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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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    Feb 2 2013: My work as a counsellor has given me a few pointers in how to deal with aggression.

    The expectation of a passive aggressive, is to try and push people back away from them, thereby creating a comforting space around them in which to 'be themselves'. But what often happens is reciprocal confrontation, especially in competitive environments.

    The reasons why people are passively aggressive are very varied, but what seems to be most common is when there are perceived threats to autonomy - actual or subliminal - perhaps as repeated behaviour as a throwback from how they were parented.

    If a person on the receiving end refuses to get pushed back and instead attempts to achieve a genuine understanding of the aggression, the passive aggressive will immediately be put on the back foot, because understanding is not what they expect. This is effective as the first stage of disarming them (or to put it in a better way, the first stage of them letting someone in to their otherwise closely-guarded space) It takes a lot of time, courage and persistence - and maybe a few mental bruises on the way (especially near the beginning). But persistence, understanding and empathy always, always pays off - every single time.
    • W T 100+

      • +1
      Feb 4 2013: Thank you so much for your input.

      I agree with you that persistence understanding and empathy are important, and yes, they do pay off..

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