Passive people manifest themselves in isolation from the process. A passive person can think of anything regarding himself and his life but will be avoiding active actions. He will take a passive position. This characteristic applies both to vision on life in general and to particular areas, like relationships with other people.
It is unjust to ‘label’ passivity as a form of detachment from any process or as a fault or pathology; this Passivity can either be a character trait, like a ‘natural’ state of a person or a consciously chosen temporary way of being. Passivity helps to collect thoughts under challenging situations, direct energy to solving significant problems, rethink values, perspectives or circumstances. This Passivity can be considered a healthy ‘state’ of a person. Yet there is more to it.
The concept of Passivity and Passive people
A passive person is an individual who is characterized by a chronic, constant departure from decision-making and active participation in any process. A life based on passive worldview flows within the established frameworks and has only a few new events.
Still, Passivity has positive qualities as well. Even when it comes to leadership, Passivity can be a wise choice. Read further to be able to tell the difference between the healthy and unhealthy forms of Passivity.
Passive Person’s Behavior Characteristic
How to recognize a Passive Person? The following features help to describe their behavior style:
- seeking approval from others;
- low self-esteem, inability to present their achievements;
- refusal to express one’s opinion and defend one’s point of view.
Indecision and doubt are typical to all people, especially in stressful situations. However, the critical point here is the frequency of these doubts. A constant feeling of indecision, confusion is characteristic of people with a passive worldview.
A distinctive feature of this segment of the population is the belief in fate and predestination. Hoping only for luck, which itself must arrange life safely, to present all the essential benefits, forms the desire to sit down and wait for this miracle to happen. A person in such a situation deprives himself of the opportunity and the need to take part in setting up life guidelines and conditions. Choice and responsibility are transferred to the mythical fate, chance, luck, and people around them. Passive people shift the burden in the first place to parents and spouses – the closest environment.
Circumstances and Passive People
Consider some of these examples of how passive people behave in different situations.
- If the passive person faces a flat tire or has run out of fuel, he immediately begins to complain that lousy luck only happens to them, instead of showing patience and courage.
- They cannot express their opinions directly. It starts by saying, “Well, if that’s possible …” “Maybe so …” and so on.
- They always seek approval from their speech, saying “if you don’t mind,” “can,” and so on.
- They continuously belittle their personality, saying that they are not experts, and I probably don’t understand (anyway) and so on.
- And they cannot stand on the side of someone in dispute, thinking that there will be less conflict, and both parties will receive support, but they will look hesitant and duplicitous.
- Passive People always put other interests above their own, even if you disagree with this. They are still inferior, whether it is with loved ones, as well as being left alone.
- Often, they can’t say “no,” and whether they want to or not, always say “yes.”
- Passive people cannot be put to a specific purpose; because they are easily manipulated and deceived.
Passive personality communication and its consequences
The main communication problems arise for the following reasons:
- orientation to the needs of others while infringing on their interests;
- inability to say no.
People deprived of the ability to limit their comfort zone and strive for their own goals often become psychological “victims”, ending resentful of life. Consequences go further, though.
This mental frame forms the image of an inadequate person for others too. The communication of a passive person will be severely limited and filled with grievances and problems. This will cause others to leave him be, stimulating feelings of being left out or being an outcast. So there is a high price to be paid for becoming a Passive Person.
Solution: connective powers of ‘no.’
Here we are reminded of the immense powers of ‘no.’ Without the ‘no,’ there seem to be so little ‘yesses’ either. Yet things need not be that way.
Saying it, (not) doing it, and living it – creates so many possibilities. Also to connect. Passive persons generally do not see the connective powers of criticism. Therefore, when reading this blog triggers you, please consider taken our (free) course on the connective skills of criticism. It is part of the Black Sheep Community and found inside, easily accessed after making an account.
Two types of Passivity – the essential check
Passive behavior can be a characteristic of personality, character, creating a state of comfort. Here you can consider such a position as a personality trait. Yet it can be a ‘state’ too. Passive behavior then is a way of being consciously chosen over a more active attitude for a certain amount of time for some reason.
The following types of passive behavior are distinguished:
- personality or character
- a temporary state of being.
In the first case, passive means a specific ‘habit’ or personality trait that has become so familiar the person feels that is the way he or she ís. The person, therefore, cannot act, be, or communicate differently. Even though, in essence, there might be a possibility to change, the person does not perceive that option as a realistic option. Nor would he know how to do it.
In the second case, passive means a way of being due to conscious choice. There is a reason not to act for some time. This is the situation where the Passivity in ‘controlled’ by the conscious mind. When things change, or the person again knows what needs to be done, it is common that the state turns into the active back.
Even though people might differ in opinion when a situation requires Passivity or not, the main difference here is whether the Passivity is present by choice. The person can turn it into an active state ‘at will.’
Why Passive People don’t become leaders often, yet Passive Behavior is a trait of wise leaders indeed.
The passive person refuses to be the creator of his own life voluntarily. He refuses to act independently in any situation. So in creating a business, organization, movement, or reality, the passive person isn’t likely to make it. He does nothing and waits for “flaws” from the sky. He is not exactly a fan of our human gift to change ourselves and our reality for the better. Some passive people make successful careers but always remain in the shadow of an active person – the leader indeed.
A leader can be too active too. Imagine the ‘action-man’ not thinking, no time to reflect, never asks a question differently than ‘How to make this work?’. The over-active leader definitely could benefit from the second type of Passivity we described. The consciously chosen Passivity allows leaders to rethink their vision and worldview, the kind of process that is hard to combine with activity.
Also, ‘not-knowing-mindset’ is essential to develop any kind of wisdom and requires Passivity. On that excellent form of Passivity slows down the mind and creates space to rethink one’s thinking because it is not engaged in any activity or the consideration of any activity. So the consciously chosen Passivity is healthy because it is free. Moreover, it allows them to develop some wisdom too.
What about you? Are you too active or too passive?
Do you feel that your ‘activity-passivity-balance’ could do with some improvement? Might you be holding back? Or you are more passive than healthy for you? Or rather too much action, too much result-oriented sure whether it is aligned with the right purpose?
In both cases – as long as you are willing to work on that balance – you might consider joining our community and find other Forward Thinkers from all around the globe to help you get it going for you, both wisdom ánd impact.