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EgaoNoGenki's avatar

What are some examples of being passive-aggressive?

Asked by EgaoNoGenki (1141 points ) January 20th, 2010

Can you give us any specific situations in which someone was passive-aggressive?

What did this situation involve, who was the guy/gal acting that way, and how was their act passive-aggressive?

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16 Answers

mattbrowne's avatar

Ignoring emails on purpose. Ignoring instant messages on purpose.

torch81's avatar

If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you.

EgaoNoGenki's avatar

@torch81 (That’s a fine example of a passive-aggressive answer!)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Agreeing with people on the surface and undermining them when their backs are turned.

Harp's avatar

The current Senate is a showcase for passive-aggressive behavior. The GOP doesn’t want to come out and say “We’re just plain against health care reform”, so instead they say “health care reform legislation is moving too fast” and then do everything possible to kill it by stalling the process, all while making no positive contribution to the effort.

Austinlad's avatar

Sarcasm—what my dad used to call “making a crack.”

wonderingwhy's avatar

When the person you’re angry at calls to ask if everything is ok at home while they’re on vacation and you say “Yep, couldn’t be better” while their house is burning down behind you.

nebule's avatar

shit, bloody hell, I’m passive aggressive… oh god…

gemiwing's avatar

The silent treatment as punishment.
Refusing to engage with someone as punishment.
Witholding sex as punishment.
Witholding affection as punishment.
Phrases like these are popular with passive aggressive behavior:
If I had know how much trouble you would be I would have never been your friend
I’m fine—when they are obviously not

Basically being passive while maintaining an aggressive stance. The intent is to hurt them like they made you hurt by denying them contact, resolution or dialogue.

The whole point is to keep yourself a victim while punishing the other person or group that ‘wronged’ you.

smashbox's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities, the link you gave was great, I’m still laughing!

trailsillustrated's avatar

hahaha I love when people post funny sites for me to read-thanks @jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities

Nullo's avatar

Sabotage, wrapped in cheerful, “Why, whatever could you mean?” smile.
My own specialty is forgetting that I was asked or told something. I’m not sure if that’s natural, or if I taught it to myself.

avvooooooo's avatar

I know this guy who likes to anonymously post people’s private information that he finds out somehow on websites. Stuff that should never be posted. And because its “anonymous,” he mistakenly thinks people never know its him and can’t trace it back to him. That seems pretty passive-aggressive to me.

Samantha5355's avatar

One of my favorites is, “I’m not angry; I’m disappointed.” I call that the Andy of Mayberry Syndrome.

Then there is the non-apology: “I’m sorry if I’ve hurt your feelings.”

The use of the word “inappropriate” has become a standard in the passive/aggressive vocabulary. Its definition has become fluid enough to apply to any situation. Laughing in church used to be inappropriate. Scatological humor, as hilarious as it can be when done well, was inappropriate in most situations. Now anything and everything a P/A doesn’t like is inappropriate.

I think I could go another few lifetimes without hearing the phrase, “What kind of a message does that send to the children?” It’s easier to speak up in a saintly manner in the name of all children than to say, forthrightly, “That offends me.” (By the way, the word “children” is always pronounced “chood-run” when saying this.)

The only P/A behavior that really gets under my skin occurs at parties, when dull people pretend to be fascinating quiet people. They will mention their “dry” senses of humor, and how their “still waters run deep.” Then they sit like statues and make others bust their chops to make conversation. When the kinder, more socially adept people are finally exhausted and bored beyond belief, the P/A person invariably totes out these two phrases: “I’m a better listener than I am a talker,” and, “You certainly have the gift of gab!” (this with some almost subtle eye-rolling).

A friend of my calls these people “bench sitters.” Perfect.

Val123's avatar

My ex used to not respond when I’d tell him something. For example, “There’s a Quick Trip and I have to go to the bathroom.” He wouldn’t respond or react in anyway. So I’d repeat it, and he’d snarl, “I HEARD you!!!” He did that all the freakin’ time. That’s one of the reasons he’s my Ex.

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