though my anger is like.... whaaa? She's mad? Haha.

    But for most people, when I am mad I have a switch in my brain, and my emotions get completely turned off. It's like I feel.... nothing. I only think about how what went down, and how they need to know what's going on and fix it, or else.

    When I get really really mad, where I get past the no emotions to the very strong emotions section of my brain, BEWARE. I am a sleeping giant, and I will ruin you if I feel it's what you deserve... and feel no remorse.

    I am extremely ethical, so when someone goes against the most basic ethics there are consequences, and by the time I am through with you you will be begging for forgiveness.

    Thankfully, very few have ever had to see me in that way... 2 to be exact.
    lenabelle thanked this post.

  6. #5
    INFP - The Idealists

    I'm not ESFJ, but I find myself doing my own version of this. But I will even keep talking to the person and possibly even being nice to them while nursing that sort of passive anger. I can't tell them because I don't want to hurt their feelings, but depending on who they are, I eventually start avoiding them (if I'm done with them) or I explode with hurt/rage out of what seems like nowhere. At least the latter option means I still want them in my life...
    lenabelle thanked this post.

  7. #6
    ESFJ - The Caregivers

    It's good to find I'm not alone here. I have been to known to fly into a rage if something has seriously (and I mean seriously) provoked me, but usually I get cold all over and end up either giving person the cold shoulder or I turn into this plastic fake shell of myself. I can't figure out whether I do this because I'm not emotionally ready to talk to the offender at that point or whether I do it deliberately to punish. Maybe it's a little of both.

    My boyfriend is the kind of guy who will want to tackle the conflict head-on and resolve it ASAP (he's an ISTJ), so whenever I do this, it drives him nuts. @Zombie Devil Duckie : You are right, maybe I need to get myself far away from the situation so that I can try to think rationally. Eventually, I do come to my senses. One time while freezing out my boyfriend all night and not responding to his calls, part of me suddenly came to the realization that making him upset and worried wasn't worth it if it came at the cost of our relationship, and I was ready to talk. I just wish I could come to this point sooner instead of needing to withdraw and be this cold person that I'm not.
    Little Cloud and Zombie Devil Duckie thanked this post.

  8. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by lenabelle View Post
    I want to stop being this icy bitch when it happens. Does anyone else do this and has anyone found a way to break out of this cycle?
    I've been that way—giving people the cold shoulder or being subtly hostile or laying on the silent treatment. I find this sort of stasis—building walls—often festers the wounds more than heals (although it depends; sometimes, I think some space is helpful to grant better clarity/perspective).

    As far as how to break out of it... in the words of Nike:

    Kind of stating the obvious, but I've found that carpe diem attitude to be really helpful in breaking out of those cycles, just by sheer pluck and force of will. I will add that having a sense of humor and lightheartedness really helps take the edge off— I tend to strive for a balance between showing I'm serious, but at the same time, showing I'm not overly butthurt.

    I think one of the most admirable qualities a person can have is the ability to laugh at themselves.
    Veggie thanked this post.

  9. #8
    ESFJ - The Caregivers

    I think that its easy to fall into this cycle, however it is unhealthy as I think you realize. To get out, just do the opposite action of the passive aggressive behavior and tap in and confront things, dealing with problems in an organized and one-step-at-a-time fashion as to never get tangled into your own mess that youll just launch at people...I kind of dont totally understand it, but my mom has this issue, is an istp (just to add that in, doesnt really mean much) but it can be super annoying for me bc its like she can just be randomly odd out of nowhere, bring up things from the past that have nothing to do with solving the problem at hand etc. So id say overall that passive aggression is simply not an effective way to do things. You can just calm down, woosah it out, and deal with things as they come or continue to be passive, I guess. Good luck w things.

  10. #9
    ESFJ - The Caregivers

    Exactly me. I don't like confronting emotional situations (anger, hurt, sadness, whatever it may be). It's too vulnerable of a topic and I spend too much time pushing it under the rug and getting over it. I despise showing my true emotions, even when they're associated with positive things (e.g. love, definitely grosses me out being too expressive romantically). After a while, though, the conflict layers itself, and when unattended, it can potentially ruin personal relationships. I have started actually addressing when something bothers me now. Rather than resorting to avoidance, I sort of argue with myself in word documents to confront the issue and troubleshoot it myself. This is more satisfying than bothering the people around me with my issues, and I find that it's extremely effective. I feel better almost immediately, and always achieve some level of clarity. I hate being overly dramatic or emotional in situations of conflict because it's a lot of unnecessary stress, so I focus on solutions now and a little bit of objectivity to keep a clear mind.
    Zombie Devil Duckie thanked this post.

  11. #10
    ESFJ - The Caregivers

    Rd93, that's an awesome way to do feedback!! I might have to give that a try sometime.

    rd93 thanked this post.


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