Passive aggressive tendencies are aggressive type behaviours that are expressed in a subtle manner. Usually, people who are passive aggressive tend to be lacking in assertiveness. In order to get their needs met or their message across, they will employ forms of communication that are hostile or anger-laden without doing it overtly. Instead of confronting a person directly, they will do something negative to hint at the problem in the hope that the other person will get the message. It is a problematic form of communicating as it involves manipulation and indirect expression which often upsets the recipient.
You ask someone to fetch you from the train station. They don’t really want to do it but begrudgingly come along, an hour later than you expected.
You ask your ex partner to look after the children. They say they would love to but always seem to have work commitments.
Many passive aggressive people actually enjoy frustrating others. They are very clever at getting the other person to act out their own angry feelings and enjoy watching the other person ‘explode’ and appear crazy. They can then sit back and watch the emotional outburst with a sense of satisfaction at their ‘work’.
Passive aggressive types may not necessarily show that they they harbour resentment or anger towards you – this is exactly why it is called ‘passive’ behaviour.
Basically, most passive aggressive types are wimps who are frightened of direct communication!
More on Mandy: https://www.mandyjane-lifedesign.com The author of this blog lives in Surrey, UK and offers counselling to couples and individuals. All names have been changed to protect the identity of clients. Personal client stories shared in this blog have been published with prior permission from the relevant clients.