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7 Things Passive Aggressive People Do to Vent Their Grievances At Work

7 Things Passive Aggressive People Do to Vent Their Grievances At Work

The passive aggressive person is always on the defensive but is always less confrontational than a purely aggressive person. In the short term, their behaviors may seem convenient and less assertive. Yet while they do well to satisfy themselves in the short term, in the long run, their passive aggressive behavior can be more destructive to interpersonal relationships in the workplace than outright aggression.

A passive aggressive person is able to keep themselves calm in the moment and waits for another time to get revenge, such as purposely missing a deadline at work. The thing is that they express their grievances by exacting revenge from behind the safety of plausible excuses rather than come out directly about problems. Here are some things passive aggressive people do to vent their grievances in the workplace.

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1. They make critical remarks

Passive aggressive people tend to offer sniping remarks at colleagues or workmates they are angry with. They may fixate on something other than what they are angry about, like how you dress approach an issue or conduct yourself. They would come at you to make you feel bad and incapable to fulfill the duties you are presented with. They intentionally do not want you to feel comfortable about yourself. So they will do well to get on the nerves of other people who may have upset them, or have deprived them of comfort and rest.

2. They are negative

They suddenly become pessimistic and work against anything their workmates do. They do not see the bright side in the activities or the accomplishments of their workmates. They may also try to obstruct coworkers from succeeding at projects at work. They wouldn’t want others in the office to complete their objectives and may end up humiliating coworkers. You should understand that passive aggressive behavior is always related to resentment and jealousy.

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3. They attack indirectly

They conceal their desire to make their workmate or anyone responsible for their hurt pay. They may plan an indirect attack that does not relate to the original ‘offense’ but still leaves their coworker hurt in the long-run. Passive aggressive people direct their attacks not at the behavior they are trying to stop but at the person they are trying to stop. The passive aggressive person revels in the excitement that they are causing the other person pain even if the pain seems slow and painful to the person who is being attacked.

4. They mask their anger

Since passive aggressive people are somewhat afraid of something, they do not express their anger directly. Their anger could be hidden beneath the surface of a calmly composed smile. A passive aggressive person often does not want to be detected because they do not enjoy direct confrontation. They would want to mask their anger from detection because of the fear of a direct expression.

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5. They sugarcoat their hostility

When people understand that they cannot express their anger in a direct form and that this anger won’t go away they seek socially acceptable ways to express their anger. Through sugarcoating their hostility and anger they are able to repress their negative emotions. You may have a passive aggressive person in your life that you do not realize is angry with you because they are acting nice to your face.

6. They play the victim

They tend to assume the role of the victim rather than accept that they are at fault. This is the passive part of being passive aggressive. They wouldn’t come out directly in the open to let the other person aware of what they must have been doing to get back at them. Many of them believe they are simply the victim and they have been wronged so many times by friends, families, and coworkers.

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7. They play tit-for-tat

Passive aggressive people at work play tit-for-tat and work to make revenge exciting. Here’s an example. Mark is being overworked and under-recognized in the workplace. Rather than explain his discomforts he calls in sick for two consecutive days, thus he misses key deadlines and this sabotages the productivity of his department which reflects poorly on his boss. Just like Mark the boss is also overlooked for a promotion and Mark’s mission is accomplished.

Featured photo credit: http://www.compfight.com via compfight.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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