Smile And Nod – The Passive Aggressive Dilemma

Hey guys 🙂

Question for you – Do you ever have to bite your tongue? Like really bite your tongue…like almost right off?

You don’t have to answer that because I already know the answer to that question for most of you. 😉

We all have a threshold for how much…umm…”interesting” situations we’re willing to take on in our lives.

For some, that threshold is a short fuse. A firecracker.

For others like myself, it’s a long…long fuse with a massive explosion waiting at the end of it.

I’m here to tell you that the long fuse with the big explosion person is their own worst enemy and can ultimately do the most damage not only to themselves but the people around them.

I don’t care to admit this…but I will.

This sort of behavior is classic passive aggression and I am slowly but surely making a point to remove my face from the dictionary definition.

Whether it’s family, friends, or your job, how many times have you found yourself biting your tongue to try and avoid perceived conflict?

In the moment, you think you have spared all involved but you are still left with a bitter taste in your mouth because you have suppressed your true thoughts and feelings regarding that person or situation. You find yourself doing and saying things you really didn’t want to do or say.

You might even replay that conversation in your head, repeatedly picturing what you wanted to say. You may confide in someone about it and retell the story as if you had been assertive. Embellish a bit to make it sound like you have a backbone. A mixture of what really happened and what you wanted to happen.

Time goes on. You smile and nod and smile and nod. Then one day, reality flicks your ear and the floodgates open leaving everyone around you scratching their heads.

Now you have a bigger mess to clean up provided there is any room left for that option.

Sound familiar?

Now before I go any further, I would like to point out that in some cases, it doesn’t hurt to bite your tongue. Pick your battles wisely because they’re not all worth fighting but for the purpose of this post, it will be assumed that things should have been addressed long…long ago…

For myself, I have been making a point to delve deeper into the reasons why I shy away from conflict or what I believe will be conflict if I speak my mind and the truth is, it’s not easy to write about it because I know I fall into this category and honestly, who wants to admit that?

Not the passive aggressive person that’s for sure.

For all the therapists I have seen and the countless articles on psychology I have read, you would think I have this passive aggressive thing figured out and under control by now.

I don’t. Not entirely, but stay with me as I try to breakdown my thoughts on the matter.

We are all guilty of being passive aggressive to some degree. Like the white lie for example. We’ve all told one here and there. The problem is too many white lies add up to trouble.

So no more tip toeing around. It’s time to dive in and explore the psyche of the passive aggressive person according to me…the passive aggressive with some insight.

Contradiction much?

Yes…but no…

Remember Your Childhood?

Many of us have failed to communicate with our inner child. I believe it makes sense to say that our upbringing plays a role in who we are today. I will use myself as an example:

I grew up in a dysfunctional home…I am assuming many of us in our own way, can say the same. Abuse existed in my home both physically and emotionally. When I look back, I start to see the stage was set.

As a child, you have no control of what goes on in your home. Well, I didn’t at least. In my case, watching my parents battle it out nearly everyday was not a fun time. In an effort to keep peace, the best thing I felt I could do was to not rock the boat.

Do what I’m told. Be agreeable at all times. Be nice to everyone. Overachieve in school as a way to please my parents and teachers in order to obtain some sort of control.

Reality sinks in as I realize I lived in constant fear of conflict because I saw it everyday. That on edge feeling knowing your parents would get into it at some point in the day.

I knew the drill. Go to my room, and pretend it wasn’t happening. It will blow over at some point and we’ll all sit down to dinner as if nothing happened. This walking on eggshells becomes very routine. You just get used to it.

Now I could be childish and blame my upbringing for my own shortcomings forever and at one time I did, but that is not why I am writing this post. Move to present day and my family has overcome a lot. Many “forgive me” coupons have been exchanged and redeemed. We’re stronger now despite the past but that didn’t happen over night.

Talking about my childhood is simply to benchmark how my passive aggressive behavior snowballed (although that snowball is starting to melt) into what it is today.

This is what happens when you don’t acknowledge your inner child. You fail to become a true adult and instead you become a big albeit high functioning, child.

Yes, I am an adult on paper but I have certainly stunted the growth of my inner child and so she continues to have tantrums until I just say –

“What!? What do you want!?”

For visual effect, the inside of my head looks something like this –

Stewie Hi GIF - FamilyGuy Mom Momma GIFs


Who? Me?

As you grow from childhood into adulthood, the passive aggressive person you have become now has to face a huge reality check.


If you relate to my story, then I think you will follow my logic on this. You spent your childhood not in control of the negativity around you. You tried in vain to compensate for the turmoil and part of that was by shutting off your feelings.

