So, once again, a counseling session reveals more to me than expected.
During my most recent session, we began discussing aversion behaviors, or ways that people act when they REALLY don’t want to do something. There are two basic ways people deal with aversion:
1. They just say, “No, I don’t want to do that”.
2. They say they will do it, and then they don’t.
The first option happens more often when the person being asked feel at least equal if not more so to the person doing the request. The second option happens more often when the person being asked perceives themselves, (either correctly or incorrectly), as being in a lesser position than the person asking.
So here’s the thing… if you lack confidence in things that require confrontation, (as I have been), you ALWAYS feel that you are in a lesser position of power, regardless of the usual standing you have with the person asking/confronting you about something, so you get into passive/aggressive posture anytime something happens that can be construed as confrontational.
Let me give an example, (a personal example )
My wife Jennifer asks me to take out the garbage.
Either consciously or sub-consciously, I would rather not do that, and I weight her reaction to me NOT doing and getting my way, against doing it and making her happy.
If I chose NOT to do it, because I don’t like confrontation, I say, “sure sweetheart, I’ll do it”, and then leave it for “later”, which inevitably never comes.
The classic defense to this passive-aggressive behavior being pointed out is to say, “oh, sorry, I FORGOT”. The aggressive part is that you are rebelling against what others want you to do/say, but the passive part is pretending you aren’t rebelling, that you have had a moment of amnesia and have suddenly regained the memory of the promise.
I feel bad now, about all this, when I look back and see how many times I have used the phrase, “I forgot”… possibly in this manner. I mean, there are times when I truly do forget, but there are definitely times to, BOTH consciously and subconsciously, (if I’m honest with myself), when I “forgot” as an excuse just not to do it. The end result, usually, was my wife just doing it herself, cutting into our relationship and setting up a more mother/son relationship, (not good for the intimacy, BELIEVE ME). Anyways, my prayerful and diligent hope now is that I can be more mindful of this passive/aggressive tendency in my daily dealings with the people around me, and to take a more direct approach to confrontation and interaction.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.