Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career
CBT Jealousy Depression Relationships Conflict Self-efficacy Happiness Goal-setting Motivation Wellness Sport Psych

Popular Articles

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

Popular Audios

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles



Previous        Next

The following is an example from website readers of passive-aggressive encounters they have experienced. Keep in mind that the suggested responses are not personal advice as a full evaluation of the situation is not available. As such, the suggestions may not work in every situation but are to give you an idea of possible ways to respond. Read: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Boyfriend's Critical Roommate

Question: My boyfriend's roommate is overly critical of every statement I make and brings negativity to my ideas. I think this is because he thinks we spend too much time together, but also because I think he hates women. He is trying to make me feel as uncomfortable as possible so that I will stop coming to a place where I am made to feel bad. Regardless, I'm not going to stop seeing my boyfriend, but how do I respond to his passive-aggressive comments?

> Response: This is a good example of not only passive-aggressive (PA) behavior but making assumptions about someone else's behavior. Now, certainly, it is possible that the girlfriend is able to “read” the roommate's intentions and personality, but frequently assumptions are wrong. For example, instead of the roommate hating women, perhaps he is uncomfortable with women or doesn't know how to treat them. Therefore, a technique that can potentially defuse the PA behavior as well as uncover more about the roommate's intentions is best used in this situation.

For example, the girlfriend could show an interest in the roommate's comments. In an inquiring way (with an innocent, not accusing tone) she could ask, “Oh, what makes you think that?” or “How do you think I could do that better?” If the roommate is truly being PA such non-defensive statements would throw him off his game. PA people want to irritate or escalate without having to take responsibility for their behavior. This type of inquiry places the responsibility for his statements on the roommate but in a non-defensive, non-hostile manner. If the girlfriend continues this type of gentle prodding every time, he will likely discontinue the comments if he is truly PA because PA people do not want to explain their comments—it defeats the purpose of a sneak attack.

However, if the roommate is not being passive-aggressive, but there is some other reason for his behavior, such an inquiry can possibly gain more information. The girlfriend may be able to establish a better understanding of his intention and comments.

Previous        Next


Questions and Comments

All comments and questions require approval so you may not see your submission immediately.

Provide Example of Passive-Aggressive Behavior.  Any comments or information you share may be used for future articles.  However, identifying information will not be used:

Message.  Provide an example of a passive-aggressive encounter you have had so suggestions can be provided on this site regarding how to handle such situations.

Enter email address (optional).
Your email address will not be shared or used in any way other than how you specify:

Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank

Recent Articles

Analyzing Your Moods, Symptoms, and Events with Excel At Life's Mood Log

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

Newest Audios

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training