Dealing with Passive-Aggression

It's that sweet-yet-scolding note your roommate leaves about the one cup you left unwashed, or the report your colleague keeps "forgetting" to finish for you. Passive-aggression is frustrating to its targets, since it's not as easily identifiable—or unacceptable—as, say, socking someone in the jaw. For their part, passive-aggressive types can learn to express their anger in healthier ways, and stop sneaking around.

Recent posts on Passive-Aggression

Psychological Abuse of Seniors, Part II

There are many warning signs indicating psychological abuse that we can spot when we visit the elderly in their homes, care centers and elsewhere. What are the most common ones?

The 5 Types of High-Conflict People & What To Do

You know them - they're in your workplace, in your home, and now at your Thanksgiving table. People that love conflict. Here's how to handle the 5 types of high-conflict people.

5 Faces of Toxic Relationships

By Ralph Ryback M.D. on November 16, 2016 in The Truisms of Wellness
Toxicity presents itself in all different forms and can play out like a Greek tragedy, where actors walk out on stage wearing various masks. Here are five toxic personality types.

Compliance and Defiance

Preparing to lose some and win some.

5 Subtle Signs of Passive-Aggressive Behavior

Because passive-aggressive behavior is implicit or indirect, it can be hard to spot. Here are five ways to know if you're dealing with a passive-aggressive person.

Psychological Abuse of Seniors, Part 1

Psychological abuse tends to be overlooked compared to many forms of physical abuse, which can be more apparent and easier to prove.

4 Reasons That Passive Aggression Thrives Online

For the passive aggressive person, the relative anonymity of screens and apps has become an ideal Get-Out-of-Guilt-Free card.

Understanding Passive Aggressive Behavior

While anger is generally experienced as an uncomfortable emotion, the passive-aggressive person derives pleasure out of frustrating others.

Answers to Your Questions About Passive-Aggressiveness

By Andrea Brandt Ph.D. M.F.T. on October 03, 2016 in Mindful Anger
What do you do when they know they're angry, but they just want you to be wrong?

7 Steps to Resolving Conflict With a Passive-Aggressive

By Andrea Brandt Ph.D. M.F.T. on September 01, 2016 in Mindful Anger
Healthy conflict resolves disputes, and builds understanding and compassion in relationships.

What Makes People Passive-Aggressive? 6 Possible Causes

Be on the lookout for these, before you’re blindsided!

Who’s the Boss in Your Relationship?

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on August 22, 2016 in Compassion Matters
Equality is one of the most important elements of a relationship, but countless couples fall into roles that are unequal and generate problems.

Passive-Aggressive Behavior in the Classroom

Learn how to recognize the red flags of passive aggression in the classroom and gain effective strategies for how to change this troubling pattern of behavior.

When Passive-Aggression Is the Third Party in Your Relations

By Andrea Brandt Ph.D. M.F.T. on August 01, 2016 in Mindful Anger
Passive-aggressive behavior doesn't have to spell death for your relationship, as long as you're both open and honest about your boundaries.

5 Ways to Handle a Backhanded Compliment

Do you find yourself at a loss for words when someone offers a backhanded compliment? Try these responses.

Cluttering is a Relationship Issue

There's no doubt that cluttering can be a form of passive aggressive behavior. When a person has difficulty expressing anger directly, they act out their anger by cluttering.
Paul Schlemmer/Shutterstock

3 Steps to Avoid Passive-Aggressive Behavior

By Peter Bregman on June 13, 2016 in How We Work
Are you being passive aggressive without even knowing it?

Do You Deal with Passive-Aggressive People? Take the Quiz

Psychiatrist Daniel Flavin describes passive-aggressive behavior as “a pattern of indirectly expressing negative feelings instead of openly addressing them." Here are the signs...

Why You Should Never Vote Angry

Think about the last time you got very angry. Was what you said or did after you felt angry helpful? Or, did it make things worse?

Blurred Lines

Where, exactly, is the line between affirming shared values and cruelly excluding others? When do stances that ratify one’s own positions become rejection and bullying?

6 Steps to Confront Passive-Aggressive Behavior

Do you know someone who is overtly cooperative but covertly defiant? Do you live or work with a person who carries out tasks with intentional inefficiency?

15 Red Flags of Passive-Aggressive Behavior at Work

Compliant defiance and hostile cooperation wreak havoc in the workplace. How to recognize passive aggressive behavior before your office is sabotaged.

The "Grinch in Elf's Clothing" & Other Covert Villains

By Traci Stein Ph.D., MPH on December 21, 2015 in The Integrationist
Is the Grinch in your life creating holiday chaos? When it's not all "merry and bright," how to spot covert villains, set healthy limits, and enjoy the season.

Who Would Jesus Stone?

By Rebecca Coffey on November 20, 2015 in The Bejeezus Out of Me
Classic nonviolence is far from passive. It is smartly aggressive. To get under their oppressors’ skin, civil rights and social reform leaders have had to be psychologically astute. (“What will get their goats them this time?”). And, apparently, thinking that way works. A growing body of research suggests that nonviolence is more effective than violence.

10 Signs You're in a Relationship With a Passive-Aggressive

The NYU Medical Center defines a passive-aggressive individual as someone who "may appear to comply or act appropriately, but actually behaves negatively and passively resists."

5 Ways That Passive-Aggressive People Thrive Online

Today’s technology affords anyone who wants to mask their anger or aggression a perfect front.

14 Signs of Psychological and Emotional Manipulation

Psychological manipulation can be defined as the exercise of undue influence through mental distortion and emotional exploitation, to seize power at the victim’s expense...

The 5 Fighting Words You Need to Drop From Your Relationship

By Andrea Brandt Ph.D. M.F.T. on October 02, 2015 in Mindful Anger
Do you fight dirty? These five words are hurting your relationship.
K. Ramsland

Lost Girls

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 21, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
Reading one of Joyce Carol Oates's story collections brings a jarring sense of what people are capable of, in the form of adolescent girls.

Machiavellians at Work: The Case of the Conniving Counselor

Machiavellians are cunning and can exert their influence gradually and subtly. At work they can cause significant harm before their schemes are outed. I responded to one such employee by calling her bluff and blocking her attempts at continued manipulation. Wrath ensued.