I grew up with a passive aggressive mother and people walk all over me. What can I do?


Being a doormat is your legacy as the adult child of a passive aggressive parent, but you don't need to stay that way. You had a role model, your mother, who didn't speak directly, couldn't handle problems head-on, and avoided conflict at all cost. While growing up, you adopted many of these behaviors and thought that this was how adults interact in the world. Today, though, your silence and inaction speak volumes and tell people that they can treat you poorly and you won't fight back.

As the daughter of a passive aggressive mother, the hardest thing for me was learning how to speak up in the moment. I'd grown up with a mom who suffered in silence, played the martyr, and bottled up her emotions. Throughout my 20's and 30's, I did the exact same thing. As a result, I stuffed my feelings with food, felt powerless, and became severely depressed. When I discovered how to become assertive and deal with things in the moment, I became empowered and my sadness dissipated.

My husband recently told me that he was taking a trip to visit his elderly parents in another state. In the past, I would have stayed quiet and felt wounded that he was going without me. I would have done some classic passive aggressive moves such as sulking, pouting, and giving him the silent treatment.

Instead, though, I immediately asked him why he was going alone. He explained that he wanted to discuss some private family matters with his mom and dad regarding their wills and medical directives. By being assertive and speaking up, I cleared up the matter, didn't feel hurt, and avoided a problem between us.

When I was growing up, my mother always said: “Discretion is the better part of valor.” Therefore, I got the message that staying silent was best. That, however, turned me into a perpetual victim. Today, I let my voice be heard and handle problems when they arise. If you start doing the same, your life will change in miraculous ways and you'll feel much better about yourself.

Updated on January 14, 2020

Original Article:

How to Recover From a Passive Aggressive Parent
By McKenna Meyers

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