I grew up in a fairly traditional family. I am 26 and have 3 sisters that are 42, 35, and 24. My mother was pretty much a stay at home mom and she is kind of a push over type. She had a very bad childhood and tends to be passive aggressive to this day. I would describe my mom as extremely non confrontational. My dad is less non confrontational and he was strict with me as a child... but he is still an anxious type person.

Only of recently have I a confronted how these have affected my dating life. I fear that I view women to be in this angelic and non confrontational way. On the same token, I tend to be a non confrontational person as well! I am certainly working on it but it just seems a part of me. Just looking for any general advice.

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Where's the question? What advice are you seeking? Your post seems more like a statement and less like an inquiry.

It was more like a statement yes but I there are questions behind it. I just didn't think it out before I wrote it... not good.

You and most of the men in the West. Women are conditioned to passive-aggression and non-confrontation. It's rewarded at a lot of levels and in a lot of contexts, notably in business negotiations, where the same behavior viewed positively from men is seen as negative from women, and vice versa.

My advice would be to avoid thinking in stereotypes in dealing with others, whether men or women. Expect mature, adult behavior from either gender, and practice it yourself.


Where this starts affecting my life is when I deal with conflict in a  relationship. I let emotions get ahold of me and start to get anxious. Instead of confronting the issue head on like I should (and I do in my career and academic endeavours) I tend to become passive aggressive and get frustrated that they don't understand where I am coming from. We end the conversation weird and I get impatient and say and do stupid things. My relationships have never ended well because of this and it makes me apprehensive to try again.

Do you like to read at all? Give "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Robert Glover a shot. You can get a decent sample for free using the Amazon Kindle app. Passive aggressive tendencies seem to stem from a lack of confidence in your ability to articulate or stand up for yourself. Once you learn to be a better communicator, your resentment/frustration should decrease and you may find your view of women improving.

Just ordered it Thanks

Sweet. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts about it.

One person's passive-aggressive behavior is another's respectful-"enough is enough" behavior.

I didn't mean physical violence, Shane, but I will say that I've been known to break a plate or two over the years.

It might make you not so passively aggressive, but it can cause others to give up, become distant. If you don't like them to begin with, that's a reward.

Then there are all the contexts in which women are encouraged to drop hints rather than just say what they want. I suppose this is more among women. For example, even when she asked, it was "wrong" for me to just tell my mother, "I want you to wear the dress Dad gave you for Christmas in 1993 to my wedding." I was supposed to give her a schpeal about how whatever she decides will be great, but if she's really nervous, I can go through her closet with her. Actually just choosing is "bridezilla."

Agreed. But those are "the rules." This is why I left what I called "AoM for women," the wedding-planning boards. Too many passive-aggressive, unwritten, unspoken (because to make them clear wouldn't be passive-aggressive) rules.

I thought it made plenty of sense. There was something that was very meaningful to Rebekah (the Christmas dress she wanted her mother to wear), but she also didn't want to hurt her mother's feelings or overstep her bounds. That's reasonable. She could've said something like "mom, it'd mean a great deal to me if you wore that dress to my wedding" but ultimately it's her mother's decision. That's being respectful and considerate of her, not passive-aggressive (whatever that even means), in my opinion.

I also agree that just choosing would've been "bridezilla".

Had another thought, as I'm trying to understand what that term means. (Apologies, Rebekah, I'm using the example already in play to finish the thought.) If, for instance, Rebekah didn't like that her mother didn't choose to wear that particular dress, and then, as a consequence, she began to manipulate her mother to do so, then maybe that would be considered passive-aggressive. Does that sound reasonable?


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