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          How to Spot and Deal with Passive-Aggressives

          May 27, 2003

          Passive-aggressives often don’t own their feelings and can be pessimistic no matter how well things are going.

          The following are some passive-aggressive behavior warning signs.
          • A reluctance or failure to keep promises.
          • Sabotaging the efforts of others.
          • Blaming others for personal failures.
          • Exaggerating misfortunes.
          • Complaining of feeling unappreciated or misunderstood.
          • Persistent pessimism, even when things are going well.
          • Avoiding work and social obligations, often making excuses. Here are some tips for dealing with a passive-aggressive:
          Don’t feel guilty.
          Remember that you’re not to blame for someone else’s passive-aggressive behavior.  

          Refuse to play their game.
          Because a passive-aggressive personality doesn’t know how to respond appropriately to conflict, he or she will most likely deny everything. It’s important to express your concerns and anger, but stick to the facts at hand and how his or her actions make you feel.  

          Confront their dishonesty.
          Not confronting the passive-aggressive behavior will only reinforce it. Confront the person immediately and let him or her know you are confused by the behavior. If they value the relationship, he or she has to stop the behavior.  

          Don’t let them get away with bad behavior.
          Instead of letting the person off the hook and allowing him or her to continue the behavior, try to create an atmosphere in which he or she might feel more comfortable sharing feelings of anger, resentment, fear, etc.

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