How do you know if you use passive-aggressiveness in your relationship to express your hidden anger?

When you’ve hidden your anger from everyone, including yourself, it can be hard to see what’s really there. When you conceal your anger, the best indicator may be what is not seen or expressed.

Anger is a healthy and universal emotion, so one sign that you use passive-aggressive strategies to deal with anger is if you don’t feel or experience that emotion somewhat regularly. If your response to this is, “But it’s true! I never feel angry,” you should definitely consider the possibility that you fall into this group, and you should pay special attention to this article. To find out if you suffer from hidden anger, answer the following questions.

Consider if you:

  • Withhold praise, attention, or positive feedback when your partner deserves or asks for it?
  • Fail to follow through when your partner makes a request?
  • Stall or procrastinate when there is an important issue that needs resolving?
  • Withhold intimacy or affection as a way to punish?
  • Engage in sabotaging behavior?
  • Respond with minimal words during important discussions? (Examples of this include “Mm-hmm,” “I don’t know,” “Fine,” and “Whatever.”)
  • Respond in sarcastic ways about life, yourself, your partner, or others?
  • Often feel frustrated, disappointed, or irritable.
  • View most situations negatively, even when many aspects of them are going well?
  • Frequently make small, negative comments that seem to undermine your partner’s self-esteem?
  • Never say no? (Or always say yes?)

If you answered “Yes” to one or more of these questions, this might be a sign that expressing anger is a problem for you.