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What is a good way of dealing with passive aggressive people?

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Quick Answer

One good way of dealing with passive aggressive people is to set and enforce definite consequences for their behavior. Another way to deal with passive aggressive people is to avoid engaging in styles of behavior or communication that bring out their worst tendencies.

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Full Answer

The ability to identify and enforce consequences following a passive aggressive person's irresponsible behavior is one of the most effective tools for dealing with such an individual, states Psychology Today. Articulate a specific plan of action regardless of whatever excuse the passive aggressive person tries to use regarding his conduct. The threat of real consequences forces the difficult individual to take pause and hopefully compels him to shift from an obstructionist mindset to a cooperative one.

Another strategy to deal with passive aggressive people is to avoid engaging in triggering behavior; namely, refraining from certain acts or styles of communication that cause a passive aggressive person to lapse into learned behaviors from his disorder. This approach involves being constantly vigilant for ways in which one could unknowingly be giving into, encouraging or soliciting the passive aggressive person's behavior. This is especially important to watch out for in romantic relationships, in which the non-passive aggressive partner risks falling into one of three roles: Passive Sufferer, Baby-Sitter/Rescuer or Coach/Judge. All three of these roles allow the passive aggressive person to enact unhealthy power struggles based on past experience.

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