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Passive aggressive behaviour, anxiety attack, extremely low self confidence - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Average Posted in: Mental Health
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1722 Questions
User :   HI, I am a male, 37 year old, married and working. I have had issues on and off with my work pver the last 11 years. After some analysis, I feel that I am suffering from Passive Aggressive behaviour.
Had an over protective mother (adopted) who ensured that there is no dialogue regarding any issue at home. She (was later developed with some disorders herself) would brush me away loudly without an opportunity to negotiate my case. I developed my defense mechanism as not arguing (negotiating) and sulking as the only option to get my way.
I have done my engineering and MBA from premier institutes in the country though was never very good at acads (in terms of academic performance during the course of my education).
I have changed 5 jobs over the last 11 years. I perform very well when I have sufficient freedom to do my work. I am driven by opportunities to display cerativity in problem solving and organization.
My performance is very poor under aggressive supervisors or situations where I have less freedom (micro managed, being told what needs to be done). I also develop a deep sense of anger that lingers on in these circumstances. This adversely impacts my productivity as well as leads me to take emotional decisions.
Personal life
I have also faced anxiety attack and went through a phase of extremely low self confidence for a period of 4 to 5 years. This was preceded by sustained stress over a period of about 2 to 3 years due to unhappy job and strained family situation. During this phase, I had doubts regarding my ability to manage a job and take up normal assignments (even meetings with clients etc.).
I have been able to come out of it partly due to the easing out of stress situation at home and my ability to push the limits of my fear.
While I went through a rough marriage which led to my stress fatigue situation mentioned above, I
User :   currently have a very supportive spouse and lead a very happy family life(2 children).
I currently have comfortable financial situation.
I am unable to work under aggressive authority figures. Under such circumstances, I develop thoughts that I am being victimised and under appreciated (though on closer scrutiny, my performance levels are poor). With aggressive people, I usually am not able to defend myself effectively and apologise frequently (even if I am not at a fault). In such circumstances, I have a sense of anger at being wronged which clouds my objectivity of the situation.
Will wait for you suggestion though my perception is that I need help with my passive aggressive nature and support to improve upon my assertiveness skills.
Doctor :   Hi,
Doctor :  
User :   Hi
Doctor :   Let me read your query for few minutes to be able to have a good discussion here
User :   Once you go through my note, do ask me additional queries.
User :   ok
Doctor :   ok, well your character do fit into passive aggression with negativity
User :   ok
Doctor :   But this is attained over time and need time to get through
Doctor :   are there any situations where you get depressed thinking on this attitude of yours ?
User :   depressed that I am being victimised?
User :   not being dealt with properly etc.?
Doctor :   it the self perception that you being victimized
Doctor :   in actual its the inability in you in facing facts
User :   an example. In my current jobs, I had to deal with a colleague (its a 2 person executive team) who is a little aggressive. So, I am very angry that I am not being heard, my opinions are not being given sufficient, and that he is trying to steal the limelight.
Doctor :   its due to your lack of confidence
Doctor :   not always the feedbacks are performance based
User :   However, when I look back, the situation is not exactly the same. While he is a little difficult person to work with (making sarcy comments, aggressive when I counter his points), I feel the issue is more that I am not assertive in putting my point across.
Doctor :   its just your giving away
User :   Not really. There are times when I am not confident for a few minutes but mostly because a) I do not always put my point across (after the experience of having to argue my point with him and he brushes my argument away) b)then there is so much going on in my mind (think that I shuold quit since I cannot get along etc.) that my productivity is low.
Doctor :   thats what makes me to conclude you have low confidence levels
Doctor :   you have to challenge him no matter what the risk is
Doctor :   only when you face him then you get to know your true weaknesses
Doctor :   its a long term learning you need
User :   yes, like there was this one time when I took up an appointment and I told him late that I fixed it. He was angry that I didnt tell him earlier and asked me to cancel it. My usual response would have been to feel anger inside and cancel it (and then attribute a lot of reasons for it). But this one time, I gently persisted that while i should have informed earlier, we need to keep the appt and it was fine. But this is anm example that doesnt happen usually.
Doctor :   put an effort to be more practical , do not make your thoughts eat you
Doctor :   just get into
Doctor :   once you get positive strokes , you will start having confidence , then you start challenging and winning
Doctor :   then you will be introduced to your abilities
Doctor :   which makes you to plan the things
Doctor :   and face them with confidence
Doctor :   well , such attitude needs time to be built up
Doctor :   but after that you will be what you really want
User :   So to get going, can you offer some tips? what should I focus on?
Doctor :   its at the motive
Doctor :   you have to focus on
Doctor :   what needs it to be won , do not place yourself in a competition
User :   Should I a)tell my colleague I have a passive aggressive issue and he needs to be more considerate or b) just wait for opportunity to be assertive and do it without bothering for the consequence of it being immediatly successful?
Doctor :   its the task you have t worry about
Doctor :   no , if you tell your colleague , its just like submission
User :   right
Doctor :   there will be no challenge
Doctor :   you have to win a challenge
Doctor :   only that way you can develop a sense of confidence which will make you to put your leg in any shoe
User :   So I just need to focus on every opportunity to put my point across without getting worked up if he doesnt always listen or it doesnt always go my way. Just put my point across as many times as I can.
Doctor :   yes,
Doctor :   and i am sure you to are of same level profession and you will come out with what he can
User :   Do I tell him that I sometimes am frustrated that he gets angry when I have a counter point (at time valid, at times not correct).
Doctor :   and you will have victories where you will start realizing that the negativity in your character is due to your past experiences ( which are volatile if you choose it to be User :   and it will be nice if he is more open
Doctor :   no need , you just have to give a shot
Doctor :   well he is not for permanent right ?
Doctor :   its your dealing capabilities which determine the character of your co worker
User :   Well, if I continue with this job - its actually a startup that we both formed - I will end up working with him for a good 5 years or so
Doctor :   in that case you have to challenge yourself rather than submission
User :   I have started this firm last june and I have thought of quitting a lot of times thinking that we are not compatible.
User :   I have hung on though and hope to do so in the future. That is why it is necessary to remove the negativity from within myself.
Doctor :   no one is incompatible unless we give up managing the competition
Doctor :   Are you there ?
Doctor :   It seems you have moved out of the chat window. Please log in back if you have medical queries
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