Passive/ Aggressive


I’m getting old.  I know that the “ripe old age” of 34 my not be technically old, but at least 2x’s a week I become more aware of the distance from now back to age 21.  I am learning Krav Maga.  If you don’t know, it is the martial art of the Israeli Special Forces. It isn’t a Bruce Lee/ Chuck Norris/ Van Damme kind of thing so you won’t ever hear any gutteral “kiyah’s” or sounds of a dying cat (Bruce Lee) and no… there are no crane kicks  Daniel San.  Krav Maga approaches real life hand to hand combat.  We practice real life scenarios and how to train our bodies to automatically react to them.

In virtually every scenario the very first move we make is to take a passive posture.  Especially if the attacker has a weapon.  Hands up, head down, slightly cowering and telling our attacker, “Hey Man, whatever you want.”

This passive posture is intended to allow the attacker to “feel” in control.  This will cause them to relax and let their guard down just enough. Then we attack.  Though the moves vary, this is what we accomplish in the attack.

  1. Get out of the line of fire.
  2. Trap and control the weapon
  3. “Short circuit” your opponent.
  4. End the fight.
  5. Get away.

So what’s my point?

We are verbally, emotionally and professionally attacked on a regular basis.  When this happens, we find that often we are either too passive or too aggressive in response to the attack.  We either leave that moment of confrontation thinking of the things we wish we would have said or the things we wish we never had said.  Either way, one thing is clear: we simply have never learned to fight.  Think about it. I know for me, the only training I learned was reciting “stick and stones,” which isn’t even accurate, because last I checked, words DO hurt!

For those who are aggressive.  Learn to be passive too.

I know that you have no problem with being the bad guy.  They already think you are right, so what do you care?  How many relationships does one burn through before the realization that your alone is all too obvious.  Choosing to be right means choosing to distance yourself from the person you love, care about or need to work closely with.  At some point the solution of move on to someone else will have cost more than you were prepared to pay.

The simple solution here is 3 steps:

  1. SHUTUP!
  2. Think-is this really worth hurting someone else so you can vent?
  3. Choose your words. Don’t word vomit all over someone.

As for the Passive’s

First before first, you start with a passive posture.  Stay calm, allow them to feel in control.  This will keep communication open and they won’t be motivated to simply just win or dominate.

  1. Get out of the line of fire.

It’s not about you, it’s about them. So don’t take it personal. Usually people need to react and defend themselves or simply tell you why they are right and you are wrong.  It is usually not thought out so be prepared for dumb things to come out of their mouth.  Think elementary school and you call a kid stupid and their response is “well your a stupid poo poo head.”  You just can’t allow yourself to be offended at this kind of response.  So invite them to say what they need to say and don’t use what they initially say in your confrontation.  This is not what the confrontation is about

2.   Trap and Control the Weapon.

The temptation in a confrontation is to get off topic, either by something dumb or offensive they just said to you or when you state your offense, they find an offense you committed to negate theirs. Whichever it is, stay focused on the issue you were offended by before hand.  Be sure to say all that you premeditated to say.  Ask them to allow you to finish before they respond and if they interrupt, wait for them to stop talking and go right back to what you were saying.  Also, state how their offense made you feel or how it hurt you.  Opinions, motives and perspectives can be argued, but how it made you feel cannot be argued. Keep in mind that their is a possibility that you were offended due to past hurts or insecurities and this is a sensitive subject for you.  Be sure to state that.

3.    Short circuit your opponent.

In a confrontation most who commit the offense make this statement, “I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings or offend you.” or “My intentions were never to offend you.”  98% of the time this is true.  They didn’t intend to offend you, but that does not negate the result that you are left hurt or offended.  This means that they have caused an accident with their words.  Now it may be different in your state, but in mine if I cause an accident (which I didn’t intend to do) I am responsible.  Even if I run into a car who slams on their brakes and I run into the back of them, I am responsible.  I can’t go up to the other driver and say, “I didn’t mean to run into you” and walk away without and responsibility.

This is where the “short circuit” comes in. You are hurt or offended and you state that though they didn’t intend to hurt you, you are still hurt/ offended.  They now either accept responsibility or they somehow make it your fault, but either way you have left it as their choice and they choose you or themselves.

4.   End the Fight.

If they recognize and accept their responsibility they will apologize.  Now you have a pivotal moment in the relationship. You now have the power. The biggest mistake I have seen made is that people then start unloading all of their offenses, because they have swallowed so much over time.  This is a mistake.  And worse, you have just become the aggressor.  This is essentially kicking them while they are down.  If this is a spouse, you can cause serious damage.  So after they accept their part and you reconcile the issue, end the fight. Hug it out, be gracious and grateful for their ability to take responsibility.

5.    Get Away.

When what you set out to confront has happened and you received a positive response you are going to feel great.  However, the other person may not feel that way.  They might take responsibility and they might think of a couple things to go ahead and blast you with.  They best thing to do is get away.  Especially if you do not get the response you are hoping for.  You have said what you needed to say.  You have stated your offense and given them the opportunity to choose their response.  You cannot control or determine their response, but provide them the opportunity to make a choice.  Be sure to give them time to process.

** Some people are poor at apologizing verbally.  Some need time to process before they can apologize or accept responsibility.  So be sure to not be hung up on hearing words.  Words are not what you are after, you are after behavioral change.  If you don’t hear the words, but see the behavioral change, isn’t this what your looking for?**

You will have people that will be quick to apologize and slow to make behavioral change and you will have people that will not apologize, but quick to make behavioral change.  Some will never acknowledge to you that they offended you, but you may overhear them tell someone else that you a certain topic is sensitive issue for you (Which is their acknowledgement that they offended you).  You might very well deal with someone who not only refuses to accept responsibility, will not make behavioral change, but also may come back to you with a list of offenses themselves.  This means this person lacks maturity and you have to teach them how to accept responsibility.  Yes, of course this means you have to be the bigger person in this area. So have grace and patience, because there is someone else in your life that is or is about to be the bigger person for you.  Maturity is not tied to age, but to experience and wisdom.  Don’t be so shocked when a 50 yr old acts like a 5 yr old sometimes.

I almost forgot.  To close the distance between your opponent, go for a groin kick.

If your in Grapevine or Keller and want to know more about Krav Maga, check out

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