Passive Aggressive Examples

How many of us are aware of this type of behavior or even that it actually has its own name! We can often recognize it when it is directed at us, but how many of us can recognize it when we’re dishing it out to others. Passive-aggressive behavior is defined as the repetitive expression of negative feelings indirectly rather than tackling it directly. Being a passive-aggressive can harm all your relationships, from your personal ones to professional ones.

Examples of Passive Aggressive Behaviors

1. Being Indirect

Indirectly begrudging any demands made by another after the request was made. They will not express their dislike of the request at the time the request was made but rather build up resentment later on.

2. Deliberate Blunders

They are deliberate blunders so that they will not be asked to do something in the future. This is one of the passive aggressive examples to replace just saying the word “no”.

3. Procrastination

Instead of directly refusing to do a task, the passive-aggressive person will rather intentionally delay the task and view this as punishing the person who made the request. The passive aggressive example is backing out of a commitment at the last possible moment when the person knew they couldn’t make it from the beginning. They procrastinate deliberately to frustrate the next person.

4. Negative Attitude

Instead of refusing directly to do a task, they assume the request was a deliberate attempt at sabotaging them. The person assumes that others know exactly how they feel and ask them to perform a task despite knowing the person is unable to do it.

5. Taking Everything Personally

Things not going according to their master plan are often viewed as a deliberate attempt by others of attacking them.

6. Having the Last Word

Although it seems that they have resolved an argument sufficiently for both parties, passive aggressive people will throw in one last negative judgment afterwards so that they still have the last word in the argument. This is one of the passive aggressive examples that makes them feel as if they have won.

7. Insincere Compliment

Complimenting someone very insincerely that it actually makes the recipient of the compliment feel bad about whatever is being complimented.

8. False Warmth

Negative criticism is often delivered with false warmth. The passive aggressive is actually resentful and envious under all the false warmth.

9. Responding with Silence

The person won’t state how they feel, but from their body language, it is obvious that they are not happy with the way the argument has proceeded. The passive aggressive will tend to freeze the other person out by insisting that nothing is wrong or answer any question directed to them with a single word. There is a lot of sulking and hostile behavior.

10. Deliberately Disrupting Someone’s Plan

One of the passive aggressive examples would be to sabotage one’s diet plan by offering and insisting they eat the “bad” food you offer. This tendency may be coupled with a jealousy that the passive aggressive feels towards the person’s willpower.

11. Freezing Someone out

Instead of directly confronting what you don’t like about someone, the passive aggressive will go on a campaign to deliberately exclude the person out of any activities planned.

12. Keeping Tally with Someone

The passive aggressive people will act in response to what was done to them. For example, they don’t attend an event of yours because you unavoidably missed an event of theirs. This is a tit-for-tat behavior.

How to Deal with People with Passive Aggressive Behaviors

You may recognize some of the passive aggressive examples on your partner or family members. If that’s the case, what can you do? Here are several pieces of advice.

  • The first step to dealing with a passive aggressive individual is to identify the type of behavior. Recognize the hostility for what it is and be strict with the person exhibiting that behavior.
  • Set boundaries in the relationship and make it clear you will not tolerate the passive aggressive behavior.
  • When confronting the passive aggressive, be sure to be specific about what concerning her behavior bothers you. Avoid being vague. It may be advisable to keep a record of specific incidents so that you can address specific examples of passive aggressive behavior.
  • Be assertive when communicating with the person. This means that you are clear about what you are communicating but with respect. It’s important to validate the fears or concerns of the passive aggressive even if you do not agree with them, but this may be a good way for them to recognize what they’re doing wrong. This will also assure them that you want to resolve the problem with them. However, it is important to hold them accountable for their actions.
  • Choose your words carefully. Avoid the word “you” because this will make the passive aggressive feel that he is being attacked directly and become defensive. Using words like “we” and “our” is a more indirect manner to address the issues.
  • Form a safe atmosphere where the person feels free to discuss any issues with you. You can create this environment by being supportive, encouraging and praising.
  • Dealing with passive aggressive behaviors is best done in person directly rather than a written message to avoid being misunderstood.
  • Control your own emotions when dealing with the passive aggressive. Responding in an emotional manner may threaten the person. In many cases, the passive aggressive is not even aware of their negative behavior. Keep your voice calm and measured.
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