How To Deal With Passive Aggressive People In Your Life

passive aggressive people in your life

2. Address the behavior

Focus on one issue at a time so people don’t feel attacked or overwhelmed. Let’s say a friend is always late. In a calm, firm tone say to her, “I would greatly appreciate it if you can be on time when we go out to dinner. I feel uncomfortable waiting in a restaurant alone.” Then notice her reaction. She might say, “You’re right. I’m always running behind. I’ll try to be more organized.” Then see if the lateness improves.

If she is evasive or makes excuses, request clarification about how to solve the problem. If you can’t get a straight answer, confront that too. Being specific pins down passive aggressive people. If nothing changes, keep setting limits or stop making dinner plans. With a close friend who continues to be late, it’s always an option to accept and acclimate to his or her shortcomings when the pros of the relationship outweigh the cons.

“Sometimes it’s not the people who change, it’s the mask that falls off.” – Haruki Murakami

As a psychiatrist, I teach my patients to address passive aggressive behavior directly as the person may not be aware of the impact on you since they are short on empathy. Hopefully, you won’t have many passive aggressive people in your life, but if you do, clear communication is a form of empowerment.

Read 12 Characteristics of Passive Aggression and How To Deal With A Passive-Aggressive Partner


Written by Dr. Judith Orloff MD
Originally appeared on Dr. Judith Orloff MD

Here’s an interesting video that you may find helpful:

If you’re forced to interact with a passive aggressive person, then you need to realize that it can get very tricky. You need to ignore their words and excuses and pay attention to their actions. You cannot change them or control their behavior. However, you can control yourself and your response.

Despite how frustrating it may get, you need to stay calm and be assertive in your statements. Understand this: it’s never about you. But it’s always about them. So keep your head held high and walk away from their drama.


How To Deal With Passive Aggressive People In Your Life
How To Deal With Passive Aggressive People In Your Life
passive aggressive people in your life pin
How To Deal With Passive Aggressive People In Your Life
Pages: 1 2
nv-author-image

Dr. Judith Orloff

Judith Orloff, MD is the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Her new book Thriving as an Empath offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people along with its companion The Empath’s Empowerment Journal. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating highly sensitive, empathic people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA and has a popular TEDX talk. Her other books are Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People, The Empowered Empath’s Journal, Emotional Freedom and Guide to Intuitive Healing. Explore more information about her Empath Support Online course and speaking schedule on www.drjudithorloff.com. View Author posts