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  • Writer's pictureJenn

How to Stop being Passive-aggressive

Don't you HATE IT when someone gets passive-aggressive with you?

They say that snarky comment...

The one that makes you want to say a snarky comment back...

And be passive-aggressive too.

Did you know that assertiveness is the solution for passive-aggressiveness?

The truth is that being passive-aggressive is a way of avoiding telling the truth.

The truth may be:

  • I feel hurt when you use that tone.

  • I would really prefer not to go today but I feel like a jerk saying no.

  • I feel angry that you forgot that we already talked about this.

We often avoid assertiveness because we don't want to be seen as aggressive

And then become passive-aggressive instead....??

That's not you.

But assertiveness is often misunderstood.

It is seen as aggressive, especially if you are used to being passive.

Assertiveness is not about bulldozing over others or burning bridges – it's about confidently and respectfully advocating for your needs while maintaining healthy boundaries, telling the truth, and preserving relationships.

So if you want to be a relationship preserver

A healthy boundary builder

It's time to step into your power and embrace assertiveness.

One easy way to stop being passive-aggressive?

Tell the truth.

Be honest about how you feel the second you recognize that you are about to be sarcastic or pretend to be okay when you notice the first buds of resentment or anger...


Tell the truth to yourself.

I'm not just angry that she went against my boundary...I'm sad that I will feel like a jerk by following through.

I'm actually feeling really inadequate already and hearing a blaming sentence from someone I care about causes me to add to that pile of inadequacies.

I wish she wouldn't act that way because when she does I start doubting myself.

Here are some ways you can bolster yourself as you take action to be more assertive:

Options in the Middle

Contrary to popular belief, assertiveness is not a black-and-white concept.

It's not about drawing a line in the sand and cutting people out of your life – it's about finding the middle ground that allows you to protect yourself while still connecting with others.

There are many options in the middle that allow you to assert your needs while still maintaining connections and fostering healthy communication.

Practice Makes Progress

Learning to be assertive is not an overnight process – it takes time, practice, and patience.

And just like any skill, it requires the ability to make mistakes and learn from them without self-judgment and shame.

So, give yourself permission to stumble along the way.

Tempted to be angry or frustrated at that person that is requiring you to speak up?

Embrace each opportunity to practice assertiveness as a learning experience.

Thank those teachers in our lives who help you learn to value your own opinion and space enough to say something

Each step forward brings you closer to mastering this invaluable skill.

Embrace Self-Compassion as you Evaluate

Above all, remember to be gentle with yourself as you navigate the journey towards assertiveness.

It's okay to feel uncomfortable or vulnerable – these are natural emotions that come with stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Instead of criticizing yourself for not being assertive enough, celebrate your progress and acknowledge your efforts.

Keep track.

Every time you practice being assertive, take a moment to consider:

What worked about how I approached the conversation?

What didn't work about how I engaged?

What can I do differently next time?

You will make faster progress if you refuse to beat yourself up for trying to cultivate a new skill.

Being assertive (kindly truthful to you and them)

Are you up for a challenge??

There will be a time, probably within the week, when you will feel that urge to snap back.

To say the opposite of what you actually mean...perhaps with a "tone" that hints that you don't actually mean what you say.

When you feel that little spark of resentment or anger and immediately hide it at all costs

This is your cue.

Tell yourself the truth.

How to tell yourself the truth:

I feel...

When they...

How to tell them the truth:

I feel...

When you...

Will you...

So that...

When you get good at

  • Telling the truth,

  • Noticing and feeling the feelings that give you clues about how you are truly doing on the inside,

  • Being assertive

You preserve your peace and your relationships.

And my friend, you are kind.

You deserve peace and good relationships.

Worried about hurting their feelings and therefore the relationship?

You are normal.

You can talk to me about how to tell the truth even when it could hurt AND preserve your relationship on a relationship reset call.

Together we:

  1. Find the problem

  2. Find the exact solution

  3. Create a plan to take care of you while you fix that relationship

Just click the button below to schedule a call with me.

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