Sanctuary for the Abused
Sunday, May 05, 2013
Passive-aggressive communication is a means of expressing anger indirectly.
Examples of passive-aggressive behaviors are listed below.
PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIORS AND ISSUES
- Obstructionism (making things difficult)
- Hostility, anger, and bad attitude toward people in authority or people who have an advantage. Scorn and resentment.
- Issues such as specific kinds of fears, a sense of victimization, feelings of being misunderstood, etc. (see list below)
- Complaints of having it hard or being treated unfairly
- Sneaky, “Sideways” or “Backhanded” comments/compliments hidden behind a veneer of pleasantry
Examples of Passive-Aggressive Obstructionism
- Arriving late to meetings and other events, making other people wait
- Purposely doing a poor job on a required work project
- Claiming to have “forgotten” what is wanted by other people
- Making issues more difficult than they have to be
- Making excuses
- Lazy communication, failing to follow through on messages
- Lying and mental manipulation
- Procrastination and laziness at home or in the workplace
- Deliberately creating disorder in situations with friends, employer and family
- Expressing ambiguity when interacting with people
Examples of Common Fears and Issues for Passive-Aggressive People
- Fear of intimacy
- Fear of competition
- Fear of dependency
Dealing with passive-aggressive people can be especially difficult, particularly when you are relying on them to do something properly and on time, without difficulty and complications.
In the workplace, passive-aggressive people should be dealt with administratively, since trying to work around, adjust to, and change their behavior is impossible. They will sorely resent the supervision; however, they were likely already displeased and resentful of it anyhow.
Passive-aggressive people will always find a way to slip out of what you need them to do or otherwise make you pay for trying to get them to cooperate.
Dealing or working with a passive-aggressive person can feel like a gigantic game of Whack-a-Mole.
Once you think you’ve addressed the first excuse, lie, issue or ambiguity, they’re off and running presenting you with a third, second and fourth. It’s as if they’re playing a mental game designed to exhaust you into giving up asking anything reasonable of them. Insisting and pressuring them into fulfilling their obligations only makes things worse.
When in situations where you are forced to work with them, do not assume responsibility for their work or lack thereof. Do not let the maddening inefficiency and game-playing get to you. Concentrate on your own responsibilities, and minimize working on joint projects with them as much as possible. Above all, don’t take the bait that sends you begging them to cooperate. They will only resent you for it and get you back later.
And definitely, without delay, add passive-aggressive people to your list of toxic people to avoid wherever possible.