I have put together a list of examples of passive aggressive behaviour as this type of behaviour can be subtle. Despite it being a form of manipulation that can be subtle on the surface, it’s emotional impact can be huge.
Examples of passive aggressive behaviour
- Being nice to someone when you actually dislike them and feel unable to tell them you don’t like them
- Agree with something but never follow through on it because underneath you really don’t agree at all
- Act the opposite of what others are expecting. For example – you promise to pick someone up at 9am and turn up late, never having had the intention to comply and fetch them at the agreed time
- Not voicing your true opinion but then manipulating the situation in order to get your own way
- Feel angry inside but don’t express it it a healthy, mature way. Instead you use your behaviour to ‘show’ the other person you are angry with them. This can be done by ignoring the other person or giving them the silent treatment without them knowing what is going on
- Trying to please others by agreeing with their plan of action, yet actually doing the opposite
- Act one way but feel the opposite
- Deny that any problems exist when there is clearly tension in a relationship
- Minimise the extent of problems
- Act in a patronising way and make as if the problems that exist are imagined
- Demonstrate behaviour inconsistent with your words
- Never confronting someone about problems
Steps to eliminate passive aggressive behaviour
Be more assertive and speak up – use direct and open communication to express yourself.Most people who display passive aggressive behaviour are not good at asking for what they want and feel they have to get what they want in an underhanded, covert manner.
We are all responsible for ourselves and you owe it to yourself to learn how to communicate as an adult. Children use passive aggressive behaviour because they fear standing up to their parents. As an adult, you have every right to disagree or ask for your opinion to be listened to.