Passive Aggressive Behavior – Supplements and Helpful Advice

passive aggressive

“I remember the day I found out my husband was passive-aggressive. I read the description, pointed to the words, and instantly new and remarked aloud that passive-aggression was it!” said a friend of mine. I decided to look into this… just what does passive aggressive mean anyway? The behavior is learned in childhood, and often develops in individuals who have been abused in some way. Passive aggressive behavior, also called passive avoidance behavior, is a type of defense mechanism when dealing with negative emotions.

Although a mental health professional can diagnose it, there is no official treatment. Some passive-aggressive people can take prescription anti-depressants, or something for anxiety, but not all passive aggressives need this. Supplements and counseling may help, however.

What is passive aggressive behavior?

People who exhibit passive aggressive behavior do not express anger, frustration, or respond to stress the same way as most people, and quite the opposite than outwardly aggressive people. They use conflict avoidance as their main trait. Avoiding negative emotions instead of confronting emotional issues assertively, is what rules the day. Anger outbursts are rare, and when they do it can sometimes be volatile.

The typical behavior is to express emotions indirectly–insults using jokes, “accidentally” being late for something that they would rather not attend or deal with, insisting on their innocence or making excuses if confronted, and avoiding communicating directly about issues. Blame, stubbornness, sabotaging, disengaging, avoidance, forgetting and disappointing others are also traits that are commonly found within passive aggressive people.

What causes passive aggressive behavior?

In childhood the passive aggressive individual is often punished when any expression of a negative emotion is expressed. As a result, they may play down injury, or hide issues. Deception, and even self-deception, may occur.

In adulthood, this behavior can be damaging, hurtful, and even harmful to relationships.

What can be done about it – help and supplements

Although no medication is available specifically for passive-aggressive behavior, antidepressants or antianxiety medicines may help curb anger outbursts or episodes. What is most important is to seek professional help where one can un-learn the behavior and causes of what created the problem in the first place. Neurological tests may also need to help assess the functioning of the brain.

Natural remedies are also available, whether homeopathic (nux vomica) or herbal (teas, etc.) in nature. People prone to irritability, impatience, tempers, or anger in general may use chamomile tea to calm emotional reactions, reduce anxiety, and promote sleep. Lycopodium is also helpful for people unable to properly express emotions and may help reduce passive aggressive behavior.

Lastly, for women who are married to passive aggressive men, the book The Silent Marriage: How Passive Aggression Steals Your Happiness (The Complete Guide to Passive Aggression) may be helpful. There is an excellent review of this book,  which is available on Amazon, called Saved My Sanity and posted on May 18, 2013, by LaMaza. The reviewer said:

“Since passive-aggression has its roots in severe psychological abuse in childhood, using a tender touch with a passive-aggressive husband will afford him a measure (perhaps his first measure) of safety and security. This and other tactics recommended by Dr. Femenia will not cure the passive-aggressive, but it will make a relationship with him easier and less contentious.

“A caveat: The Silent Marriage is for the passive aggressive’s partner. Dr. Femenia’s “Stop Your Passive Aggression” ( is geared toward the husband. I have not read this book so I cannot speak to it but, but it seems obvious to me that regardless of how much better a relationship can get when a wife follows Dr. Femenia’s advice, it is still critical that the passive aggressive gets help for himself.”

There are many wonderful sources available to everyone online, including forums and free professional counseling, if you look for it. Seeking out professional help, for either or both partners in a relationship, when dealing with passive aggressive behavior, is crucial to success.


The author of this story is a freelance contributor to National Nutraceuticals’ online news portals, such as Amino Acid Information Center at and Vancouver Health News at  National Nutraceuticals, Inc. also owns and operates a third health news portal focusing on medicinal mushrooms at, plus our newest portal at

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