13 Ways Manipulators Use Passive Aggressiveness To Manipulate and Abuse You


They’ll keep you thinking progress will be made, but covertly they’ll be stonewalling you.


Where they passively appear to be going along with you, but constantly come up with excuses or reasons why you can’t.

Which stalls progress or inhibits you coming to a decision.



This is where they undermine you in any way they can. They’ll ignore deadlines, sabotage projects.

Make you look like you’ve failed and you get the blame for it.

Again, this is about making themselves feel good, by crushing your self-esteem encouraging your insecurity.


 This is passive aggressive manipulation at its best. Threats such as:

If you leave me I’ll kill myself

 The tactic is to teach you a lesson. Saying: I’ll hurt myself to hurt you.

It’s appealing for your sympathy, aimed at making you feel guilty.  It’s attention-seeking drama aimed at you and gaining control again.


Narcissists are masters of at playing the victim, especially in their smear campaigns against you.

Making others believe they were the victim of your behavior, not the other way around.

Others play the martyr – not magnanimously, but so they can have control and feel better about themselves.

Victimhood can be a form of co-dependency.  Where you have a need to be needed.

Even if the other person rejects your desire to rescue them. Your obsession for fixing them is at the expense of your own needs and wellbeing.

12) Passive anger

Passive aggressiveness can be frustrating to deal with, as the passive-aggressive person can transfer their inner anger onto you.

They covertly and passively press your buttons and push your boundaries. If you become frustrated and angry they’ll then turn it back on you, asking:

Why are you so angry?

If you’re in a relationship where this behavior is happening then chances are you are codependent.

Their covert manipulation is a form of coercive control and emotional abuse.

By staying there and accepting it you are also enabling them to continue with it.

It’s a form of hidden anger and resentment towards others they seem are more fortunate than they are.

They have an exaggerated sense of their misfortune,  which they deem to be caused by others.

They can be sullen, argumentative and resentful and it can be so uncomfortable to be around them, it can be easier at times to take the path of least resistance.

Passive aggressiveness can be found in relationships, in the workplace – your colleagues.  Even your friends can use passive-aggressive behavior.

Don’t enable this behavior. It’s emotional abuse.

13) Dealing with passive aggressive people

The best response is not to engage with any of it.

If you nag them, scold them or pull them up for it, then you will most likely be gaslighted anyway.   They’ll project their behavior onto you.

And unwittingly force you into the parent role, which they can rebel against even more.

The only response is an assertive one.  Which is neither passive or aggressive.

Don’t blame them or judge them. Take emotions out of it.