As you get older, those feelings don’t really go away. They are stored up inside and it’s really getting cramped in there.

You start to resent things like “adulting”  because you never really got to enjoy being a kid. It’s wasn’t your fault you had to grow up in that environment. You had no choice and now you’re expected to carry the burden of adulthood?

That’s not fair!

Subconsciously, your inner child demands you protect them from this injustice and because you have failed multiple times to show your inner child that you are in fact the one in charge, the result is quiet rebellion with an escape route.

The inner child wins because just like everything else in your life, you just don’t want to go there. It’s too hard and if something appears to be too hard or uncomfortable you can bet the passive aggressive person has a way out of it.

When things get too real, tough or simply adult in nature, your inner child takes over. You revert back to survival mode and are reminded by the inner child that it’s not your fault.

The Truth Is You’re Living A Lie:

Many passive aggressive people don’t really see how they are lying to themselves and ultimately avoiding their biggest problem.

It’s not everyone else my friend…it’s YOU. You are your biggest problem.

You say to yourself – “I am peaceful, I’m polite and I don’t hurt people’s feelings. I turn the other cheek for the greater good, I’m helpful (etc etc) so how can it be that I am the bad guy?”

The truth is, you’re not a bad person. I promise. Your intentions are good and true. However the problem there is, your intentions are still coming from the mind of a child and that child does not understand the importance of assertiveness in adulthood.

That child has no concept of assertiveness…that’s an adult thing and so that child does what they know best. They go to their room and hide until the bad stuff stops and then sit down with everyone at the dinner table as if nothing happened.


The danger for the passive aggressive person is the fact that sooner or later things will blow up…big time.

You may hear this sometimes. People saying that it’s always the quiet ones you have to watch out for.

Look at serial killers for example. You hear these horrific stories about murder and when friends or family talk about this person, you’ll sometimes hear things about how that person seemed so happy, friendly. A pillar of the community. No surface reason to believe this person was capable of killing another human being or in this case multiple ones.

This example is extreme but but if you could look back at a serial killer’s childhood, you can bet abuse was a piece of the puzzle. That sense of no control over their negative environment and so in this case they would literally kill for control.

I am not saying all passive aggressive people are serial killers in the making. There is much more to it than that but it gives you an idea of just how toxic passive aggressive behavior can get.


I won’t leave you hanging. If I am going to explain how passive aggressive people work then it’s only fair I offer solutions to this epidemic so here are a few things I have been trying out.

  1. It’s OK to say No: For real guys. You’re allowed to say no. No no no…NO…Wow, that felt pretty good! 😉 Passive aggressive people in particular associate the word “no” with negative connotation. Since most passive aggressive people are being ruled by their inner child, it makes sense that no = bad and yes = good. Starting today, I encourage you to say no to at least one thing you actually want to say no to during the span of a week. Baby steps. Show yourself that there is no monster waiting for you under the bed if you dare speak the word “no” because honestly, after a few times, it starts to get easier.
  2. Turn off the filter: OK I say turn off the filter but to be clear I mean that within reason. Remember. Baby steps. Take little situations and speak your mind on them. Say what you mean and mean what you say. For example, if your spouse asks “Where would you like to go for dinner tonight?” Do not, I repeat DO NOT say – “Oh, it doesn’t matter to me. Wherever you would like to go is fine.” If you had a place in mind, SAY IT. Do not be afraid to follow through and answer the question truthfully. You were asked where you want to go. Take that for what it is. An opportunity to express what it is that you want. You’re allowed to do that you know but don’t you dare say let’s go where you want to go and then cry inside that you didn’t really want to go there.
  3. Cut the cord: It’s time to let go of the inner child. This will take time and at some point you will find yourself in the throws of empty nest syndrome as you let that child go. You will feel as if you are lacking a true identity and in fact you are. Your identity was wrapped up in your past and other people but here is the good news, all of this is fixable. It’s not a lost cause…unless you want it to be. Start small. Don’t go on a rampage of no’s. Aim for balance and I do recommend seeing a therapist as you transition into this new and improved you. There is a lot of fear and anxiety that revolves around breaking the passive aggressive mold (paralyzing fear in fact) and there is no shame in acknowledging that and seeking help for it. Taking the time to reflect and accept the past for what it was is no easy feat. There are a lot of walls that need to be broken down in order to build a wall that’s up to code and if you are willing to do that, then you are more of an adult in that moment than a lot of people so see the need for help and acknowledging that you do as a sign of strength and liberation. ❤

I will stress again. Baby steps. It has to be because us passive aggressive people will run and hide from anything that seems too difficult or scary and so you have to introduce assertiveness gradually and learn over time that assertiveness is actually a healthy part of being an adult. Conflict in small doses is OK…it’s normal and your world will not come to end for facing it head on. The fears you have are the fears of inner child. You’re not a kid anymore and you deserve to graduate into adulthood with your own thoughts, feelings and identity. You are worth that! ❤

In closing, I will leave you with a bible verse that I hope you will find helpful and serve as spiritual therapy on your journey to find and love yourself –


1 John 4:18 

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.


