The mother who acts like a martyr, manipulating her kids with guilt and helplessness. The cold and distant father, who never ‘gets mad’ but withholds affection and approval to get people to do what he wants. The child who conveniently forgets rules or never follows through on his promises.
These are all forms of passive-aggressive behavior, which can ruin relationships and even lives. Unlike more obvious forms of abuse like yelling and hitting, it is so subtle that people (even the abuser!) aren’t aware that they are emotionally manipulating each other. Unfortunately, it can drive families apart and create such deep wounds that children grow up either resenting their parents or becoming passive-aggressive themselves. Here are some ways of identifying the problem. [Read more…]