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5 Ways to Root Out Passive Aggression at Work

Passive-agressive, FWD.Us

I am leading a call at 2 p.m. You can join, but don’t have to. But you should.

Avoiding responsibility for tasks, purposely missing deadlines, withholding important information, and going over a boss’s head to make him or her appear incompetent–these just a few of the ways employees let passive aggression slip into the office.

Signe Whitson has made passive aggression her speciality. She’s a licensed social worker, coauthor of the book “The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive-Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools and Workplaces” and COO of the Hagerstown, Maryland-based Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute. She defines passive aggression as “a deliberate and masked way of expressing hidden or covert feelings of anger” and refers to a wide range of behaviors all designed to get back at another person without that person recognizing the underlying anger.

Whitson suggests a handful of strategies when dealing with these maddening covert attacks.

Don’t mirror the anger.

Any passive-aggressive interaction involves two people: passive aggressive Player A who hopes Player B will respond angrily, essentially acting out Player A’s anger.

“If Player B recognizes the passive-aggressive behavior for what it is and takes conscious steps not to engage in it, not to mirror the anger back, that’s the best line of defense–being responsible for our own behavior and responses,” Whitson says.



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This entry was posted on January 22, 2014 by in Career, Romance and tagged , , , .
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