In Overcoming Passive-Aggression, Dr. Tim Murphy and Loriann Hoff Oberlin provide an in-depth look at a topic we've all faced but haven't always recognized: Hidden anger. When people don't express their views and feel compelled to conceal their true beliefs and emotions, behaving in ways that don't match what they honestly think, there can be serious physical and psychological results for everyone involved. For the first time, Murphy and Oberlin offer a clear definition of passive-aggression and show readers not only how to end the behavior, but also how to avoid falling victim to other people's hidden anger. In clear, compassionate language, they cover everything from the childhood origins of the condition to the devastating effect it has on work and personal relationships to the latest research on the subject, and offer practical, proven strategies for the angry person as well as the individual who finds himself the target of someone else's passive-aggression.
Hidden anger that comes out indirectly through inappropriate, unproductive action or even inaction can undermine relationships with friends, family and colleagues at work. Murphy, a psychologist and member of Congress, and Oberlin (coauthors of The Angry Child) closely examine how this kind of anger, called passive-aggressive, can undermine sufferers and their relationships and make life generally miserable. The authors also examine the problems faced by the victims of passive-aggressive behavior, who often don't understand why the angry person is acting as he does: "The nastiest thing about hidden anger is that it sneaks up on you... much like a boa constrictor that gradually tightens its grip until it's too late for you to get away." A frank and interesting chapter on the roots of anger in childhood is followed by constructive advice for those who experience hidden anger on how to handle that anger at work, at school and in a myriad of relationships. While acknowledging the complexity of the problem, the work provides ample opportunity (and exercises) for personal growth regardless of whether you are on the giving or receiving end of passive aggression.