Passive behavior

Following on from my series on saying no, I last gave a definition of assertiveness, and mentioned the three other behavioral types – passive, aggressive and manipulative. When we think of unassertive behavior, we tend to focus on passive.

Passive behavior is acting in a way that does not meet our needs – saying “yes” to a request when we wish to say “no”, or staying silent when we have a request to make ourselves. We strive to please others, but neglect our own needs.

Passive behavior is driven by passive thinking – “I mustn’t rock the boat”, “I’m not important”, “nothing goes right for me”. Whilst outwardly submissive, indecisive and helpless, inside there may well be inner conflict, tension and stress as the inability to meet our own needs fuels feelings of frustration and anger.

I will focus on the other types of “non assertive” behavior over the next few weeks, as well as ways of making changes.

Dottie February 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Hello ,
I been reading what you have said and alot is like my life,relationships. People make it like I’m the crazy one. And I express my voice and feelings And by doing that I lost my boyfriend over it. But what I see,he doesn’t. So I’m good.
Thank you


Patricia McBride April 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Good overview of this difficult behaviour type. It is so incredibly common, especially amongst women. As a hypnotherapist, I often treat people for a variety of issues the basis of which is lack of self confidence and subsequent passive behaviour.

sandra g August 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm

i did not know what passive meant before when others would tell me that i had a passive attitude somethings would be hurtful because i did not understand why others were giving me a hard time just to see if i would say yes to something they thought i would say no to, i try to keep a open mind for new opportunity so i did not
know what was going on until it was all over with some people thrive from hurting others.

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