Question: My coworker has on five occasions commented on me never being at the office. I work at home one or two days a week as do others. However, he seems to want to point out that I'm never at the office. It always seems to be a joke. For example: I would compliment him on his attire and he would say "I always dress like this. You would know if you were here." Not sure what to say back to him....help?!!Response: This is a good example of a passive-aggressive way of making an indirect criticism and causing defensiveness in the other person. However, as indicated in the article "Crazy-Makers", the purpose of passive-aggressive behavior is to create a reaction without having to be responsible. So, in this instance, if the woman would respond defensively, "I have permission to work from home" he would know he had achieved his goal of creating a reaction but would deny responsibility by stating something like "I was just teasing you." If she were to be more direct and say "Stop hassling me about working from home" he would somehow place the blame on her "Wow! Aren't you sensitive? I didn't mean anything by it."
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