Dealing with passive-aggressive Behavior

  Why do they do that?

It's not what you think!

conflict at work

When people describe others as being passive-aggressive, they usually insinuate that the other person is being deliberately manipulative and "sneaky." That is not a fair assessment.  

Officially, passive-aggressive behavior is the indirect resistance to the demands of others. The person who is behavior in a passive-aggressive manner is simply avoiding direct confrontation. Typically, the passive-aggressive person says they are "fine" but then they do something that clearly indicates that they are anything but fine. The recipients of their behavior are annoyed or perhaps feel some level of anxiety because there is a clear gap between what they are seeing and what the other party is saying. 

Sadly, the biggest victim of passive-aggressive behavior is the person engaging in the behavior. They rarely get what they want because they are afraid to stand up for what they think, believe, or want. When you encounter a person who appears to be engaging in passive-aggressive behavior, instead of being annoyed or angry, you might recognize that fear is at the base of their behavior. A better approach to dealing with this behavior would be to make it safer for this person to share what they are thinking. 

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