Passive Aggressive Traits

Some passive aggressive traits are obvious, but others are almost imperceptible ways that a passive aggressive person deals with anger. Psychologist says these passive aggressive traits may have their roots in childhood experiences.

  1. Hostile cooperation. This may be one of the most common of all passive aggressive traits. Feet-dragging while completing a task is one way to display these traits.  
  2. Joking. One of the passive aggressive traits that can release tension is making a joke to avoid a problem. Of course, it can escalate a problem if the joke is mean spirited and made at someone else’s expense.
  3. Acting cold. Psychologists say that if someone is sensitive to rejection, they may deal with a conflict by withdrawing their affection and employing the silent treatment. Also being unconnected, aloof or nonchalant is a way of withdrawing affection.
  4. Hostility. A passive aggressive person may not take the time to figure out why they feel angry. They may let things slide so they do not offend someone, but the anger continues.  
  5. Winning by losing. This is one of those passive aggressive traits that might just look like a person being agreeable. But not engaging with someone or shutting down a conversation is a passive aggressive way to take control.
  6. Exaggerated complaints of misfortune. A woe-is-me attitude keeps the attention focused on the complainer. It allows the passive agressive person to appear that they are a victim.
  7. Complaints of being misunderstood. One way someone with passive aggressive traits deflects any criticism is to make it known that they already feel underappreciated. This person understands that it is hard for someone to kick someone when they are down.
  8. Making something difficult. One of the hard-to-identify passive aggressive traits is throwing up hurdles to accomplishing something that he does not agree with. A boss who gives work at the last minute or withholds vital information may be displaying these traits.
  9. Covert defiance. While appearing to cooperate or agree, the passive aggressive person harbors resentment and may make remarks to others. He may also file the incident away to refuel his anger at that person at a later date. Holding a grudge is common.
  10. Retaliation. This can be overt or subtle, but a passive aggressive person may get back at someone while looking innocent. The payback can be subtle, such as being late, losing an important item or forgetting an important event.
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