what does someone mean when they call you "passive aggressive"?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    There are three ways of dealing with conflict. 1. passive 2. aggressive 3. assertive

    Each sends a different message to the person you are in conflict with.

    1. passive= You are important, I'm not (the offended is hurt and does nothing about the problem)

    2. aggressive- I am important, you are not (it usually causes pain to the opponent)

    3. assertive- We are both important, let's work this out. (A win win solution can come about sometimes with a lot of work. Voting and compromise are not win win solutions.

    Passive aggressive is a combination of 1. and 2. It sends the message that you don't feel important, but you act aggressively without anyone knowing.

    The best examples I have heard of passive aggressive behaviors are:

    1. Girl A gets back at her roomate (Girl B) by cleaning the toilet with Girl B's toothbrush.

    2. The wife whose husband complains about spot on dishes, secretly licks the rim of his glass, plate and spoon when setting the table. When he is not looking.

    Hope this helps!

    Source(s): I used to teach college psychology!
  • 1 decade ago

    People with passive-aggressive behaviors show hostility and aggression in passive ways. Their aim is to resist job and social demands. Examples of passive-aggressive behaviors are:

    “Forgetting” to do something on purpose

    Making a habit of putting off or being late with social and/or job tasks

    Failing to do one’s share of the work or doing sub-standard work on purpose

    Having a constant negative attitude

    Criticizing authority figures, not openly, but in subtle ways

    The goal of passive-aggressive behavior is to frustrate the wishes of others and make others angry. This anger is most often directed at bosses, roommates, spouses, parents, teachers, or anyone who has power or authority. But, sometimes, people are not aware that their behavior is purposeful. A person who shows a lot of passive-aggressive behavior can have a Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder. A person with this disorder:

    Is irritable, defensive, and resentful

    Lacks self-confidence

    Has a hard time getting pleasure from relationships with others

    Feels others are making unreasonable demands on him or her, but thinks he or she is doing a better job than what they are given credit for

    Blames others for his or her problems

    Is not aware that his or her self-defeating behaviors are part of their personality

    Source(s): HCP
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Passive aggressive is doing something violent in a seemingly non violent way. If I gave you a cup of coffee everyday as a seemingly nice gesture and I secretly was putting poison in it to build up over time in your system to kill you. That would be passive aggressive.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Passive-aggressive behavior refers to passive, sometimes obstructionist resistance to following authoritative instructions in interpersonal or occupational situations. It can manifest itself as learned helplessness, procrastination, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or deliberate/repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is, often explicitly, responsible. It is a defense mechanism and more often than not, only partly conscious. For example, people who are passive-aggressive might take so long to get ready for a party they do not wish to attend, that the party is nearly over by the time they arrive.

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  • 1 decade ago

    People who are passive aggressive usually cloak their anger and are never outright confrontational.

    They will do the opposite of what you want and often undermine you and sabatogue your efforts.

    You might wake up one morning and find them beating you in the head with a hammer.

  • 4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    I always thought people who were P.A. also hand out 'back handed' compliments,....is this true?

  • 1 decade ago

    Your a contradiction

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