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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.


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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    Feb 2 2013: Passive Aggressive behavior is something that all people display at times and is usually bought on in situations where people feel scared to voice their true opinions. I've got a strong personality at work and with my social peers, a more passive personality when learning from a mentor and develop passive aggressive personality when I'm in a situations such as 1) Having to take orders from someone who I believe is making a mistake 2) Being in awkward social environments with people who use subtle ways to undermine me for their own gain 3) Being in the company of someone with a very aggressive personality.

    If someone's displaying passive aggressive behavior to you, it means they're scared to be honest around you. If you can earn their trust and make them believe that voicing their real opinions won't have any bad consequences for them, they might open up and naturally let go of the passive aggressive behavior. In the work place, those people aren't the ones you should trust too much. Build the bridge but don't be to quick to test them with real responsibilities until you feel they're ready. If you want to short-term communicate with someone displaying Passive aggressive, try pacifying your own personality allot, that will always disarm the passive aggressive as passive aggressive behavior relies on counter attacks. - I hope you've found this helpful. DC
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        Feb 2 2013: Exelent Response - From this perspective, I beleave that it is a matter of the correct engagent to get through to a person who is suffering from pathalogical-passive-agressive anxieties. In order to communicate to some-one like that, you have to engage them in a way that they are liberated from their anxieties. If you consciously passify yourself before engagement, you will be able to address the problem in a way that they empathies with. If they are able to see you in a voulnarable light, they in turn will expose their voulnerability. The key is to prepare for your talk mentaly and be prepared to take (what may seem unfair) chriticism against your person. - one meaningful conversation can make all the difference - I hope you find this helpful. DC
    • W T 100+

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      Feb 2 2013: Hi Dan,

      Thank you so much for your insights into this subject.

      I have done several "social experiments", if I may call them that, with passive aggressive people, and with assertive people, and with aggressive people.....all to learn more about me and my own personality.

      My voice is kind of soft. I am usually around very loud spanish speakers, who, when they see I speak softly, take it for "oh, she must not know what she's doing, and must be very shy, so I'll take over the conversation and dominate it".....at first, I used to raise my voice and try to keep up and give my two cents....I no longer do that. I just let people have their say. Then, when they allow me to speak without cutting me off, I will say a thing or two.....but it's usually just one thing, and I am interrupted in the middle of it. :)

      With passive individuals, I find the interaction a bit challenging.

      I have a friend who is passive, who only calls me when she is in trouble. She asks me to help her, and then I talk and talk.....but, I have come to learn that I need to asks alot of questions of her to really know what the "root" of her problem is. I speak using questions, and I answer to the point. Our conversations have gotten shorter, but they are more meaningful.

      With P.A. individuals, the thing is totally different. We could be having a great conversation, then all of the sudden, out of left field, comes a sly remark, or a double meaning expression meant to hurt. That is usually when I shut down and bow out.

      I purposedly limited this conversation to relationships we have at work, home, school, because I thought it would be easier to give factual info. about the individuals we deal with day in day out.

      I find your point about making ourselves passive helps the pa individual to engage better to be TRUE!
      I have realized that some are scared to show their true feelings around me. That is why I feel I need to change my way of communicating with them.

      Thank you for contribution Dan!!

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