how to be less passive

How to be Passive in a Relationship and be Miserable

You and your partner were never soul mates.

You were understanding but never submissive.  You were kind enough to understand when your partner overlooks your dinner date but you were assertive enough to point it out. You were at your toes when the atmosphere turns manipulative.  You were vigilant on any verbal abuse.

You always knew how to give and take. There was balance of good and evil between you as a couple.

Sounds familiar? Are you tired of an assertive relationship? Don’t wait standing there. Do something. It’s the cheesy month of love and you should be doing something. Or should I say- should be NOT doing anything instead.

Here are 5 secrets on how to be passive in a relationship and be miserable!

#1 Do not speak up when your partner tells you that you are stupid or any other demeaning description.

Allow your partner to insult you once, and then you will have kindled the fire to make a hell out of your relationship.  This will make it more difficult for you to defend yourself and will help you the more to keep quiet.

Do not make the effort from the very start to correct this attitude even in small things.  If you were called ‘stupid’, or anything that is insulting, do not tell your partner to stop and explain how you felt.  Because if you do so, even if it did not really mean anything to them, you are revealing to them that you were hurt and that you did not like it.

And the more you raise that to your ‘significant other’, the more he or she will understand you and stop doing it. You would not like that, would you?

#2 Do not say anything if your partner does not do what he or she preaches.

If you partner bugs you about some pet peeves like leaving the room a mess and you catch them guilty of it later, keep quiet as if nothing happened.  Sometimes they do this unknowingly or they have a different standard of keeping things in order.

Do not make ‘revenge’ by preaching back a sermon to the preacher.  Do not make them aware that what they say is not what they do.

Because if you make them realize this, you are letting them grow as persons.  They will realize that after all they are not perfect too.  They will learn to be humble to accept their own mistakes.

#3 Do not express your feelings or show emotions such as anger, sadness or disappointment when you ought to.

It is normal to feel negative emotions coming from different situations.  It may not necessarily be the fault of your partner.  Hence you do not have to express that.  As a song goes, “Don’t cry out loud, just keep it inside, and learn how to hide your feelings”.

Do not express your feelings to your most intimate partner, the one you love most or even the one you went with to fulfill the marriage vows.

Because if you do, you are opening your heart to your most trusted person. You are showing your vulnerability.  Shouldn’t you keep something for yourself? If your partner is really the One, why should you give him or her everything?

#4 Do not start a dialogue or a conversation to confront your partner about an issue.

Although relationships come out of commonalities, there will always be differences.  Sometimes small ones, sometimes seemingly small, sometimes real big ones. Do not bring up these differences ever or you will hold your peace forever!

It takes one issue to raise, and you’ll never know how far this can go as a habit. Raising an issue is a confrontation.  It gives tension to both of you because one tends to be defensive while the other offensive.

You should not practice a dialogue. Doing so allows each to listen and be given a chance to explain his or her side.  Doing so could be too rational.  It does not allow any mistakes or assumptions. Now that’s not how a passive relationship goes.  It becomes too boring.

#5 Do not show your appreciation for the kind words or deeds your partner has done going out of his or her way.

In many relationships, sometimes one partner is more sensitive than the other. Or to put it in the other way, sometimes, one partner is too dense.  Oftentimes, it is not merely because they don’t care but probably it is the way they are.

Hence, it is not necessary for you to make them aware of that.

Remember that special dinner your partner prepared for you?  Or the patience with which your partner waits for you after work so you two can be together even just for that last moment in the night?  Those are real efforts out of love.

Do not say thank you. Forget about sending a Valentine’s greeting card to say sweet-nothings.  That only adds flame to the love between the two of you and extends your relationship for another 50 years. Don’t do it.

Which One Speaks of You?

Any of the above five that speaks well of you?  If yes, then you are on your way to a fully bloomed, passive relationship.  Start picking up one of these five, one by one and in no time you will have a miserable relationship.

Stop being assertive.  Stop taking care of yourself in a relationship. Do not look at balance in a relationship. Scrap the give and take rule.

Just don’t do anything. You’ll soon be out of that relationship.

Read On If You Wish the Opposite

I wrote this article in particular for my readers who ask me on how to be assertive in a relationship.  Sometimes it takes another person to tell us what is already in front of us but we do not realize it.

My challenge for you is to reflect on this question: How assertive am I in my relationship with my partner/spouse? Has this helped both of us grow in the relationship and make the partnership stronger?

If you are not sure of your answer, do not have the confidence to do so or are intrigued how you can do better, I challenge you to reach out to my FREE email series program, The Manifesto of Confident People for those who would like to gain more confidence, achieve their personal goals and improve personal relationships.


Rob Leonardo is the creator of ConfidenceCues, a blog dedicated to building self-confidence following an alternative mantra “be bold, assertive and happy”.  In December 2013, he successfully re-opened doors to his FREE 7-week email series program called Manifesto of Confident People.  The program continues but is limited to the first 100 subscribers for each month.  Click HERE to grab a free slot.



Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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