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How do you deal with passive aggressive people? A relative by marriage has always gotten in her digs. She doesn't like me, but she won't be forthright about it. Instead, she finds little ways to show it. Over the years, I have tried hard to rise above her pettiness, but I've cried many tears over it. Her dislike for me is obvious to other relatives too, but none of them can figure out why she acts that way towards me. She's real good at being a fake though...she acts nice to me in person. I have put up with her childish behavior for decades, but I'm losing my desire to even try. I want to cut her out of my life altogether, but it would put distance between me and her wonderful children. I don't get to see them enough as it is. If I confront her on all the mean little things she does, she'll act innocent and try to make me look overly-sensitive. How do you deal with someone like that? :mad:
 

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If I confront her on all the mean little things she does, she'll act innocent and try to make me look overly-sensitive. How do you deal with someone like that? :mad:
Think the key here is that you want to 'GO BACK' and confront. That won't work in most situations.

If you have 'put up' with this for a long time NOW is the time to ACT on the next thing that happens. SAY SOMETHING IMMEDIATELY!

I would start by ASKING why it was done-------IMMEDIATELY. Maybe she doesn't even realize she is doing it.........we all have passive aggressive tendencies and they can come out at any time. Some people don't know why or WHEN they are doing it.

DO NOT ATTACK................ASK WHY "X" WAS SAID? Or WHY "X" actions were done? Don't get defensive by what is said and maybe a communication can develop and ease the tension............worth a try.

The main key will be IN THE TIMING!!
 

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I agree with frugalfranny - you cannot go back, just act on future digs

You can do it without looking like the bad guy too. Next time says some thing look all innocent and ask her what she means by __ or say that __ (and rephrase it so it sounds like you feel it) sounds really mean. Practice in your head a little so you can come up with some gentle but weighted comebacks. P/a people want to look "pretty" and they think they are smarter than you by getting in their digs under the radar. You need to kind of let her know it is on your radar screen and put it on the others if it is not already there.
 
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I think I'll borrow the WHY advise frugalfranny gave. I think it would be interesting to watch the tables being turned on the situation.

I can relate to this situation all too easily. I try to avoid this person & say very little to them. It doesn't work too often. They add their 2 cent to whatever I do say & often turn it around. They always have to make their point & if you don't see it their way, you're WRONG. Just once I'd like to see this backfire on them. Sorry, this is a sore spot for me & I struggle dealing with them.
 

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Oh my god I swear you are talking about my sil
I have put up with it for almost 14 yrs.I have tried to defend myself to her and call her on her digs and all it gets me is that she doesnt talk to us for awhile,then she comes right back and is the same
I hope you get it resolved,good luck
 

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I agree...call them on it WHEN they just did it or said something snarky. Ask them flat out what they meant by that or if they realize how that can come across totally not how they meant. Usually this person is cowardly and will get their digs in when no one else is within earshot...if possible try to avoid being one on one with this person. If this person is brazen enough to be snarky while others are present, they will look more of a fool when you act with tact & class and ask for further clarification on what they just said. And you will have witnesses.
 

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I agree with being direct approach but I also have a different take on it. I know it sounds cliche but... can you listen to these sayings?

What other people think of you is none of your business.
We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are (that goes for both you and her).

Is there any way you can change your perspective on the situation? You can't change your relative, you can only change yourself and your point of view.

Good luck and hugs to you.
M.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What other people think of you is none of your business. We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are (that goes for both you and her).

Is there any way you can change your perspective on the situation? You can't change your relative, you can only change yourself and your point of view.

I understand what you're saying, and I completely agree. The latest stunt she pulled would have made me cry years ago. Years of dealing with her have taught me to no longer worry about what she thinks. I feel sorry for her because she doesn't really know how to love unconditionally. I had let go of past issues and stopped letting her get to me. The latest thing she did made me mad because it was so blatantly rude. I was caught off guard because I'd thought we had turned a corner in our relationship. I thought we had come to the conclusion that we'd never be best friends, but we'd tolerate each other for the family's sake. I'm just disappointed in what she did because I feel like we're back to square one. Reminds me of Jr. High...uggghhh.
 

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Some people get their kicks out of hurting others whether in ear shot or out of ear shot.
Some people do it because their self esteem is so low that's all they know how to do by putting others down or up fronting others to make them self's look better or feel better.
She may be jealous of you . And u cant change how she feels. All you can do is feel good about your self.
I know I struggled for years with low self esteem and let people crap on me all the time. Im learning this---
We allow others to treat us in bad way and alllow those feelings to fester. When we feel more confident of who we are and stand up for ourselfs, then people cant get off of making us feel that way, and we can walk away head up and not a heavy heart.

hugggsss to you dear.
 
