Don’t be Passive with Passive Aggressive Abuse!

Don't be Passive with Passive Aggressive Abuse

Abuse can be afflicted on a victim in many different ways. A person can be physically abused, emotionally abused, or sexually abused. One form of emotional abuse, that is on the rise, is passive-aggressive abuse. What makes this form of emotional abuse dangerous is how the abuser attacks their victim(s). In public, the passive-aggressive abuser appears to be a Prince Charming or a Wonder Woman. This is all part of the public persona the abuser uses in order to execute the abuse. A passive aggressive abuser looks to destroy their victim’s self esteem, confidence, and trust through non-violent acts of aggression. Usually, the passive aggressive abuser has an emotional backstory that may, or may not, be true and he uses this to gain trust. Once trust is established, and the abuser has the victim on their emotional hook, then the abuse starts. The abuser wants to control every aspect of the relationship using guilt manipulation, lies, and/or “jokes” that hurt the victim’s feelings. The guilt manipulations, lies, or the subtle put-downs will increase as the victim displays independent behaviors. The abuser is obsessed with self-protection and will manipulate, distort, and lie about facts in order to remain protected. When held accountable, the abuser will rally others to their cause, and if necessary, resort to threatening behaviors. The threat usually consists of telling others how bad of a person the victim is after all the nice things the abuser has done for them. The abuser may also tell others how uncaring the victim is because of the abuser’s tragic backstory. How do you recognize a passive aggressive abuser? Here is a list of the most common behaviors:

  1. Abuser will threaten or manipulate to protect his agenda and interests.
  2. Abuser will feel he is right and justified by his actions.
  3. Abuser will lie to your face.
  4. Abuser will display acute insecurity and jealousy.
  5. Abuser will be manipulative and divisive.
  6. Abuser will kill you with kindness and be hurtful at the same time.
  7. Abuser will establish the rules of the relationship but feels free to break their own rules while holding the victim accountable for rule violations.
  8. Abuser will project their behaviors onto you and demand you fix yourself.
  9. Abuser will wear you down until you don’t have the energy to fight it anymore.

What should you do if you are involved in any form of a relationship with a passive aggressive abuser? If it all possible, leave the relationship.  Don’t wait for the person to change because they most likely will not. They get their needs met by emotionally controlling you either by guilt or shame. Abuser has no motivation to change. If you cannot leave the relationship then the victim must work on lowering the emotional impact of the abuse. EMDR is encouraged for anyone who is suffering from passive aggressive abuse or has liberated themselves from their abuser. EMDR may correct the untrue beliefs that the abusers made the victim feel during the abuse. If the abuse is ongoing then EMDR will teach the victim how to lessen the emotional reactions from the abuse and to incorporate positive coping skills.

For more information please contact Paul Schellenberg, LLC Nationally Certified EMDR Therapist.  Call:  309 696-0267.  Email:

Sources upon request.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *