A Google search for the definition of passive describes a passive person as someone who fails to take action but instead lets things happen to them.
Being passive generally describes someone who chooses not to take any action and might conjure an image of a frail person - unable or unwilling to make a decision. That is one example, but there are multiple ways being passive expresses itself.
Being passive looks like teamwork: Some passive people are excellent team players. Their go-with-the-flow attitude makes it easy to be in a relationship with them. Having passive people on a team can make taking the lead easy for type A personalities.
Being passive looks like insecurity: Some passive people are insecure about their ability to make a choice, so they don’t. This can make it hard to be in relationships because passivity can become an anchor. Being in a relationship with someone who can’t or won’t make a decision puts a lot of pressure on others to always make decisions.
Being passive looks like anger: The term passive-aggressive comes from being quietly aggressive. Though a passive person may not say exactly what’s on their mind, they may express their anger in other ways that are just as caustic as yelling or screaming. It is far better to be upfront about your feelings than to be passive aggressive with them.
Is passivity a barrier to making decisions?
If your nature is truly passive and go-with-the-flow, it might seem normal not to make a lot of decisions. As long as you truly don’t feel marginalized or managed by others, there may be nothing wrong. It might not take much to make you happy and feel in control. If your personality is such that you enjoy supporting others and don’t mind going along with the flow, then there’s not much of an issue.
If your passivity is based on not wanting to voice your opinion or not wanting to assert your thoughts, it can sometimes be a barrier to making a decision. Your voice matters and those who care about you want to make sure you are happy. Not sharing how you feel to go with the flow is noble, but you should also have an opinion. No one wants to make all the decisions all the time. Be sure to get in there and help make them from time to time.
If your passivity is cloaked in aggression that sabotages or hurts others without confrontation, it is definitely a barrier to making decisions. Appearing to be easygoing while ultimately being aggressive and causing chaos isn’t anything positive. If you are not happy with a decision or want to impact one, be upfront about it rather than causing harm on the sly.
Being passive doesn’t have to negatively impact making decisions. Understanding the aspects of passivity can help determine if being passive is an asset or a liability. If you are easygoing, don’t let it affect your decision-making in a negative way.
Be intentional...make sure you understand that being passive is a decision; it’s not necessarily a bad decision, but it is indeed a decision.
Make sure you are the one in control by being purposeful; after all, this is YOUR life.
Until next time...
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