Imagine this: You passed your first report at work. Your supervisor points out that you did not follow the company’s prescribed way of writing reports. Instead of responding, you just stayed quiet and smiled timidly. You return to your desk and start sulking. You then rant to your friends about how your supervisor didn’t tell you beforehand about the format. The next day, you submit another report still not following the format because you insist that your supervisor didn’t hand you the template.

This situation is a common workplace scenario. It is common for many people to stay quiet at the actual moment then rant about their problems to other people later on. Little do we know, these small gestures are already warning signs of passive aggressive behavior.

Passive aggressive behavior is the habit of dealing with issues indirectly. If you think meeting a confrontational person is hard enough because of their aggression, wait ‘till you meet a passive-aggressive person. This type of person will frustrate you because they will act hurt and will refuse to talk about what’s bothering them.

Do you know someone who’s passive-aggressive? We’re sure you can already name a few. Here we discuss five passive-aggressive habits that every Filipino is guilty of committing:


  1. Staying Quiet

Scenario: You agreed to help an office mate to run errands after lunch. However, you had personal matters to tend to at the last minute. You tried to apologize but your office mate just smiled and didn’t say a word. Your office mate didn’t talk to you for a few days after the incident.


  1. Backstabbing

Scenario: Your friend doesn’t like the way your boss manages his people. Because your friend is inferior, your friend can’t bring up the matter to his boss. Instead, your friend chose to endure the bad treatment. However, your friend starts talking bad about his boss behind his back.


  1. Coming in Late

Scenario: You dread going to work because you don’t go along well with your colleagues. As a solution, you purposefully come in late to lessen the time you have to interact with them.


  1. Using Sarcasm

Scenario: Your team leader proposed a team building activity but one of your team mates didn’t like the idea. Your team mate started giving sarcastic remarks to turn the idea down.


  1. Being Stubborn

Scenario: You talked to the utility aid in your office about the tasks that he forgot to do. To get back at you, the utility aid purposefully stops cleaning your desk and taking out your garbage.


How do we deal with Passive-Aggressive Behavior?

If you think confronting the passive-aggressive person will make them open up, think again. The very reason why they’re acting that way is because they do not want or do not know how to deal with uncomfortable situations. It is very likely that they will act even more passive-aggressive when you confront them.

What you could do is to calmly point out what they’re doing. You can start with phrases like: “I noticed that you’ve been coming in late these past few days,” or “Are you alright? You seem to be quiet lately”. Using these phrases will make the passive-aggressive person become aware of his/her actions without feeling threatened.

Invest in Your Employees!

Send your employees to the Communicating With Assertive Seminar This November 2018.


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