5 Signs of Passive Aggressive Behavior at Work

Passive aggressive behavior which is also a personality type is hidden aggression. A passive aggressive person exhibits persistent negativity in almost all of his interactions with others. Their demeanor is mostly helplessness and lack of cheer. Passive aggressive people hold the assumption that other people know what they may be thinking or feeling. This behavior is detrimental for an employee as it affects his performance.

#1 Procrastination

Passive aggressive individuals are the biggest procrastinators at the work place. For most people, procrastinating is a subconscious decision, for a passive aggressive person though, it is a conscious decision. The passive aggressive does not say no when handed a task. They keep it off until the last minute and rush to do it because it is not something they wanted to do. Another reason for the procrastination is to punish the person who gave them the task.

#2 Resenting requests

Supervisors and co-workers requests are met with negativity as their requests seem unfair. An employee who is passive aggressive does not give their opinion or express what they feel about a task. They accept to do it and bottle up resentment at the other person for making the request. A passive aggressive worker forgets that they can say no to a request if they do not feel comfortable doing it.

#3 Hostility

Passive aggressive behavior is expressed by way of being hostile. Passive aggressive people do not express themselves and always presume that those around them are against them. When a request they are not keen on working is made, their first reaction is hostility as they assume it was made to annoy them. For instance, if they already have a heavy workload and get some more work, they imagine their supervisor has something against them. They do not point out that they already have a full schedule.

#4 Being Silent

The most notable characteristic of a passive aggressive person is the disconnect between what is said and what is done. The best way they exhibit this behavior is by using the silent treatment. Silence usually means consent but not for a passive aggressive. Their silence is bottled up anger and disagreement, but they do not communicate these feelings. They feel bigger than the other person by withholding communication. The usual response on enquiring if there is a problem is a no or a general one word answers to all questions.

#5 Deliberate Mistakes

Passive Aggressive people will be spotted for their poor execution of tasks. They make deliberate mistakes while carrying out a task hoping not to be asked again due to their inability to perform. All poor performance at the workplace does not mean it is passive aggressive behavior, but recurrence could be a sign.

A passive aggressive looks at the world as being unfavorable to him. Anything that does not work as they expected is looked at as being unfair or unjust. They will mostly be inept and not want to put too much effort into a task. A supervisor or manager should be able to pick this personality type and deal with it appropriately.


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