Take Care & God Bless ❤















The “What If” Train Stops Here

Hey guys 🙂

I hope you are all doing well. ❤

It’s the wee hours of the morning and I’m at work with some time to kill. I love the night shift. This is my favorite time to write so it’s a nice work/home balance!

I was kind of struggling with a topic to write about earlier ( go figure, nothing but time and I can’t think of  something to write about) but I have finally decided to talk about the “what if” we all dwell on at times and why it’s important to not get stuck on that train.


When I look back on my past, I cringe…not as bad as I used to but it still happens. That being said, I don’t regret anything about my past. It’s cliche I know, but my past has shaped me into the person I am today.

The only thing that haunts me at this point is the “what if” that lingers sometimes.

What if I had received my bipolar diagnoses earlier? I most likely would have hurt less people including myself.

I most likely would not have bounced around from job to job, unhealthy relationship to unhealthy relationship, spending money I didn’t have on things I really didn’t need like booze. I probably would have established roots as opposed to moving all over the country.

When I look back I can say “Hey! That wasn’t me!” but at the same time…that ticking time bomb was me.

I try very hard not to use my mental illness as a crutch or excuse for anything but I am finally getting to a point where I can look back and see that a huge part of the chaos and dysfunction that is my past was in fact part of an illness I was not truly aware of at the time.

This doesn’t mean I can simply write off my past actions. I have slowly but surely accepted the role I have played in my past. A hard pill to swallow. Harder than the ones I swallow now haha. I still have things I need to work on but don’t we all?

I was 29 when I received my bipolar diagnoses. I am 33 now and I feel like it’s only now that I am truly starting to live a healthy, stable life. It’s a relief and I am grateful.

But to be totally honest with you, I still have a slight, bitter taste in my mouth over the fact that nearly 30 years of my life was spent in total chaos and destruction. You can’t help but feel a little ripped off in the game of life.

I try not to hang on to that though. I know it’s not healthy. You can’t beat yourself up forever. I believe it’s never too late to be a better person and I have managed to more or less forgive myself for a lot of things. Still working on it.

Given I have only been in the post diagnoses stage for 4 years now, I have to give myself some credit. In the span of 4 years ( going on 5) I have had to relearn how to live a “normal” life. My brain was wired one way and it did nothing but damage. I would say this has only truly leveled out in the last year if you factor in the inital diagnoses, over a year of trial and error with medications, so so therapy and still in the process of weeding out unhealthy relationships at the time.

Fast forward to present day and I think the one thing I am finally ready to do aside from forgiving myself is fully accept the fact that I am mentally ill. When I first found out, I was relieved but you haven’t really accepted your fate at that point. A diagnoses does not solve the years of damage done. Receiving a diagnoses is the tip of the iceberg.

Then the real work begins.

I make a point to live in the moment (it doesn’t always work by the way but I try). I don’t drink like a fish anymore. I have reestablished my faith in God. I have found a wonderful man who offers true love, understanding and strength. I am finally in a position to reciprocate that. So I guess the only “what if” I need to look at now is…

“What if I stop reliving my past?”

There are always two sides of a coin. You can choose to torture yourself  with past mistakes and wonder what if or you can choose to be thankful that you are not your past in this current moment. The past is the past. It can’t hurt you anymore…so what if you choose to rise above it? I believe it’s never too late for that.

The best thing you can do for your well being and the well being of those you care about is to stay present. Forgive yourself. Learn from your past but don’t relive it. If  you do, you will:

  1. Never escape the past
  2. Miss out on the here and now
  3. Sabotage your future


It does not have to be like that. Forgive yourself for the damage done. Take comfort and credit for the fact you are standing here today when you could have just given up… Acknowledge and accept the people who truly care for you. They are not judging you for your past….you are…stop that ❤

This process does not happen overnight so be patient and gentle with yourself. None of us are perfect and we all have a sorted past. I am not about to compare who has it worse in life but you get the idea.

