Excel At Life logo


PsychArticles button PsychNotes button PsychApps button PsychAudios button PsychTests button About button
Support Excel At Life's Mission!
Help Translate
Spread the Word
Make Contribution
Become a fan on Facebook! Follow on twitter for site updates! Follow on Google+ for site updates!
Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career











Sport Psych


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

Conflict in the Workplace

Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

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

Promoting Healthy Behavior Change

10 Common Errors in CBT

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Rejection Sensitivity, Irrational Jealousy and Impact on Relationships

For Women Only: How to Have the Relationship of Your Dreams

What to Do When Your Partner's Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Relationship

Making Attributions for a Healthier Attitude

Happiness is An Attitude

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Co-Dependency: An Issue of Control

The Pillars of the Self-Concept: Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?


Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Meadow Relaxation

Rainy Autumn Morning

Energizing Audios

Quick Stress Relief

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Lotus Flower Relaxation

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

Kindle Books by Dr. Monica Frank


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

The Porcupine Effect: Pushing Others Away When You Want to Connect

What if You Considered Other Peoples' Views?

5 Common Microaggressions Against Those With Mental Illness

What to Expect from Mindfulness-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (MCBT) When You Have Depression and Anxiety

Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Lack Compassion? It Depends Upon the Therapist

When Needs Come Into Conflict

What to Do When Anger Hurts Those You Love

A Brief Primer On the Biology of Stress and How CBT Can Help

50 Tools for Panic and Anxiety

Coping With Change: Psychological Flexibility

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Ending a Bad Relationship

I'm Depressed. I'm Overwhelmed. Where Do I Start?


Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training

Riding a Horse Across the Plains

Cityscape Mindfulness

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

The Great Desert Mindfulness

Tropical Garden Mindfulness

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Probability and OCD

Choosing Happiness

Magic Bubbles for Children

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Cloud Castles for Children

Hot Air Balloon Motivation

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

Siblings Won't Help With Elderly Father

Question: I am fourth in a family of 5 siblings. Our elderly father is now 93 and still living on his own, primarily because I drive 200 miles each weekend to take care of a host of things for him. I've repeatedly tried to get my other siblings involved, but they ignore me. It is no more difficult for them to participate than me, yet they repeatedly just ignore me. Often I send an email asking if they'll visit on a holiday, or mentioning there's a problem with something in the house. And still, no response. I've been doing this for minimally 10 years. Even though I see the others maybe once a year, they never address this glaring issue and if I bring it up, they immediately leave or act as though I have some big emotional problem. A friend who is a psychologist, categorized this behavior as passive-aggressive. Is this true ? I did not find something that rang true in the list of behaviors at the website. I'm trying to understand the behavior, and find tools to deal with it all more effectively.

Now on Kindle! Dr. Frank's articles on handling passive-aggressive people. Tap to purchase on Amazon for $2.99
Response: Certainly, the aspect of this situation where the siblings won't address the problem directly but act as if she has a “big emotional problem” is passive-aggressive behavior (specifically blaming). The purpose of this behavior is to deflect an issue they don't want to face. By making her the “bad guy” they don't have to acknowledge the problem or their behavior. They don't have to say “I don't care about Dad” or “I don't want to help.” Obviously, acknowledging those things would make them look bad, so they protect their self-image by making the writer out to be the “emotional” or “crazy” one.

However, there is another issue here and that is the writer has been doing this for 10 years! It is time for her to recognize that they are not going to help. Part of her stress comes from beating her head against the wall that her siblings have created. By recognizing that she can't expect them to help, she can then move on to other decisions. “Knowing that my siblings aren't going to help, how do I best manage this situation? How can I take care of myself while taking care of Dad? What assistance is available to help with an elderly parent?” She can also decide what kind of relationship she wants to have with her siblings by recognizing their limitations and whether she can accept those limitations are not. But she cannot make them change or care—10 years is proof of that!

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:

Become a fan on Facebook! Follow on twitter for site updates! Follow on Google+ for site updates!