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Bullies and Victims - the passive aggressive cycle

I have a question that I don't think that there is an answer to. Do bullies create victims or do victims create bullies? It is probably unnecessary for me to state that whatever the problem, violence is not the solution because retaliation can only lead to escalation.
 
 Aggressive people often have the belief that to be happy, they have to change other people or get their own way. Many do not see themselves as controlling - just trying to get or do what they see as "right". Their language is saturated with "you'. You need to... you have to... you should... The extreme ones use the overt ways of getting what they want by yelling, hitting and threatening. Less often recognised however, but equally abusive are the more hidden ways of using guilt, shame, manipulation, mind games, stonewalling (frozen silences) or withdrawing sex. These people often have trouble hearing or respecting the word "No" and negotiating is not the way they solve problems. It's "my way or the highway" or "you can either agree with me or you can be wrong – your choice." They tend to blow quickly and get over it quickly and then wonder why everyone else in the house is still tiptoeing around them days later.

If you have grown up with an aggressive parent then it is likely that you will either become the same or you will over-correct into the drain on the other side of the road and become passive. These people "shut up to keep the peace" and see themselves as victims or martyrs. They can't be happy until others change. Their language is also saturated with the word "you". You have no right to....you shouldn't ....you need to get help. They have real difficulty saying "No" in the right way at the right time. They usually wait until they have got a head of steam up before they say no and then the delivery style loses the message. Passive people can be likened to an aerosol can. Each time they shut up to keep the peace they put a bit of resentment into the can and little by little the pressure builds. Some have a small can that builds pressure quickly while others have a very big can that takes years to fill. The end result is the same - one day some poor sucker just touches the button on top of the can and out comes a horrendous blast over whoever is in range at the time. This is usually the family even though they may not have been the people who cause the resentment in the first place. At the moment of venting they are being equally as abusive as the person they grew up with but for the moment they are out of control. As soon as the pressure is released, they feel guilty that they have been just as bad as the parent they resented and that drives them back into shutting up to keep the peace once more – until the pressure builds again.

If you don't return a soft comment for a provoking one then you will stoke the fire that will burn the both of you. It always takes two people to escalate a situation from conversation to explosion.
There is a way out of this vicious cycle so that it is not passed on to the next generation. Learn the skill of assertiveness click here for article – an alternative to the power battle that destroys families.

 

 

 
With peace
at any price the
price will get too
high eventually
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