Is passive aggressive conduct a response to aggressive conduct in custody disputes?

Calm young man ignores his angry girlfriend



Aggression is defined as a form of physical or verbal behavior that leads to assertiveness; it is often angry and destructive and is intended to be physically or emotionally hurtful and aims to dominate one person through another. It can arise from innate urges and / or a response to frustration and can manifest itself through openly aggressive and destructive behavior, through covert attitudes of hostility and disability, or through a healthy self-expressive drive for mastery.

Aggressive behavior is a type of behavior in which people try to stand up for themselves or exercise power over others who are hostile and violate the rights of others. People who receive aggressive behavior usually feel dominated, embarrassed, guilty, or ashamed because of this type of behavior. Aggressive behavior is different from passive aggressive behaviorwho try to mask feelings of anger by:

  • Usually are intentionally and intentionally to harm destroy someone, either mentally or physically, or someone’s property;
  • to be allowed to addressed to another person or the self, like a teenager who likes to hurt himself by cutting his wrists;
  • Are a serious violation of the norms or rules of a particular society.

Passive aggression:

Passive-aggressive behavior refers to a personality type or behavior that is characterized by or related to the passive expression of negative emotions. indirectly, such as manipulation or non-cooperation. One of those negative emotions is anger. Passive aggressive behavior is sometimes used as a coping mechanism to deal with anger in order not to express the anger. Specific signs of passive-aggressive behavior are:

  • Resentment and resistance to the demands of others;
  • Procrastination and deliberate mistakes in response to the demands of others;
  • Cynical, sullen, or hostile attitude;
  • Frequent complaints of feeling underestimated or betrayed.

Is passive aggressive behavior a behavioral response to aggressive behavior?

If one parent is aggressively demanding and verbally and / or physically abusive towards the other parent or the child, how does this parent react? What can you do with your feelings of anger towards the attacker? Most guides on dealing with aggressive people generally advise:

When dealing with aggression, it is important to respond appropriately. Reacting angry will almost certainly escalate the situation and make it harder to defuse.

The first line of defense is self-control, which shows a non-threatening, open attitude.

Maintaining good eye contact but making sure this doesn’t seem confrontational.

Move slowly and steadily. Try to keep your physical movements calm.

Respect the other person’s personal space.

The second is “listen and accept”.

These may be effective strategies, but they are hardly satisfactory or even possible in

interpersonal relationships between two separating or separated parents.

Passively aggressive behavior in response to aggressive behavior:

If one cannot openly express his anger, a non-attacker can often only express his anger or excitement about the other parent through passive-aggressive behavior, without putting himself or the children in danger. If you can’t react aggressively, what else can you do, especially if anger only escalates or makes the situation worse?

Imagine an aggressive father making one-sided decisions for the child, signing the child up for all sorts of activities, and telling their mother to take them to the activity. Dad complains that Mom doesn’t respond to his advice about the activity. Mom doesn’t respond to Dad believing Dad is doing what he wants and she is helpless to stop him. Your only option is to not participate in his decision-making and thereby react passively-aggressively to his overt aggression. She refuses to bring the child to the activity that actively opposes his demand.

Mom makes all decisions for the child against the court order, all visits to the doctor without telling Dad about it, in order to exclude Dad from the medical care of the child. Dad responds by making his own appointment and bringing the child to his appointment, which circumvents Mommy’s aggressive avoidance of involving him. Dad’s reaction is passive-aggressive to Mom’s aggressive ignoring.

What can the court do?

In the two examples above, there is no physical aggression. In cases of domestic violence or physical or sexual abuse, the court can issue protection orders, supervised visitation orders or the complete denial of parental access.

If the “aggressive” behavior is aimed at controlling the other parent’s time with the child by planning activities during parental leave or visiting, or keeping the parent out of the child’s life by not including them in medical appointments, the parent becomes the parent whose time can be checked or the expelled parent can go back to court and try to show what the other parent is doing through emails, registrations, calendars and appointments.

In a court system that handles cases of child abuse or neglect, these aggressive behaviors can be overlooked or played down by an overworked court. The pattern of behavior is alarming, however, as it seeks to control or minimize the role of a parent in the child’s life.

Passive aggressive behavior is common an answer to marginalize aggressive behavior and should be viewed within that lens.

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