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1. Tell the biggeat gossip in your family that you feel sorry for her and that she should be pitied. That something must have happened in her childhood that made her so insecure she has to do these things to you and others.

2. The gossip will then run back as fast as she can and repeat it to her. Be as genuine as you can muster because it IS sad and it IS petty and something to be sorry for.
-IF she was trying to hurt you she will be confused or angry that it didn't work. You need a tougher skin. Laugh in her face and say You would think that way or i'd imagine you'd think so.NEVER let that one see she hurt you. She will Hate being pitied. Games,games.
 

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I'm extremely passive aggressive. It's just the way that I am. I don't know a good way to help you deal with this particular relative without knowing the entire story, so I can offer you some good advice:

Confront her about it in front of people.

If you've been letting it go this long and she's doing it on purpose, by not saying anything then you're allowing her to keep abusing you emotionally.

Regardless of how some people think passive aggressive people come to be, it's not always about a low self-esteem or being jealous. We do things for a reason that's of our own, and it's not powered by past events or any feelings towards the person in general. I have an awesome self-esteem and I have no one to be jealous of. A lot of the time, my passive aggressive nature is because someone did something that I didn't like or their demeanor towards myself or a member of my family fueled it.

I would just confront her in front of family in the most calm and brutally honest way possible.
 

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my therapist would say "why are you putting your face in front of their fist?"

why are you putting yourself in a situation where you are going to be harmed?

my mother is like this. I avoid her completely.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
my therapist would say "why are you putting your face in front of their fist?"

why are you putting yourself in a situation where you are going to be harmed?

my mother is like this. I avoid her completely.
Believe me, I agree with you and your therapist. I have very little contact with her as it is...maybe three times a year. The only reason I put up with her is because I occasionally attend an event that involves the kids. Otherwise, I would have written her off long ago. But, I'm getting to the point where I can't stand to deal with her anymore. Her latest dig at me was the final straw. I'm feeling optimistic and excited about my life right now, and I'm ready to shed myself of the negativity. I guess the best revenge will be living well. :D
 

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I deal with high school students daily. Trust me they are experts at this type of behavior. I've found the best thing to do is confront them at the time and tell them they are being RUDE! With all the changes in socially acceptable behavior, students still don't want to be considered rude. They believe lack of respect is a mark against the one who should receive the respect, but being rude is a mark against the one showing the behavior.

Good Luck!
 

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Kick the hag to the curb... Her kids are naughty anyway.
Nah...the kids are great, but your first sentence gave me a chuckle.
 

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Sounds like my SIL and my sister when they are together.And yes it's always aimed at me. My parents noticed it and didn't like it at all but never said anything to them to keep peace in the family.I no longer have anything to do with them since my parents are both gone now.My dad used to say what my SIL didn't know hasn't been invented yet is the only reason she dosen't know it .He hated the way my sister acted when she was around her also ,he'd say look Janet has her nose stuck up her a** as far as she can get it.Last year about this time it all came to a head with my sister and I let her know I wasn't taking it anymore.She told me I'm crazy and no longer belong to the family and that the whole family always knew I was crazy.The nasty emails she sent me I showed to my frieds who all said she's the crazy one.I guess she didn't inform some of the family that I'm no longer family because I get invitations to family reunions still but I don't go.
 

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I needed this thread today. Thank you. My mother is the queen of it all, bow down before her. To top it off, I added her as a friend on facebook and now get the comments on there as well. I'm a masochist apparently. And a little worm for allowing it to happen and not have the backbone to remove her from that access.

At this point I just avoid one-on-one contact with her as much as possible. She has escalated to not caring what other family is around, and behaves this way towards my SIL as well. She tries to do it to my brother but he ignores her. My SIL has been the only reason I still attend family events. I cannot bear to miss her kids birthdays and holidays and I still have one kid left at home as well who wants to see the cousins.

I sorta play a game back in which I pretend I didn't hear her because most times she will not repeat the comment. I still heard it though, it still hurt, but I feel a small amount of satisfaction in that she isn't "brave" or "bold" enough to repeat it louder.:lame:

Thank you again for this thread, I will have to refer to it in the future when I need the support.
 

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To top it off, I added her as a friend on facebook and now get the comments on there as well. I'm a masochist apparently. And a little worm for allowing it to happen and not have the backbone to remove her from that access.
I hear you on the Facebook thing. My relative sent me a friend request, and although I wasn't thrilled to add her, I did. It was during the time when I thought we had come to an understanding...that we weren't really friends, but we could be friendly. She never says anything wrong on there though...she's more subtle than that. She finds other ways to make it known how she really feels about me.
 
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