5 signs that you're a victim of passive aggressive behaviour

Passive aggressive behaviour can be extremely confusing and frustrating to encounter.

Passive aggressive behaviour is usually difficult to recognise at first, says trauma psychotherapist Louisa Niehaus.

Someone on the receiving end of passive aggression is often left feeling rage, anger, confusion and hopelessness, Niehaus says.

She describes passive aggressive behaviour as negativity and anger that has been sugar-coated and shown in a subversive manner.

Niehaus explains that this behaviour is linked to bullying, power dynamics, and narcissism.

She explains that most passive aggressive people are not taught emotional management and assertiveness. As a result, they use silence, sulking and other manipulative behaviours when interacting with others.

Here are some examples of passive aggressive behaviour (in the workplace and beyond):

  • consistently late for meetings, deadlines and other appointments
  • leaving things undone and dropping tasks at the very end
  • non-compliments
  • silent treatment
  • wistful wishing

Niehaus advises that victims of passive aggressive behaviour must always remain assertive, clear and concise about what they need from the other person.

It's nuanced and very difficult to understand.

Louisa Niehaus, trauma psychotherapist

Passive aggressive people will say things like 'I thought you knew' and 'I didn't know you wanted that now'.

Louisa Niehaus, trauma psychotherapist

They manipulate you into feeling angry because they can't own their anger.

Louisa Niehaus, trauma psychotherapist

If you're the one left carrying the can, you are the victim of passive aggressive behaviour.

Louisa Niehaus, trauma psychotherapist

You get so many mixed messages and you feel confused. In the end, you feel guilty and responsible.

Louisa Niehaus, trauma psychotherapist

The best way to deal with passive aggressive people is to remain clear. Confront the behaviour in an open and concise manner.

Louisa Niehaus, trauma psychotherapist

You have to model the correct behaviour with passive aggressive people. You have to set the tone.

Louisa Niehaus, trauma psychotherapist

Take a listen to her expert insights:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
A flirt or a predator? Callers share thoughts on flirting in light of #MeToo

A flirt or a predator? Callers share thoughts on flirting in light of #MeToo

It's become clear that more people are trying to carefully navigate the line between flirting and harassment, or sexual predation.

Zuma's permanent stay of prosecution bid puts NPA on trial, says Karyn Maughan

Zuma's permanent stay of prosecution bid puts NPA on trial, says Karyn Maughan

Reporter Karyn Maughan shares latest in Jacob Zuma's high court bid to have corruption charges against him permanently dropped.

Naked Scientist describes Hello Tomorrow Summit's 'deep technology' innovations

Naked Scientist describes Hello Tomorrow Summit's 'deep technology' innovations

The Naked Scientist, Chris Smith talks about all things science and answers listener's questions.

This mess that is Eish-kom, is the ANC's doing, says Eusebius

This mess that is Eish-kom, is the ANC's doing, says Eusebius

Eusebius McKaiser and callers discuss Ramaphosa's comment that South Africans will overcome load shedding like they did apartheid.

SA hasn't yet succeeded in fulfilling vision of the Constitution, panel says

SA hasn't yet succeeded in fulfilling vision of the Constitution, panel says

Eusebius McKaiser hosted a discussion on the gap between the vision of the Constitution and the lives of people in South Africa.

'Punitive action not the best response for employees battling with alcoholism'

'Punitive action not the best response for employees battling with alcoholism'

This HR exec says bosses needs to be more supportive towards staff affected by alcoholism, substance abuse or any other addiction.

Popular articles
Shift to stage 2: Over 800 megawatts back on line from Cahora Bassa - Eskom

Shift to stage 2: Over 800 megawatts back on line from Cahora Bassa - Eskom

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer predicts Stage 2 load shedding for Friday and Saturday and energy expert Chris Yelland also weighs in.

Capetonians water consumption down by about 536 million litres of water a day

Capetonians water consumption down by about 536 million litres of water a day

Mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg talks to Kieno Kammies about Cape Town's latest dam levels.

[WATCH] New Zealand unites behind Muslim community #WeAreOne

[WATCH] New Zealand unites behind Muslim community #WeAreOne

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern led a 2-minute silence at AL-Noor mosque on Friday as Muslim Call to Prayer broadcast live on national TV.

Distraught caller describes harrowing experience on Baden Powell Drive

Distraught caller describes harrowing experience on Baden Powell Drive

A CapeTalk caller explained to Lester Kiewit how he went through flames and over rocks, and debris to escape his car being stoned.

What happens to our bodies if we cut out sugar

What happens to our bodies if we cut out sugar

Naked Scientist Chris Smith explains.

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Eskom has warned that more power cuts can be expected as maintenance continues over the next twelve months.