Do you recognize when you are being passive aggressive? Do you realize the impact it may have on your reputation? Beware. Thankfully, recognizing your passive-aggressive behaviour is the first step to recovery.
Passive-aggressive actions are often meant to get others to do something... or to stop doing something. It's a form of subtle and covert manipulation. And, the actions of passive-aggressive people are almost always rooted in negativity. As we will see in examples below, passive-aggressive behaviour takes many forms, however the unique attribute is that passive-aggressive behavior doesn't influence directly... it tries to influence indirectly (passively).
Most self-aware passive-aggressive people believe this approach is less confrontational. Unfortunately, the offender likely doesn't realize the long-term negative impact they are having on their personal and professional brand.
Brand Impact Of Passive-Aggressive Behaviour
Passive-aggressive behaviour doesn't build trust and respect the way that direct, empathetic communication does. Most people who experience passive-aggressive people feel manipulated and resentful.
People feel loyalty and trust towards others who are inspiring, trustworthy, straight talkers with a clear vision. So, make it your ambition to be known for your integrity and your ability to share different opinions in an open and respectful way. Embrace a willingness to deal with important things head on and with compassion — don't be sneaky.
Examples Of Passive-Aggressive Behaviour
Passive-aggressive behaviour takes many forms and one of the most common is the passive-aggressive joke. For example, imagine Billy routinely arrives at the office at 9:15 a.m. Billy's passive-aggressive coworker might say:
- "Oh look, Billy is in. It must be time for my mid-morning coffee break." Or....
- "Good afternoon Billy."
If Billy does get offended and calls the joke offender out, the offender can say "Rude, who me? I was only joking." This puts the blame back on Billy, doubling the coworker's negative impact on him.
Here are 10 more examples.
- Imagine you have a coworker that loses track of time. As you walk by their desk on your way to a group meeting, you choose to not remind them of the meeting. As a passive-aggressive person, you let them be late.
- The team you belong to has agreed to work towards preferred path A. You believe it is inevitable the project will take path C. In response, you only half-heartedly (passively), try to meet obligations for path A, thereby assuring path C will happen. In this example, there is a clear disconnect between what you agree to do and your actions.
Embrace a willingness to deal with important things head on and with compassion — don't be sneaky.
There are many other ways passive-aggressive behaviour takes form. You simply have to watch for it in others... and yourself.
We will all be passive aggressive from time to time. Passive-aggressive behaviour is a real problem when it becomes the default way a person communicates.
Not every conversation can lead to 100 per cent agreement or satisfaction. But that is no reason for passive-aggressive behaviour. Instead, focus on building a trusting community in which we all have a safe and trusting opportunity to share our opinions, what each of us know, common goals and our feeling.
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