Passive Aggression — The Silent Intimacy Killer

Dr T J Jordan
4 min readJun 2

How our more subtle attacks set up invisible walls and destroy relationships

Photo by Wayne Chan on Unsplash

By Dr T J Jordan

Being the victim of passive aggressive behavior is a bit like being hit where the bruise won’t show. It is a hidden attack that can hurt as much as a full frontal assault. It destroys trust and denies respect.

Passive aggression kills intimacy because we don’t want to let our guard down around those who hurt us. We don’t want to be close to sources of pain, regardless of how subtly that pain is inflicted.

To nurture intimacy, we must learn to be impeccable about providing emotional safety to our intimate partners.

There are no “excuses” for inflicting pain. Being tired or hungry, having a bad day or having had a rough childhood, doesn’t make passive aggression less devastating or less likely that those around us will throw up walls of protection.

We need to cultivate the emotional maturity and the thoughtfulness that are necessary to provide safe havens for each other in this sometimes heartless world. And we need to be strong enough to maintain healthy regulation of our emotions so that we don’t keep “spontaneously” hurting those we love.

When Healing Is Needed

Passive aggressive behavior is an expression of wounded-ness and a hallmark of a fragile ego. It is one of the tactics that frequently is found in the toolbox of covert narcissists.

Passive aggression is a quiet form of lashing out that seeks protection in subtlety and joking but strikes “below the belt.” Its barbs reveal a story of insecurity and under-confidence.

Dr T J Jordan

Passionate about sexualities, masculinities, relationships, intimacy, mental health, CPTSD , animals, growth, psychology, and exotic locations.