ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Deal with People with Passive Aggressive Behaviors

Updated on February 13, 2015

Passive aggressive behaviors must be dealt with because sooner or later it will lead to a much more serious problem. It is very important to point out here that most people hardly really stop and think about it. This is because they tend to picture passive aggressive behaviors as a more severe problem that involve shooting and killing.

They do not realize that it could come in a more subtle form that goes undetected most of the time. This is even truer for the person that having the problem himself. There are passive passive aggressive behaviors, hostility manifesting in name-calling, and outright violence. All of these can be categorized as aggressive behavior, but they differ in severity and the level of risk involved.

One of the best techniques to deal with people with passive aggressive behaviors is to make sure that you do not reinforce it with your own behavior. In other words, to not react but responding with your intelligence. This always involved a bunch of different anger management techniques. One of the old but effective technique is counting to 10 (some people count it backwards). This technique can defuse passive aggressive behaviors at ninety percent most all the time, turning potentially dangerous situations into harmless inconveniences.

Passive Aggressive Behaviors
Passive Aggressive Behaviors

Besides, learning to spot passive aggressive behaviors is an important survival skill, particularly if you are living in a pretty rough area. Mind you that sometimes, seemingly friendly behavior can hide an aggressive aspect. For example, loud aggressive joking around may seem harmless enough, but it can quickly turn into violence in the wrong situation. Just a wrong word could trigger the unwanted reaction.

Think about the people you are around, and how violence adverse they are. If you're with people who hate getting into fights and will do anything to avoid a physical conflict, you don't really have to worry about aggressive behavior as much. If you're around people for whom fighting is no big deal, however, you might want to change your environment even if things seem pleasant enough.

Nowadays, there is a lot of research done about children and aggression. The link between video games and passive aggressive behaviors is a constant subject of debate. Some people think that it really doesn't matter what video games you play. They believe that aggressive children are aggressive not because of the entertainment they watch, but because they don't have enough healthy outlets as well. Other people argue that a lot of the movies and video games in media only reinforce impulse control and anger management issues that are already present in our society. Wherever you stand on this debate, it is not likely to go away soon.

Dealing with Passive Aggressive Behaviors Problem

Angry Woman
Angry Woman

People with passive-aggressive behaviors often show hostility and aggression in passive ways, and mostly they never seem to be a huge problem. Their aim is to resist job and social demands, using the common excuse that they “forgot” while demonstrating a negative attitude as to why they were late. Criticizing authority figures and failing to do their share of the work or not doing it at all are common behaviors of this disorder.

This person isn’t aware of their own self-defeating behaviors because they are simply a part of their personality. You can call those behaviors as habit because they somehow has controlled over their critical thinking.

He or she often feels others make unreasonable demands of them, but believes that they are doing a much better job than the credit they are given. Aggressive behavior or passive-aggressive behavior is displayed in varying degrees, and there are common signs of the personality disorder that help identify the behaviors.

People with passive-aggressive personality disorder tend to show signs like ambiguity, blaming others, chronic dilatory nature, forgetfulness, complaining, making excuses, lying, procrastination, resentment, sarcasm, and stubbornness, and inability to express anger or hostility openly.

These are only the most identifiable behaviors, and all of them may not be present, just as other traits may be, such as avoiding responsibility or fear of intimacy. How aggressive behaviors change over time is influenced by the stability of the home and the strength of or conversely the lack of cohesiveness throughout the interpersonal relationships within the family unit.

According to the famous child psychologist, Dr. Spock, infants are born with instincts for self-preservation that show up as what we label as aggressive behaviors. The may cry angrily when they are hungry or uncomfortable, and as they grow and mature they learn to channel these feelings constructively; it’s when children don’t learn to manage their emotions well that passive aggressive behaviors can emerge.

It's kind a hard to deal with people with passive aggressive behaviors because of their reluctance in complying with recommendations. It's even harder when they do not believe that they are indeed having such problem. In such cases, they are unaware of the impact of their behaviors towards others, and when confronted wit it, they become dismayed and fail to see how they could have provoked such a negative response from their friends or family members.

The goal of individual therapy is convince the patient that their unconscious feelings of negativity are being expressed passively onto everyone around them. The level of success reached through treatment varies for each individual because it’s greatly dependent on the effectiveness of the therapies used and the severity of their problem.

For more information on personality disorders visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness at

Would you like to write for HubPages?

Do you have a passion? Or perhaps something that you are very good at and that you want to share it with others? If that's so, why not express your thoughts with writings and have them published on HubPages? HubPages is a great place to share your opinions and thoughts, which at the same time earning you passive income. There are actually few different ways to earn money, and there are many hubs and threads that explain exactly how to do this for you, in simple but yet thorough explanation. HubPages is a great community to meet new friends and hubbers.

Sign Up Today with HubPages for free and be part of the community that contributes to a better world!


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    Andrea Gretz 

    5 years ago

    Thank You so much for the information. You have described my husband perfectly. He has hurt me physically by being sneaky and manipulative as well as our children. We have been married for 16 yrs. and have 3 children. He has turned violent on several occasions and I will continue to have lifelong medical issues due to his abuse. Recently he was arrested for assalt on me and we will never be together again. I am glad that this is over although I am having a very difficult time emotionally as he has completely ruined me as a person. I am trying to reference articals on Passive Aggressive relating to physical Violence can you give me any recommendations?

  • schoolmarm profile image


    8 years ago from Florida

    Really good information. Thanks

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    now i know that iam a passive aggrisive person because of the sign.yes i can withdraw sex even in the mid of intamacy, i am a liar, stuborn and i hate if i am confronted with my doing.

  • donotfear profile image

    Annette Thomas 

    9 years ago from Northeast Texas

    This is excellent information here. I understand completely what you are speaking of. It can be dangerous if not recognized and limited early on. Thanks for sharing a great article!!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)