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7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People
Rule 3. Always remain calm
by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist

Read the following to:
  • Discover the most important aspect of your behavior to manage when dealing with a PA person.
Related articles by Dr. Frank:

Previous: Find out how your behavior may interfere with handling a PA person.

Next: Learn the most important rule to managing PA behavior.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 30 seconds

Rules When Dealing With Passive-aggressive People

Rule 3. Always remain calm.

Once the PA person has caused you emotional distress to the degree that you lose control of your response, that person has achieved their goal. So, it is critical for you to remain calm to prevent this outcome.

In a PA situation, the calm person is more likely to succeed. The PA person wants to attribute blame and it is easiest to blame someone when that person is out-of-control. You need to remain calm no matter what your goal and chosen response. Otherwise, you will fall into the PA trap, be blamed, and possibly look at fault to others because you appear to be irrational. This is one of the primary goals of the PA person.

Obviously, many PA people are very skilled at pushing the sensitive buttons of their victim especially if they know you well. As a result, it can be very difficult to remain calm when confronted with their PA accusations. If you anticipate this may be true for you, then practice either through role-playing with someone, imagining the situation in your mind, or in front of a mirror. Imagine the PA behavior and practice remaining calm.

Use the following Excel At Life free resources to help you learn to manage your emotional response:

Next: Learn the most important rule to managing PA behavior.