Dealing With Passive Agressive People.

        Dealing with Passive Agressive people can be at the very least annoying if not upsetting. A good definition of people that have this disorder is..  "a devious, diabolical way to convey your anger, disappointment or hurt to someone, without speaking with them about it. In essence, your feelings toward him/her get acted-out instead of talked about, but you may complain to others about your being upset with that person. This can happen within families, when a member 'telegraphs' their feelings about one sibling to another--but doesn't directly address the person who's the source of their discomfort. Verbal passivity usually includes sarcasm, or under the breath comments that come at you in a kind of sideways manner, but feel like undermining, painful jabs/injuries, just the same. Passive-aggressive behavior is very hurtful, and highly destructive to any type of relationship." (Schreiber)

      When a person acts this way it tends to cause everyone to despise that person. I deal with it on a daily basis. I think what makes it worse is when people make snide remarks about stuff that they do For example, like coming in late. I never understood why someone would make remarks about something that they do as well. The very worst thing is when that person does not come to you about something that may be bothering them but will go to everyone else and complain. Now what do you do when the person that is passive aggressive is your boss? P-A bosses may do some of the following...

· Exploit a talented employee

· Sabotage employee advancement--take full credit for employee ideas and retain control—keep the employee down

· Withhold positive feedback and praise

· Make the employee feel worthless

· Don’t support an employee when he or she needs support

· Punish an employee for perceived non-compliance

· Ignore/bypass the right employee for the job

· Pull the rug out from under the employee (blindsiding)

· Are always late and always have an excuse

· Are always too busy for a meeting

· Play the ‘your opinion counts’ game

· Play the ’thanks for sharing’ game

· Play the ‘make the employee wait’ game

· Use stalling tactics (‘promises, promises’)

· Gain control of the team using ‘divide and conquer’ tactics

 Passive-aggressive bosses can destroy the morale of their employees. Over time, demoralized employees will work less, produce less, and care less. This will mean reduced work output and reduced efficiency. (DeAngelis) 

Dr. DeAngelis hits the nail on the head in the last part of her statement. This type of behavior really does destroy the morale of their employees and causes people to work less, produce less, and care less. Why would anyone go out of their way to perform above and beyond when they don't feel appreciated for the work they already do. Watch out for the signs of P-A and try to keep in mind that these people are controlling people and feel that they have a position of power. A lot of times they are in a position of power and will use that power to further their P-A behavior. Do you deal with P-A in your workplace? How do you deal with this type of behavior? Are you reading this and saying to yourself..."Man that sounds a lot like me"? If so keep in mind that this is a personality disorder and you should seek help by way of Anger management courses, seeing a therapist, or talking to your co-workers and come to a logical conclusion that benefits you and your workers. 


Paula M. De Angelis, PhD


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