How to deal with passive aggressive behaviour
- Don't take it personally - It is important to remember that the anger harboured by someone who is passive aggressive stems from their life situation and background. Therefore it is not your responsibility. It is very likely you are just the most convenient person for them to take this anger out on.
- Moderate your response - When dealing with passive aggressive people, aim to stay as calm and composed as possible - keeping your voice steady and your language neutral.
- Empathise - This may be tricky but can disarm someone who is passive aggressive. Reflect their suppressed feelings - making it clear you recognise they may be frustrated and that this may be difficult for them to deal with.
- Be direct - If someone is being stubborn and deliberately refusing to do something, be very clear and assertive about what you expect from them. Keep everything factual and avoid emotion. Level-headedness is your best defence against passive aggressive behaviour.
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