Passive aggression is not about one person taking out their emotions on another person. Most often, passive aggression is really the result of one person not letting out their emotions at all and consequently taking that out on another person. Parents of adolescents and teens in recovery should be wary of passive aggressive behavior as it indicates there is an internal emotional struggle taking place which their child is not capable of managing in a normal way.
It’s family game night and your child has a vote different from anyone else’s. Compromise is a part of any family system. For an adolescent or teen in recovery, however, validation and self-expression are important- as is learning to compromise and let go of expectations. Your child agrees to the vote for the game and participates. Throughout the game they display a bitter attitude, sharp attitude, and coarse demeanor. Clearly, they are resentful about the family game decision. Instead of communicating their feelings further or attempting to regulate their emotions themselves, they take their feelings out on everyone else.
Adolescents and teens are learning how to identify, communicate, and regulate their emotional selves. If a young adolescent or teen has turned to drugs and alcohol at a young age and is recovering, they are particularly challenged in regulating their emotions. Through treatment recovering teens and adolescents come to understand just how critical acknowledging and accepting their emotions are. Holding in their feelings or denying their feelings is a sign they are regressing into passive aggressive behavior.
Drama is something that teens and adolescents are learning to avoid in their recovery. Chaos is a part of the disease of addiction by being part of the addiction itself. Creating conflict is a way that teens and adolescents in recovery act out their passive aggression. It is a state they are familiar with and comfortable in as a result of addiction. As a result of recovery, however, they are learning to manage life challenges differently. Conflict comes with confrontation and resolution.
Feelings may be invisible, but they are not intangible. Though we cannot touch feelings, we feel our feelings physically. Adolescents and teens in recovery learn that their emotional feelings physically manifest and that not fully expressing emotions can result in physical discomfort, pain, or sickness. Silent treatment is a passive aggressive form of punishment toward others, as well as toward the self.
Adolescents and teens are prone to verbal criticism and occasional pessimism. When there is an audibly negative tone coupled with extremely negative context, there is likely passive aggressive expression taking place. Suddenly having something to say about everything and everyone is a sign of internal tumult.
Adolescents and teens who attend treatment for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction learn how to live in peace with what happens around them as well as within them. If your adolescent or teenage male is struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, treatment is available. Call Stonewater Adolescent Recovery today for information on our long-term residential programs. 662-598-4214