Passive Aggressive Behavior

What is Passive Aggressive Behavior and its signs and causes

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It is unavoidable whenever two or more individuals interrelate, whether at work or home. It can take place between individuals, groups, or even in an individual and a group. Significant to concentrate on the issue, not the people, when handling conflict in an organization. People are passive aggressive behavior when using indirect communications that require to be analyzed to figure out the actual meaning.

Most of us are passive aggressive at times, especially if we feel angry or frustrated. And cannot express our thoughts clearly. But some people use passive aggressive tactics deliberately to confuse, control and even punish others.

Aggressive Behavior

Ignoring and dismissing the needs, wants, opinions, feelings, or beliefs of others and expressing your own needs and wants in inappropriate ways.

  • Aggressive behavior causes physical or emotional harm to others or threatens too. Aggressive behavior is a problem because it happens frequently or in patterns. Generally speaking, aggressive behavior stems from an inability to control behavior or to form a misunderstanding of what kind of behavior is appropriate.
  • Aggressive behavior rarely happens without reason.
  • Aggression lies in any of the two categories, either constructive or destructive. Like if any person is saying that he will achieve this goal anyhow. Means in this behavior, the one is putting his aggression towards his achievement; this is an example of constructive.

Cause for Passive Aggressive Behavior

First and foremost, it is a coping strategy. These people who indulge in passive aggressive behavior, have never actually been taught how to communicate their needs directly, so it is a method that they have connected to control other members of their family or others people around them by making the other person feel as though they are not good enough.

Generally, they have witnessed another family member use it against a more overbearing family member. For example, they might have seen their mother use it against their most dominating father and its work for their mother. This feeling usually stems from low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence. It usually comes from a feeling of powerlessness, or they believe they will not get their way. They will be rejected if they use a more direct form of communicating their needs.

Signs of Passive-Aggressive Communication

  • The Silent Treatment
  • Subtle Insult
  • Procrastinating on purpose
  • Sabotage
  • Keeping score
  • Saying yes but meaning no
  • Resentment
  • Playing the victim
Signs of Passive Aggressive Communication

Silent Treatment

The treatment in which anyone can ever stop speaking to you or responding to your text messages, maybe you argued recently, and this person got upset. Now they are using the silent treatment to let you know that there is still a problem. In other words, when your partner deliberately stops communicating with you and you have no idea. Why or you might be getting the cold shoulder, or in other cases, they may withhold intimacy from you.

 So it basically implies that you did something wrong, and you being punished for it. However, the partner won’t tell you exactly and directly what you have done wrong. Which gives you the impression that you somewhere mistaken with them. And you are disappointing as a person to them for some unknown reason that they won’t tell you.

Subtle Insult

You can’t be sure when subtle insult happened. That’s why it’s called subtle. Avery soft kind of insult that made by a person but has a confusing impact on the victim.

 For example, you report to the boss who says, hey, this is great, and this is the biggest surprise of my week. Why the boss so surprised. Does that mean your work is not usually great? This is how subtle insults can work; they confuse people and undermine their confidence, especially when there is a power imbalance.

Procrastinating On Purpose

In this, you have probably asked someone to do a favor. They agree, and they do not do it now you ask them again, and the answer might be in a minute. But a minute later, nothing has happened. This type of procrastination can be a Power Move by someone showing you that they are in control of the schedule and that you have no control over them. 

Additionally, when a partner deliberately forgets to do something. It’s generally to get you to give up expecting too much out of them. It goes back to my other point of saying yes but meaning nowhere your partner is giving up. Trying to communicate what they want, and they have taken to checking out of the relationship. So they are trying to get you do not to expect too much out of them anymore because they have given up on the whole relationship themselves.


Sabotage comes from a French word that means to “bungle”. When people engage in sabotage, they deliberately mess things up for someone else. A person using this passive-aggressive tactic might hit the wrong button. And array a presentation or stumble and drop the dessert you meet. 

The passive-aggressive perpetrator in the relationship will sabotage your best-laid plans to more or less sort of revenge. The partner is sabotaging your goals because they have been so covert about it. The whole idea of this is to undermine your authority or your reputation basically and to diminish you as a person somehow.

Keeping Score

 Friends help friends; that’s what friends do. Right? Well, not a scorekeeper; these are the people who keep track of all the favors they do for you. And then they pay you back if you can’t attend their party by missing your next party on purpose. Remember, you owe me for this.

Saying Yes But Actually No  

This is a common type of passive-aggressiveness and usually occurs in couples who have been together for a long time or are in a long-term relationship or a marriage. It basically happens because one team has given up on trying to work through certain situations. This is a common type of passive-aggressiveness and usually occurs in couples who have been together for a long time or are in a long-term relationship or marriage. 

It happens because one of the couples has given up on trying to work through certain situations or specific issues. So saying yes is a way for them to avoid a confrontation. An argument that they had have many times before, and they just can’t be bothered anymore. It is a hazardous way of negative communication. 

Because as the saying goes the opposite of love is not hate its indifference and what the indifferent partner communicating that they lost the world to put in the efforts to maintain or form a healthy relationship with the other partner.


This is generally what happens when a partner has been angry with you for a prolonged period but never actually stated the problem. The anger boils and simmers inside of them when you inquire as to what might be wrong, they usually come back with old telemeters. Nothing’s wrong, and it is all there fine and whatever. But the negative attitude in their voice is the thing that betrays them in this respect.

 Playing the victim

This usually comes around by way of one partner acting like a martyr, and this often extracts some concession from the other partner. They will go above and beyond in one situation, making the other partner feel guilty about their lack of involvement or lack of contribution to the relationship. It’s relying on the other partner’s goodwill to make them feel guilty about the whole situation.

How To Deal with a Passive Aggressive Person

People in your life can make you feel bad or wrong by saying one thing to you and meaning something else. You can avoid falling into their traps.

  • Be Realistic
  • Accept Yourself
  • Find Out Your Anger

Be Realistic

Be realistic about the passive-aggressive person’s ability to change and don’t delude into thinking you can solve their problems; such caretaking may only solidify their behaviors.

TIP: Take anger management classes with a passive-aggressive partner to show support.a

Accept yourself

Accept yourself and enjoy life. Look at your habits of avoidance and manipulation, and be honest about your need to feel guilty or responsible when someone wants to get a reaction out of you.

For instance, if you act like nothing is wrong, you could end up imitating passive-aggressive people by deflecting your own needs.

Find Out Your Anger

To overcoming and understanding passive-aggressive behavior is to recognize that anger is a healthy, normal emotion, and it is an essential tool for navigating life safely and efficiently. To use it properly, you need to break free from the limiting belief you may have about anger. Perhaps you think that having any anger at all means you are a “bad person.” You may not want to at specific childhood experiences that could explain why to act the way you do.

For example, Some people have the misconception that anger is the death of a relationship – I do not want my partner to leave, but what is the reality? When you examine your passion and express it mindfully, you open the doors to better connections and greater intimacy in your relationship.

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