The passive aggressive person is always on the defensive but is always less confrontational than a purely aggressive person. In the short term, their behaviors may seem convenient and less assertive. Yet while they do well to satisfy themselves in the short term, in the long run, their passive aggressive behavior can be more destructive to interpersonal relationships in the workplace than outright aggression.
A passive aggressive person is able to keep themselves calm in the moment and waits for another time to get revenge, such as purposely missing a deadline at work. The thing is that they express their grievances by exacting revenge from behind the safety of plausible excuses rather than come out directly about problems. Here are some things passive aggressive people do to vent their grievances in the workplace.
1. They make critical remarks
Passive aggressive people tend to offer sniping remarks at colleagues or workmates they are angry with. They may fixate on something other than what they are angry about, like how you dress approach an issue or conduct yourself. They would come at you to make you feel bad and incapable to fulfill the duties you are presented with. They intentionally do not want you to feel comfortable about yourself. So they will do well to get on the nerves of other people who may have upset them, or have deprived them of comfort and rest.
2. They are negative
They suddenly become pessimistic and work against anything their workmates do. They do not see the bright side in the activities or the accomplishments of their workmates. They may also try to obstruct coworkers from succeeding at projects at work. They wouldn’t want others in the office to complete their objectives and may end up humiliating coworkers. You should understand that passive aggressive behavior is always related to resentment and jealousy.
3. They attack indirectly
They conceal their desire to make their workmate or anyone responsible for their hurt pay. They may plan an indirect attack that does not relate to the original ‘offense’ but still leaves their coworker hurt in the long-run. Passive aggressive people direct their attacks not at the behavior they are trying to stop but at the person they are trying to stop. The passive aggressive person revels in the excitement that they are causing the other person pain even if the pain seems slow and painful to the person who is being attacked.
4. They mask their anger
Since passive aggressive people are somewhat afraid of something, they do not express their anger directly. Their anger could be hidden beneath the surface of a calmly composed smile. A passive aggressive person often does not want to be detected because they do not enjoy direct confrontation. They would want to mask their anger from detection because of the fear of a direct expression.
5. They sugarcoat their hostility
When people understand that they cannot express their anger in a direct form and that this anger won’t go away they seek socially acceptable ways to express their anger. Through sugarcoating their hostility and anger they are able to repress their negative emotions. You may have a passive aggressive person in your life that you do not realize is angry with you because they are acting nice to your face.
6. They play the victim
They tend to assume the role of the victim rather than accept that they are at fault. This is the passive part of being passive aggressive. They wouldn’t come out directly in the open to let the other person aware of what they must have been doing to get back at them. Many of them believe they are simply the victim and they have been wronged so many times by friends, families, and coworkers.
7. They play tit-for-tat
Passive aggressive people at work play tit-for-tat and work to make revenge exciting. Here’s an example. Mark is being overworked and under-recognized in the workplace. Rather than explain his discomforts he calls in sick for two consecutive days, thus he misses key deadlines and this sabotages the productivity of his department which reflects poorly on his boss. Just like Mark the boss is also overlooked for a promotion and Mark’s mission is accomplished.
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