Passive-aggressive behavior is a communication style that is very difficult to deal with. Persons who communicate in this way are often stubborn, they obstruct goals while denying they are doing so, they procrastinate, and they are often sullen.
They agree to everything, yet accomplish almost nothing they agree to, while blaming outside events for their lack of achievement.
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. Yet, they will often have many plausible reasons why they took so long to get ready.
A certain amount of passive-aggression can be tolerated, but it is natural to feel quite angry (even enraged) after many such episodes, or repeated episodes which cause much disruption in your personal life.
If you are with a true passive-aggressive person, you need to protect yourself from them in order to decrease your anger.
The following three tips should help:
Tip #1- Directly confront the behavior and ask if the person is angry at you. For instance, ask “You called me pork chop tonight. Do you have issues with my weight?”
Tip #2. Be on guard and don’t trust what the person says or commits to. Develop a Plan B.
Tip #3. Use assertive communication skills to let a person know how what they do affects you and makes you feel. Try something like “I heard you repeat something that I told you in confidence. That really hurt me; please don’t do it again because I would like to trust you.”
If nothing seems to work, you may have to make the decision to restructure your relationship with the passive-aggressive person. This may include seeing them less often, decreasing their importance in your life, giving them less information about you, or terminating your relationship with them.