Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
So what you're saying is that there is nothing I can do?
I really don't want to cut her off from my life since I truly care about her and she's important to me.
Is it possible to reason with a PA or not at all?
How do they usually act if confronted about being passive aggressive?
I really want to help her... If she continues this way, she won't have any friends at all. She already alienated one of her closest friends with her behavior. I know that she is terribly afraid of ending up all alone, which is why I don't want to make her feel like everyone is just abandoning her.
That's how I would feel if one of my friends just suddenly stopped all contact.
Is there any way to make her realize that what she's doing is actually causing her to be alone?
It is very difficult to change someone who does not see that they are causing the problem. You can certainly try to help her though if you feel it is worth it.
It is hard to say how she will react since everyone is different, but most people with defense mechanisms such as passive aggression usually become defensive when you try to tell them about how they are behaving. They usually are so used to everything being someone else's fault they don't want to see it is really them who is wrong. It hurts too much to see it so they refuse to look at it.
You might also suggest counseling to her, though she may become upset about it, it is worth a try.
You can also modify how you interact with her so you can try to stay friends and still protect yourself somewhat. As long as you know that anything she does to hurt you is not about you but about her, then you may still be able to be friends with her. It will just be very one sided.
I have seen how she interacts with her mother and I've noticed that she doesn't have a problem expressing her anger with her.
So I'm guessing she does know how to express it, just not with everyone? I've read that PA's have trust issues and avoid conflict because they think it will cause the person to leave if they argue with them. Is it because she is her mother and cannot actually "leave" her because she is family that my friend can express her anger with the mother?
Can you give me some advice on how to talk with her? I've heard that in an argument you should keep very calm and not for example raise your voice in order not to make her use her passive aggressive defense, is it true?
What else can I do to possible get her to open up a bit and not be afraid to express her anger?
Are there some signs or words I should watch out for?
It could be that she is not passive aggressive but rather she has a personality disorder, especially if she is able to express anger to her mother. Many of the traits you described could also fit a personality disorder. Your friend would benefit from an evaluation to be sure of what she does have.
Assuming she does have passive aggression, it is best to keep as much emotion as you can out of your interactions. A neutral response ready like, "Sorry you feel that way" if she becomes upset or reacts emotionally to something helps.
You can only try to be as nice as you can to her. The only way she will overcome this issue is if she sees she has the problem and seeks the help of a professional. Issues like passive aggression and personality disorders are caused by deep seated issues that usually cannot be addressed outside of therapy through day to day interactions.
May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
.OKMH53016130 My son is very anxious. He gets like