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


PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE EXAMPLES


Index

Previous        Next

print
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

Insulted by Thank You Notes as a Gift

Question: When I graduated from college my aunt gave me a box of thank you cards along with a generous amount of cash. I feel the thank you notes were a passive-aggressive insult implying that I don't have proper manners. How do I respond to this?

Response: This is a good example to show why it is important not to respond to all passive-aggressive behavior. At times, even though you might believe the behavior is PA, it might not be. Also, sometimes the best response is the same response whether it is PA or not.

Now on Kindle! Dr. Frank's articles on handling passive-aggressive people. Tap to purchase on Amazon for $2.99
Let's look at this situation a little more in depth. First, are all gifts of thank you cards insults or passive-aggressive messages? No, it depends upon the circumstances. For example, I was at a 50th Jubilee for a friend who is a member of a convent and I notice that she received many gifts of thank you cards. I don't think the other nuns were being PA! I think they found some attractive note cards they thought she would be able to use for gifts and other acknowledgments of thanks. So, it is possible that if a person does send out thank you cards routinely, other people may think it is a good gift. It's possible her aunt thought they would be useful. For instance, her aunt may have had her future job search in mind.

However, let's say that the aunt is being PA because previously her niece did not acknowledge gifts. This could be an example of the aunt not being able to directly communicate rather than deliberately being insulting. Instead, the aunt, intending to be helpful and teach her niece to show appreciation of gifts from others, may have communicated this indirectly by giving the thank you notes rather than confronting her niece. In that case, she was not trying to insult her niece but trying to teach important manners that she needs in life.

So, what should this person do? The nice thing about this type of situation is that the answer is the same no matter what the aunt had in mind: thank her for the cards! If she truly thought she was being helpful, such a response is the most appropriate. If she was being PA, then it is best to not acknowledge the PA behavior but to listen to the message. In fact, if the niece has truly been remiss in writing thank you notes, she could even address that: "Thank you for the note cards. They will help remind me to acknowledge people such as yourself who have been so generous." If the aunt's gift was PA, then this response also models direct communication.

Previous        Next Example



print

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.
NO PERSONAL REPLIES WILL BE PROVIDED.

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