By Suzie Doscher
Being subjected to passive aggressive behaviour from anybody, be this in a shop, at home, in school or at work can be not only confusing but also hurtful and uncomfortable to be around.
Frequently this behaviour and manner of speaking comes from someone who has not learned how to express emotions, let alone negative ones. Instead of being in touch with their feelings, they redirect these emotions in a passive aggressive manner. Sometimes the person is not even aware of this.
Obviously this is a generalization and in no way should be thought of as the truth for everybody who behaves passive aggressively. Sometime people are just having a bad day and letting it out with inconsiderate and disrespectful manners.
Common characteristics of passive aggressive people:
Many cultures teach from a young age to suppress negative feelings, some even encourage to suppress all feelings and hide behind extreme politeness! Think of the famous 'stiff upper lip'. Not allowing your feelings to surface, as well as not expressing emotions can lead to passive aggressive behaviour. We are emotional beings; we all have emotions even if you do not always like what you are feeling.
Here are some helpful tips to consider:
Reasons for passive aggressiveness are complex and deep-seated. It is not your responsibility to help or change the person. Focus on what you can influence -- your reaction.
If you have no choice but interact on a regular basis attempt to put a stop to potentially damaging patterns as soon as possible. Tolerating passive aggressive behaviour will only encourage it to continue.
Negative emotions leading to passive aggressive behaviour are in fact the ones offering and opportunity to grow and change. If you find yourself behaving a little passive aggressive, see it as an opportunity to grow. This is a time when you can engage a life coach, a good book or the wisdom of a close friend.
In conclusion, although passive-aggressive people are not pleasant to deal with, there are actions you can take to not allow this behaviour to drain you.