Know that you are standing here today for a reason. Perhaps a portion of your life was misguided and painful but while you still take a breath on this earth, make the most of it. Don’t let the past follow you around and creep into the progress you have made today. If you dig deep enough you will always find progress…in fact simply making the effort to acknowledge progress…is progress 🙂

The best tip I can give you is to take inventory everyday of the good in your life. The tiniest amount of good will do. It adds up and eventually overpowers the negative. So far this has been working for me. It helps me pause for a moment and take control.

If you believe in God. Pray…pray all the time ❤

If you’re reading this and you can relate just know I feel you and I am rooting for you. ❤

I hope you will do the same for me 🙂 ❤

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.



Take Care and God Bless ❤








Depression – It’s Not Just About Feeling Sad

Hey guys,

I haven’t written anything here in a month. Why? Because I have been dealing with an episode of bipolar depression.

In the last few days, this depression has started to lift. I am starting to feel more like myself but prior to that I was anything but.

Since I finally have the urge to write, I have decided to point out something that I don’t think everyone fully understands –

Depression is not just about feeling sad. It’s really not.

I would like to explain my recent experience with bipolar depression in particular to give people an inside look. I finally have the words to express myself so here it goes…

Depression crept up on me. It’s sneaky like that. I don’t experience depression all the time but when I do, how it effects me and the people around me is a dark hole of limbo that is hard to escape.

It is my hope that if someone reading this is struggling, they can be rest assured they are not alone and there is hope. I promise. ❤

In the last few months, life in general has been a series of low blows with a sprinkle of light at the end of the tunnel. Enough to get by.

I found myself saying “Things will be OK” repeatedly. I try my best to see the silver lining in everything but you can only take so many hits. You have two choices in that moment. Fight back or shut down.

I shut down.

Eventually I was adopting a robotic approach to life so that I could keep my head above water, get out of bed, get dressed and go to work. That’s pretty much it.

Funny, when I go to work I somehow manage to turn on a smile and you would never know I was in the throws of depression. In fact, even I didn’t know at first.

The robotic smile makes sure I can pay my bills. It makes sure I am not a complete waste…but it’s limited. That smile can only do so much and by the time I get home there are no smiles left for the people that truly matter in my life.

As time passed, I found myself not leaving the house (I am an introvert as it is). I work night shifts as a hotel night auditor and so pile on even more isolation. Although I must say I do enjoy the quiet and my own company.

Not leaving the house soon turned into not leaving the bed. Not bathing. Zoning out while I played match 3 games on my phone. Sleeping excessively. Cutting off communication.

No more posts on Facebook. No more writing in my blog. No more prayers to God or going to church. No more communication with my family or friends.


Not sad. Completely numb and isolated. Slowly but surely creating a little bubble in my bedroom, curtains drawn and simply existing.

To experience no emotions but know in the back of your mind that you should is very surreal. You start to wonder if you are in touch with reality at all. Is it a dream? You know it’s not but it’s like this dark cloud. A fog that you start to fear will never lift…except you don’t care. You really don’t.

You’re plagued with guilt and disgust. You know you should do something about it but all the life is gone…in fact you start to wonder about life and if it’s even worth it.

Thankfully, I have a wonderful soon to be husband. He let me have my space at first not fully understanding what was happening but when he saw it was too much he started to gently nudge me out of  bed…suggested things like a shower. Not in a mean way just simply to help me feel better. Sometimes it helped a little but I would soon retreat back to bed.

One day (God love him) he managed to actually get me out of the house and took me for a drive to nowhere in particular. It was a beautiful day and he simply just wanted to be with me and experience daylight.

Gradually, I started to try a little more. Not much but it’s something right? Still closed off and not knowing how to express myself I tried to be a little more present and then one day out of nowhere while my fiance sat by my bedside just to remind me he’s still there, I finally opened up. I am not sure why or where it came from but suddenly for the first time in weeks I had tears and once that happened I did not stop.

It felt good to cry. Finally something. An emotion. A flicker of a human being again.

My fiance relieved I was finally starting to come back to him, let me cry…and cry. He hugged me with no words and that’s all I needed. Things had meaning again.

The guilt of being so self absorbed in my little bubble and denying access to those I care about most hit like a ton of bricks but once the tears stopped, I realized I am loved and things really will be OK. I am worth it. I always have been and the dark clouds don’t last forever.

If you’re reading this and you relate or know someone going through the same thing. Please don’t give up. Don’t give up on yourself. Friends and family, don’t give up on them.

It does pass. It will pass and I can assure you that you are worth it. People do love you. God loves you. Hell, I will love you if you need it. ❤ Just don’t give up.

So that’s my story. I wonder did I spill too much of my guts. Probably but truth be told, I don’t care and finally it’s for the right reason.


Take Care & God Bless ❤