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Dr John B
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience:  PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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I recognise that I am a passive agressive person! How do I

Resolved Question:

I recognise that I am a passive agressive person! How do I /can I treat this a sit is ruining my life!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr John B replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

Can you provide some examples of situations or behaviors in which you believe this has been a significant issue? Also, can you provide some specific examples of what behaviors (what you do) that you would like to change?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I shut my wife out of my life I withdraw from conflict, I have not slept properly with my wife, I blame her and my son for things that go wrong!


 


I have to turn this round I need to sort all the issues out I have read a paper on it and it describes everything I do exactly!

Expert:  Dr John B replied 2 years ago.

Ok, thanks for the extra information.

Some follow up questions:

Aside from the tendency towards passive aggressive action how would you describe your general communication style? You mention that you avoid conflict but are you usually able to say 'no' to people when you want to? Are you able to communicate to people what you want? Are you comfortable asking people for things (for example help)?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes ... but this falls over in the close personal relationships ; wife, son looking back over my life I can see areas in my worklife where this has also been the case!
Expert:  Dr John B replied 2 years ago.

Ok. Just to clarify that I am following you up to this point, you are saying that generally you are able to use appropriate communication skills but when interacting with your immediate family you tend to use a passive communication style? You also think that there have been other situations in your life where this has been a problem.

Do you have any sense of why/how you switch between communication styles when interacting with those close to you? (it's Ok if you don't, I just always check)

Can you provide me with a specific example of when you have used a passive communication style with your wife or son?

The reason I am asking these questions is that if this is a matter of switching to a passive communication style then I have a specific strategy to recommend on how to proceed.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I think I switch in close personal situations. I can be chatting with my wife she will say one small thing, I will take it as a personal slight on myself and off we go into the spiral!!
Expert:  Dr John B replied 2 years ago.
...and your reaction to the (inferred) personal slight is to withdraw communication?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes and I then i get defensive!
Expert:  Dr John B replied 2 years ago.

Ok.

While it is obviously a complex interaction it sounds as though using a passive communication style is at least part of the problem. I suggest you begin to work through the excellent Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) based self-help program for assertive communication skills found here http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/consumers.cfm/infopax.cfm?Info_ID=51 . I use these materials with my clients regularly and I find them to be extremely helpful. The program is completely free and can be downloaded as PDF modules. The program will teach you everything you need to know about different communication styles and how to begin to learn new skills so that you can communicate in an assertive and effective manner (particularly during conflict). In my experince clients react strongly to these programs, that is, they recognise very quickly whether a specific program matches what they need. So, generally I invite them to begin to work through the first couple of modules and see whether i something they think will be helpful. This is my recommendation to you as a starting point for working through this matter. Take a look through at the 'Assert Yourself' program and determine if it is what you are looking for. If you decide that it isn't quite 'hitting the target' so to speak then please contact me and we can try to work through possible alternative strategies for moving forward. I hope this has been of some help. If you have further questions or would like me to clarify any part of my answer please let me know.

Please note: I notice that the link to the program seems to be down at the moment. If it isn't up and running properly in the next 24 hours let me know and I will find an alternative way of getting the program modules to you. Best of luck!

Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience: PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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