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How to deal with passive aggressive behaviour



Passive aggressive behaviour can be frustrating and difficult to deal with, but there are some strategies you can use to manage it:


  1. Address the behaviour: When you notice someone behaving in a passive aggressive way, bring it to their attention in a non-confrontational manner. Let them know how their behavior is affecting you and that you would appreciate direct communication.

  2. Set boundaries: If someone is using passive aggressive behavior to manipulate or control you, it's important to set clear boundaries. Let them know what behaviors are not acceptable and be consistent in enforcing those boundaries.

  3. Stay calm: It's important to stay calm and not react to the passive aggressive behavior. This can be challenging, but it's important to remember that reacting emotionally will only fuel the behavior.

  4. Seek support: If the passive aggressive behavior is affecting your mental health, seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional.

  5. Practice self-care: Take care of yourself by engaging in activities that bring you joy and reduce stress. This can help you maintain your emotional balance and resilience when dealing with passive aggressive behaviour.


Remember that passive aggressive behaviour is often a sign of deeper issues that the person may be struggling with, such as insecurity or fear. Try to approach the situation with empathy and understanding, while also setting boundaries and taking care of yourself.


Addressing issues at work proactively when they occur and not letting them fester in one of the key topics my co-author Ken Cameron and I talk about in our 5 Star Amazon book 'I Need To F***ing Talk To You - The Art Of Navigating Difficult Workplace Conversations'


You can now order copies of our book here.

"Sometimes conversations suck, but you need to have them, and this book lays out how. Russell and Ken have put together and road-tested simple, up-front, and thoughtful approaches to awkward and difficult workplace conversations."

Andrew Phung, CBC's Kim's Convenience



To find some great tips on how to structure difficult workplace conversations why not check out this previous blog post 'Use the B.E.E.F Model to Correct Employee Behaviour'


Or check out our online course



In conclusion, dealing with difficult personalities can be a challenging task, but it is possible to manage and even thrive in a work environment with difficult personalities. By understanding the behavior, setting clear boundaries, focusing on what you can control, using active listening skills and taking care of yourself, you can create a more positive and productive work environment for yourself and your team.


I hope you found this blog useful. As you continue your leadership journey, don't forget that here at Bluegem Learning we are always here to assist you.



If you'd like to hear more from business leaders about handing difficult workplace conversations, check out our podcast here, new episodes bi-weekly ...


Well that's it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the blog and I'll be back soon with more, until then ... be a leader not just a boss!



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