What is passive Aggressive?

According to Andrea Harrns, Psychotherapist and author of mood cards, Passive aggressive behaviour takes many forms but can generally be described as a non-verbal aggression that manifests in negative behavior.

Passive aggressive takes place in many forms and can be detrimental especially in the workplace where conflict takes over and co-workers/employees struggle to appropriately and effectively communicate with each other on a daily basis.

Andrea Harrns mentions that in the workplace a passive-aggressive employee or employer may use these techniques as a form of control and/or intimidation. The worker might sulk, make faces, scowl inwardly when given jobs to do or may agree politely and then take ages to do them. By doing so, they are showing annoyance in the hope they will not be asked to do those tasks again. Employers can also use passive aggression when confronted with employee problems, turning a blind eye, not facing facts or dealing with genuine cases of bullying and intimidation. This avoidant behaviour can be very damaging to individuals and teams of individuals within organisations.

Consequences of Passive Aggressive Behaviour

  • In being passive aggressive you are not giving yourself or others an opportunity to listen to what you think or feel
  • When on the receiving end of passive aggression, you can feel confused, upset, offended, guilty and frustrated. You may think you’ve done something wrong, but have no clear idea what it was
  • It avoids communication in a very negative way
  • It creates insecurity in all parties
  • It creates a bad atmosphere between people
  • It is a form of conflict where either both or one party cannot engage sensibly in the issues
  • It avoids the real issues
  • It creates negative feelings and resentments in an unassertive way

Do you know of a company that uses Passive Aggressive in the workplace? Would you like training for your staff as a preventative measure to avoid this negative form of communication as well as to learn more appropriate means of communication + how to handle difficult employers/clients or co-workers.

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