Knowledge — 6 months ago

How to Deal with Passive Aggressive People

by Rachel Greene

How to Deal with Aggressive People

How to Deal with Passive Aggressive People

Rolling eyes, sarcastic comments, cold shoulder - all common behaviors of passive-aggressive people. These kinds of people will never tell you something hurtful face to face, but they will show their displeasure with some annoying behavior. If you know passive aggressive people at work or in your family, you need to know how to deal with them without letting them get you down, and this is how to deal with  passive aggressive people.

  1. Don’t engage in their drama

Passive aggressive people tend to be pretty dramatic, and sometimes they will say something just to bait you. Getting into an emotional decate with someone who is passive aggressive is just what they want, so avoid it by replying to the context of what they are saying, and not their actual words. If, for example, you tell a story, and someone answers with “that’s awesome” without meaning it, don’t pick a fight. Instead, just say “thank you!” and neutralize their passive aggressiveness right away.

2. Give as good as you get

Passive aggressive people often think they can get away with anything because they are pretty damn good at hiding their behavior with innocence. If you know a passive aggressive person, don’t allow them to do whatever they want without any consequences. If, for example, you have a friend that always bails from hang out at the past minute, tell them you won’t invite them anymore. If you take the time to arrange a fun gathering, you should demand the minimal amount of respect from the people you invited.

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3. Be upfront, yet polite

A passive aggressive coworker or relative are people you engage on a regular basis, so you can’t avoid them all the time. To make sure there’s no unpleasantness, face the behavior head on, but don’t be aggressive. Tell the other person how you feel when they say or do certain things that hurt you. Be prepared for the other person to be caught off guard - passive aggressive people don’t confront their feelings head on, so when someone makes them do that, they can be surprised and speechless. Don’t let it deter you, if you feel uncomfortable because of another person’s behavior, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

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4. Dig into the other person’s past

Passive aggressive behavior is often the result of hidden aggressions, anger, hostility, and other negative emotions. Just like any other person, the passive aggressive person has a reason for their behavior, and finding out what that is will make things easier for you. To get to the bottom of the truth, ask the passive aggressive person open minded questions when you are in a comfortable environment. You might not be able to change the other person’s behavior, but knowing the reasons behind their acts will make it easier for you to deal with them, and be more understanding.

5. Use humor to diffuse the situation

Using humor when dealing with a passive aggressive person can diffuse the situation, and give you back they power they tend to take away. In social, or one-on-one situations, try to laugh off the things the other person says or does. A good joke can make heavy situations a lot lighter, and disarm passive aggressive people from their weapon.

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6. Be clear about what you want to do

Passive aggressive people tend to be very covert about their intentions, and you don’t want to do the same. If something is bothering you, or you want to set some boundaries, don’t beat around the bush. Be assertive when talking to the other person, and tell them exactly what you want and need. Otherwise, the passive aggressiveness might rub off on you, and make you behave like the other person, instead of that being the other way around.

Dealing with the sarcasm, silent treatment, criticism, and other petty behaviors of passive aggressive people can be incredibly frustrating. If you want to avoid the negativity that comes with being next to a passive aggressive person, learn how to deal with them, and take control of the situation instead of giving it to the other person.

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