6 Secrets to Managing Passive Aggressive People

6 Secrets to Managing Passive Aggressive People

6 Secrets to Managing Passive Aggressive People

Are you dealing with passive aggressive people? If so, below are 6 proven secrets for managing these challenging people – so you can live more peacefully.

[Note: If you’re truly committed to disarming toxic people and dropping the drama in your life, check out Manage And Avoid Drama Llamas. my bestselling video course. My research based tools have helped many thousands of people around the world. Learn more here!]

Chances are you’ve dealt with these familiar passive aggressive behaviors from people…

  • undisguised eyerolls
  • pointed sighs
  • guilt tripping sentences
  • angry smiles
  • sweetly disguised complaints
  • comments which sounds innocent – but make you feel terrible
  • defiant rebellion

These things can feel very annoying!

Fortunately, there are ways to deal with a passive aggressive person – while keeping your sanity intact.

Coming up I will be sharing 6 helpful strategies for dealing with passive-aggressive people.

But first, let’s take a look at the psychology behind their irritating behavior.

What does it mean to be passive aggressive?

  • Basically, passive aggressive behavior is a pattern of expressing negative feelings in an indirect way – rather than openly discussing issues in a constructive way.

Things passive aggressive people tend to say…

  • “Fine. Whatever.”
  • “Why are you getting so upset?”
  • “I’m not mad.”
  • “I was only joking”
  • “I thought you knew.”

Why are people passive aggressive?

  • Some people prefer to resort to indirect (and hostile) communication because it’s easier than dealing with their own issues and feelings in a vulnerable way.
  • Often these people tend to have low self-esteem and may be afraid to be open with others about their negative feelings.
  • Many of these people have grown up in a household where this kind of behavior was normal. They may have become so used to it that they don’t realize it hurts others.
  • They’re simmering with a lifetime of angry emotions – and they don’t know how to express themselves in a healthful way.

By understanding what it means to be passive aggressive – and learning some strategies for dealing with these kinds of people – you can avoid a lot of the drama.

Know What to Look Out For

It’s important to be able to recognize the tactics passive aggressive people use. That way, you can identify when they are manipulating you and shut it down ASAP.

passive aggressive people are irritating
The 4 Most Common Passive Aggressive Behaviors

1. The Silent Treatment

The silent treatment is when a passive aggressive person decides to stop talking to you to punish you for something, whether you know what it is or not. If or when you confront them, chances are they’ll completely deny what they are doing. Then they’ll probably continue to ignore you. 

2. Procrastination

Passive-aggressive types rely on procrastination when assigned a task they don’t want to do. They will often take forever to get it done, or they’ll finish most of it but leave the last bit unfinished.

3. Backhanded Compliments

We’ve all heard backhanded compliments before. “Oh my gosh, I love that dress on you! You can barely tell how much weight you’ve gained!” That kind of thing.

4. Sullenness

Passive-aggressive people will often develop a bad attitude in general if something sets them off. They usually will not tell you what the problem is or how to try and fix it.

If you’ve experienced these passive aggressive behaviors, you’ve probably wondered…

  • What’s this person’s deal?
  • What did I do to tick them off?
  • How should I handle this?

If you can relate, then you’ve come to the right place!

If you think simply being nice and highly apologetic is going to win them over, think again.

Unfortunately these people have been passive aggressive for many years now, and your sweet kindness won’t be their cure all.

how to manage toxic people and lower drama
5 Secrets to Managing A Passive Aggressive Person

1. Be Assertive

When communicating with a passive aggressive person, assertiveness is the necessary way to be.

Being assertive means…

  • Discussing issues in an open and honest way.
  • Looking to find a solution rather than someone to blame.
  • Expressing yourself while still respecting the needs of others.
  • Not taking the passive aggressive person’s bait by responding emotionally.
  • Recognizing fighting fire with fire is only going to escalate the blaze.

For example…

Let’s say someone says “thank you,” but they say it with a sigh and an eye roll. Don’t try to analyze the situation. Either say “You’re welcome” or say nothing at all.

In general you should use neutral language and logical “I statements” when managing their behavior.

2. See It as an Opportunity

As infuriating as it can be at times, try to see this passive aggressive person as an opportunity for you.

  • By dealing with them you will be able to develop your assertive communication skills.
  • Plus you will improve your own traits – like patience and compassion.

3. Stay Calm and Don’t Escalate

When a passive aggressive person is using their tricks on you, it can be difficult not to become angered. Escalating the situation won’t solve anything.

On some level, they want you to get angry. If you become enraged, you’ll look like the bad guy. They’ll look like the justified victim.

People who communicate passive aggressively have often used that strategy for most of their lives.

Remember: The best revenge is not letting them get to you.

  • If you know you have to talk to a passive aggressive person, you might want to meditate in advance.
  • By meditating you will make sure you are in a calm and confident frame of mind.

try meditating before being with passive aggressive people
You can try doing simple 2 minute meditations – like I share in my book Instant Calm.

This book makes meditation fun and easy to do. The tools are based on using your 5 senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste) – and help you to quickly feel more calm and grounded.

Meditation helps you to develop the superpower of being calm in tough situations.

Learn more here!

unhealed person feels more hurt by toxic people
4. Be aware of your vulnerabilities

Instead of trying to change a passive aggressive person, focus on beefing up your vulnerabilities so their annoying behavior don’t bug you as much.

Remember: The only true thing you have control over is you and your responses!

Take a look at your vulnerabilities and triggers.

Are you…

  • Overly willing to rationalize bad behavior
  • Easily guilt tripped
  • Emotionally needy and eager to be liked
  • Far too open to seeing a trouble maker’s side of things

Remember: No one can hurt you without your permission.

5. Set Boundaries

When dealing with passive aggressive people, it’s essential that you set boundaries and stick to them.

At a certain point you must try to limit your interactions with a consistently irritating person.

Obviously, if you work with that person, or they are a family member, there’s only so much you can do in this aspect. But the less time you spend with them, the better.

6. Forgiveness

Holding on to the wrongs done to you by passive aggressive people will hurt you way more than it will hurt them.

Forgiveness is the best way to move on from the situation.

It’s usually a lot easier said than done. Try to remember that the passive aggressive person isn’t purposefully trying to be a jerk. They are suffering a lot themselves.

Remember: Forgiveness will rid you of resentments that could cause you to act passive aggressively yourself.

Stop allowing passive aggressive people to cause upset in your life.

video course for protecting against passive aggressive people
I offer a wide range of effective resources and techniques to protect against toxic people – in my bestselling video course, Manage and Avoid Drama Llamas.

I’m excited to share with you the psychological tools I have used to drop the drama in my life – which was interfering with my happiness, my productivity and even my creativity.

Not any more!

I now use a range of research-based tools to set stronger boundaries – and talk to difficult people, so as not to escalate conflict.

These tools are gathered from Positive Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, NLP and more!

  • Each video is a convenient 2 to 10 minute “burst” of info – with me talking to you in an easy to understand conversational way.
  • I’m an award winning designer – so the videos are loaded up with stylishly produced graphics.
  • You can watch and re-watch, because you have lifetime access.

Learn more here!

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