Posted by: Judy | August 27, 2015

Passive Agressive Behavior article…

A friend posted this, 8 Signs You’re Being Passive Aggressive, on FB:

Asking threat-based questions. Do I do that? Sometimes, but usually it’s along the lines of asking it about a third party not present in the current conversation. For example, my sister and I will discuss something we’ve seen or read and wonder if the person needs a reality check.

Making Wistful Statements. I used to make those because I didn’t know how to ask. If I didn’t actually ask, then I couldn’t be rejected. I’ve changed. When I say I wish I could go, now, it means I wish I could go but there’s something else I’ve already planned or I can’t afford it, which does not mean I expect someone to pay for it for me. I’ve learned to ask. The worst they can say is ‘no,’ and it won’t be the putdown, nasty, makes-me-feel-stupid ‘no’ I often heard growing up.

Backhanded Compliments. I grew up with those and have done it myself, until I figured out what I was doing. I work to not do it.

Ignoring or Saying Nothing. Oops. This one I do with NM. However, in my defense, I cannot engage with her. She will find a way to needle or guilt me. I think I’m safe, and BAM! She nails me. The only safe way is to not interact with her.

Procrastinate. I have done this, but endeavor to not do so now.

Leaving someone out. I never do this one intentionally.

Sabotaging Someone. I don’t ever do this one intentionally either.

Keeping Score. I was taught to use this one, but I’ve worked hard to unlearn it.

I was taught to do all of these. It is possible to unlearn them.


  1. One passive-aggressive thing that drives me crazy is when people talk in a dramatic tone of voice — wistful or overly innocent e.g. — about their opinion as if it were a given fact. Example: I’m driving someone in her car through a street I chose for its well-known safety. It has many rolling speed bumps. The signs says 30 miles and hour and I’m doing 25, while the car ahead of me is doing about 10. I catch up and slow down so as not to tailgate anyone, and ask my passenger why she supposes the other driver is going so very slowly. Passenger, in a wistful and admiring tone: “It’s probably her car — taking good care of it.” Why not just say, “Well, I was wondering why the sign says 30 when the speed bumps aren’t good for a car at that speed. Ten is reasonable under the circumstances.” That would have gotten the point across without making me sick. And I would have slowed down just as well.

    • Covert criticism, implying that if you cared about your car, you’d drive better without actually saying it. Yes, I recognize that one and also hate it. I’ve also had to work really hard not to do it. Correcting my behavior is much easier once I recognize what I’m doing.

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