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Turn The Channel: Passive Aggressive Behavior—Master Manipulator’s

For me: It nixed a few jobs. A marriage. A bunch of friendships.  Passive aggressive behavior is a silent relationship killer.  Let’s face it, when you’re rightfully upset and can’t find the words to speak your truth, your actions ultimately backfire and you end up spending time fixing the negativity you put out rather than dealing with your emotions honestly in the first place. Your actions non-verbal or verbal … are a death sentence that can take years to fix.

The bottom line is this:  non-verbal aggression manifests itself in negative behavior such as:

Using Silent Treatment
Deploying Subtle Insults
Acts in Sullen Behavior
Stubborn Behavior
Failure to Finish Tasks

Has this been you at some point? I admit, it has been me.

It’s maddening. Frustrating. Sad.

In fact, I have uttered,…”I’m not mad.” or “Whatever” or “I don’t care.” or “I was just kidding.”  Or… I have said nothing and retreated.  Silence.  No response. It’s manipulative to try and get the other person to magically know what’s upset you.

Working or living on an internal roller coaster, you could end up giving you dis-ease and you may even become diseased.  I have always loved that word since it’s so appropriate.  My father died young, at 69, who lived a life of a passive aggressive person, which I believe, triggered his dis-ease and ultimately killed him.

I have said this before and will say it again… You. Can. Not. Get. Time. Back. And for that matter… securing trust after it’s broken can take years if ever.

One can’t control a boss, a colleague, neighbor, cousin or even a parent or sibling.  You can only control Y-O-U.

Stop it.  You know when it’s happening. Stop sulking.  In the end, you are only hurting yourself, your work situation, friends, family and neighbors.  The person who looks like a jerk is you.

Here’s what to do

Admit the truth.  Even if it’s to your dog, mirror, best friend, parent, spouse or kid. Say it out loud and then breathe.  You won’t die. You will continue to breathe. You will eat, still have a job and take the garbage out.  You have a chance to fix this if you can admit it.

Examples of needed recognition:  years of your life putting into your company for your contributions, a friend who doesn’t recognize the time and effort you have put into the friendship, you’re a colleague who regularly listens to rants of others, your wife or husband who…or you are fucking smart and others don’t see it… btw, you are.

Signs of strength and power

Admitting your feelings to the person.
Admitting it in a calm low-key manner.
Admitting in a slow pace of voice.
Listening without interruption to the response.
Letting silence, my best friend, do it’s job of allowing the comment(s) to sink in.


Once you say it, you are set free.

Don’t do it anymore.  We are living in a world of people who aren’t taught to speak up with concern, patience and forgiveness.

If someone comes back to and says simply, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”, I would ask you to forgive.  Not forget.  Forgive.

Jocelyn Greenky
Office Culture + Politics Expert. Entrepreneur. Author + Speaker. Global Brand Architect. #mentor. Mom of two amazing kids. #hustle #tech Fan of dogs & gospel.
Jocelyn Greenky

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