Passive aggression is sugar-coated anger.

It is a cover-up.

A sneak attack.

A covert way of getting someone back.

Some people turn it into a behavioral art form they become so good at it.

But passive aggression is a no-win power struggle.

A no-win means no productivity, and there is usually some form of pain involved.

Passive aggressive people satisfy their own anger by pushing another person to publicly displaying anger.

It is nothing more than a coping mechanism.

Displaced anger stemmed from a long time of being directly ignored.

Before you label a colleague, client or partner as passive aggressive and throw your hands up feeding the negativity with more negativity…

Try assertive communication.

Call a spade a spade.

Talk about the elephant in the room, and resist any urge to do this with sarcasm—passive aggression’s evil twin.

The reality is that a person who is passive aggressive is not being heard and acknowledged like they deserve by someone in their life.

They may never admit it.

But it hurts them.


They may never feel like they can say what they want to say in the moment.

And eventually, all that bottling up becomes too much.

They tried being heard and were ignored.

Again…and again…and again.

A person can only take so much; so one day they stop asking for people to listen.

They make people listen by taking their cooperation away.

Although this may be frustrating, talk to them.

Talk to them assertively.

Make it known that you want to make a collaborative effort to achieve the same goal.

Above all, mean it when you say it.

Be willing to connect on a genuine level.

The situation won’t get worse if you try this approach.

It might even get better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares news about TED Talks and TED Conferences.

%d bloggers like this: