Why Being Passive is Harmful to Your Health

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My natural tendency is to be passive.  I used to enjoy peaceful relationships and hate conflict. Go along to get along was my unspoken motto.

While Shana and I were engaged I dismissed all conflict and acted as if I was fine.  Everything wasn’t fine.  In fact, I began experiencing chest pain that eventually landed me in an urgent care center.  It felt like a 15 pound brick was on my chest every morning.


Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, tension, anxiety and anger continued to stew until I couldn’t contain it any longer.

I began having outbursts of anger and verbal aggression that left Shana in tears.  It was a lot like a volcano.  Everything appeared to be fine but then it suddenly erupts!

The word passive is derived from a Latin word meaning “to suffer.”  My experience with passivity resonates with that meaning.  For years, I suffered through anxiety, depression, and an inability to deal with conflict.

Every now and then choosing the path of passivity or inaction is beneficial, however it can do a lot of damage emotionally, physically, and relationally when it is your go-to response to life’s challenges.

Although it’s not always easy, acknowledging the impact your passive behavior is having on you and taking steps towards assertiveness can have a huge impact on your health.

Next week I’ll talk about my journey to a more assertive approach and how it’s impacted my relationships.

Casey Bresnahan
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