What is passive aggressive behavior?


Passive aggressive behaviors are used to avoid confrontation of short-term conflict, but in the long-term, these dynamics can be even more destructive and result in feeling of resentment and anger.  Ultimately, resentment and anger often then turns into aggression. The following are some passive-aggressive waning signs.

  • A reluctance or failure to keep promises.
  • Sabotaging the efforts of others.
  • Blaming others for personal failures.
  • Exaggerating misfortunes.
  • Complaining of feeling unappreciated or misunderstood.
  • Takes hidden action to get back at someone.
  •  Goes to self-destructive lengths to seek vengeance.
  • Avoiding work and social obligations, often making excuses.
  • Complies with a request, but carries it out in an unacceptable manner.

So how do you deal with passive aggressive people?

Do not feel guilty.
Remember that you’re not to blame for someone else’s behavior.

Refuse to play their game.
Because a passive-aggressive personality doesn’t know how to respond appropriately to conflict, he or she will most likely deny everything. It’s important to express your concerns and anger, but stick to the facts at hand and how his or her actions make you feel.

Don not let them get away with treating you poorly.
Not confronting the passive-aggressive behavior will only reinforce it. Confront the person immediately and let him or her know you are confused by the behavior. If they value the relationship, he or she has to stop the behavior.  Try to create an atmosphere in which he or she might feel more comfortable sharing feelings of anger, resentment, fear, etc.

Be Assertive.

Be straightforward and honest but not rude so that you can make your point effectively. Don’t apologize and give elaborate reasons for saying “no”.  It is your right to say no if you don’t want to do things. Remember that it is better in the long run to be truthful than to harbor resentment and bitterness within yourself.  You need to tell them what you need. Otherwise people cannot fulfill your needs and this can lead to resentment and misunderstanding. Tell the person that if they fulfill your needs, there will be a positive consequence for both of you.  Be specific about the consequences.

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