Some may embrace conflict head on and approach it in a healthy manner. Whilst there are others, who internalize their inner turmoil and anguish, instead indirectly showcase their resentment and disdain through their behaviour. Ultimately passive aggressive people try to avoid conflict, and try to retaliate through their subtle or not subtle cues. However, acting in a passive aggressive way is not healthy, and it will end up not only hurting yourself, but many others.
Signs of passive aggressive behaviour
1 . Ignoring – Ignoring emails, calls, texts, or personally in public settings as a means of sending a message “I am upset with you.”
2 . Excluding – Excluding someone deliberately also sends a rather rude unwelcoming message to the person that you are upset with. It sends a rather obvious message.
3 . Making backhanded comments – Sometimes, jealously, insecurity and passive aggressive behaviour combines into one hot mess and that person ends up saying rather rude comments under their breath.
For example: “Oh you bought a new house, it’s so cute and has potential.” It’s not a sincere comment, yet it’s rather stating that they think it’s small and a bit of a mess, because it has “potential”. It’s a sneaky way of saying something hurtful.
4 . Keeping score – This could be holding and keeping score of every little offence. For example: “Oh, they didn’t make it to my birthday dinner, so now I won’t go to theirs.” Friendships however do not work like that, you do not keep score in secret and try to pay them back with poor behaviour. Instead, talk to them, communicate your feelings with them and be honest about how you feel, instead of playing ‘tit for tat’ games.
5. Procrastinating work commitments – Sometimes, passive aggressive people may not love their job or work load, and end up making excuses as to why they can’t finish off projects, or why they can’t attend certain work events – often letting the entire team down last-minute. It may mean that they take longer lunch breaks, or call in sick days because they don’t feel like working. Instead of dealing and confronting the issue – they find other ways to take out their frustration in that environment.
Overcome passive aggressive behaviour
1 . Recognise it – Stop and reflect for a moment and ask yourself if you behave passive aggressively towards others, as a means of letting them have it when you are hurt. Recognize that this behavior trait is not healthy, and will do you no good going forward in life.
2 . Identify your triggers – Start to become aware whenever you catch yourself acting cold or off towards someone. Ask yourself why you are feeling that way. Know what sets you off.
3 . Listen and observe – Once you identify your passive aggressive triggers, do some soul-searching and ask yourself if you are willing to overcome this unhealthy habit by doing what is necessary to overcome this way of behaving.
4 . Confront in love – Overcoming this issue might require you to have a heart to heart with someone, to confront the issue, to forgive, then to move forward with peace and love in your heart.