Everyone displays passive aggressive behavioral traits at times, but a passive aggressive personality type will use this behavioral pattern more often than not and can be very difficult and frustrating to deal with on a regular basis. So what is passive aggressive behavior and what are the tell-tale signs of this personality type?
Passive aggressive behavior is a way of expressing displeasure and negative emotions in an indirect way.
Instead of openly saying “I’m not happy about X” the passive aggressive person will exhibit their unhappiness by their actions rather than their words.
This makes communication rather difficult and there is usually a big divide between what a passive aggressive person is saying and what they are doing.
What is Passive Aggressive Behavior?
Some experts describe passive aggressive behavior as a form of non-verbal aggression.
When we are angry with a loved one, we might tell them in no uncertain terms that we are annoyed or deeply irritated at their behavior, but a passive aggressive person will not communicate in this manner. Instead they will sulk, close down and give their loved one the cold shoulder.
Passive aggressive people are often highly manipulative. They are obstructive and obstinate and go out of their way to make their feelings known, but in a subtle way instead of openly expressing them.
They might appear to agree with you on the surface, but underneath they are doing everything in their power to resist or evade. They might also be polite and pleasant to your face, but talk about you behind your back.
A passive aggressive person will often bottle up their feelings instead of talking about things calmly and rationally. This can create a highly destructive atmosphere of negativity at home or in the workplace, and when this type of behavior becomes the norm, it can destroy trust and cause immense pain and suffering for all those involved.
What is Passive Aggressive Behavior in Relationships?
Passive aggressive behavior is a very unhealthy way of expressing anger, which is highly destructive in personal relationships. Passive aggressive partners never say what they think, so unless you are a mind reader you are often left in the dark about what the problem is, and if you don’t know what is wrong you cannot fix it.
Passive aggressive people never take responsibility for their actions and usually have a distorted view of the problems within the relationship.
What is Passive Aggressive Behavior in the Workplace?
Passive aggressive people in the workplace are very damaging to the morale of other workers.
The person will probably be persistently late and sulk when asked to do tasks that they feel are beneath them. They might also take ages to do jobs they dislike or complain about others behind their back.
But passive aggressive bosses and managers can be just as bad. They tend to turn a blind eye to problems in the workplace and refuse to deal with HR issues.
Over time, this can create a great deal of resentment and bad feeling, which affects everyone working in the team, department, or company.