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How do you deal with passive aggressive individuals?

We all have different personality types.
Some of us are passive, some are assertive, some aggressive, some are passive aggressive.

And at any given time, we may display one or more of these personality traits based on the situation at hand.

I am interested in experiences you might have had or are having with individuals who specifically display a passive aggressive personality.

How do you deal with them at work?
How do you handle them within the family circle?

If you yourself are a passive aggressive person, could you shed light into why you choose to act this way? And also, what kind of people are you the most comfortable around?

Any and all comments are welcomed. I am hoping to learn more about this type of personality so I can better communicate with these individuals.

Thank you.

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Closing Statement from W T

Thank you to all who participated in this most wonderful conversation on passive aggressive personalities.

Hopefully all who participated walked away knowing a little bit more about themselves and others.

We cannot change others, but we can certainly change ourselves.

It is in this light, that I started this conversation. My goal was to understand why passive aggressive individuals acted the way they do, so that I can better understand how to treat them and get along with them........your answers shed alot of light into my dilemna.....I am still reading and learning.

Thank you!!!

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  • Jan 31 2013: You let a PA control you when you care what they think. When you get small, they have you.
    they will challenge your image you have of yourself. If you think you are a nice person. The will bet on that to get you. So you have to be willing to accept the fact that somepeople will consider you a B#@CH, SELFISH,
    UNCARING,
    It seems to cut to the chase with a clear but calm and considerate "What do you want?"
    Why are you telling me this? What do you want me to do about it? not defensive but clear.

    or
    " i am not interested right now in the opinions of other's, I am interested in what is bothering you."
    My you seem very angry.. ,, upset,

    "I understand your point, but I don't agree with you".

    About the $200 . Then you tell your sibling to step aside and leave you to handle the situation. let me make my own mistakes if necessary.
    it is insulting that they interfere with your process. If either the hotel clerk or you have a lesson to learn it is not to be resolved by you sibling. Boom.


    There are of course lots of different gradients of PA behaviour.

    PA's do not know boundaries or how to say no. NO! is already a deterent. No is already something that ruins the atmosphere. but then of course like a wave it builds up. So encouraging a PA to express what they want without reprocusion (judgment) and also knowing that they may also not get what they want, but will not be judged for it. will be very handy.
    The wave that comes after too much passivity usually is self anger that we have denied ourselves and made ourselves small by being too hard on ourselves and so therefore we lash out usually on someone we trust or feel close too enough to get angry with.... otherwise we wouldn't even dare. and over dramatize the situation.

    Now i know enough to say. I am probably being overly dramatic, but this is how I feel.
    Another sibling of mine, just avoids any deep conversation, and his partner insists there is nothing wrong, just say how you feel.
    • W T 100+

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      Feb 1 2013: I like how you state that you let a PA control you when you care what they think.....it's in harmony with Pat Gilbert's comment below..."If you are reacting you are not facing them."

      Your remarks ...."What do you want, Why are you telling me this, and What do you want me to do about it" are spot on to diffuse PA.....but I find them strong, I would probably tweek them to suit my nature.

      I never, and I mean never, was mean as a child. I never called anybody names. Never got into any fights in school. Never spoke bad about one friend to another. Never stuck my tongue out to anyone. It's just not in me. I imagine that is probably why I am an easy target for some of my siblings. .

      The lashing out at someone you trust or feel close to I understand.
      It seems that sometimes the PA behavior is most evident within the family circle, while their is harmony and wonderful relationships outside.

      Let me tell you Suz, that my father, who is not pa, learned a long time ago to not be bothered by such individuals. He continually tells me that when I get emotional then they are controlling me. He always says to me, "Why do you get so worked up over someone who doesn't care about you?"

      Talking about our feelings may leave us vulnerable....but I must say that this whole conversation has been very therapeutic. It is too bad that just like one of your siblings, there are individuals in my life who also will not have deep conversations. So much can be dealt with if we are willing to be honest and talk.

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, they have helped.

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