How do you deal with passive-aggressive people?

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks:  How do you deal with passive-aggressive people?

  • I confront them directly when I see the behavior: 41%
  • I generally ignore the behavior: 47%
  • I behave passive-aggressively right back at them: 13%

Don’t stoop to their level. The majority of you either confront passive-aggressive behavior when you see it or you just let it slide. I’d venture to guess that the difference in those situations boils down to how egregious the behavior is (with the worse it is inviting more direct confrontation) and what the recipient’s bias toward conflict is (fight or flight). For those of you who get passive-aggressive right back, I ask you to consider the fact that bad behavior invites more bad behavior. You might be making your own situation worse by stooping to their level. The next time you consider doing so, try a different path and either confront the person about their behavior or just let it slide. The workplace might end up being more pleasant if you do.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 240,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.

Leave a Reply

  • ©Copyright thoughtLEADERS, LLC. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast in whole or in part without the EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT OF thoughtLEADERS, LLC. Content may not be republished, reproduced or distributed in whole or in part without the proper attribution of the work and disclosure of its source including a direct link back to the original content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content nor can you modify the content in any way. However, you may download material from this website for your personal, noncommercial use only. Links to websites other than those owned by thoughtLEADERS, LLC are offered as a service to readers. thoughtLEADERS, LLC was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.

    thoughtLEADERS, LLC has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information included herein. thoughtLEADERS, LLC is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services beyond training, coaching, and consulting. Its reports or articles should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. thoughtLEADERS, LLC is not responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from any errors or omissions in our reports or reliance upon any recommendation or advice provided by thoughtLEADERS, LLC.

    thoughtLEADERS, LLC is committed to protecting your privacy. You can read our privacy policy by clicking here.