Passive Aggressive Style

The Passive-Aggressive Communication Style, if left unaddressed, can lead to feelings of sadness, resentment, anxiety and anger.

Characteristics of the Passive-Aggressive Style:

  • Get your own way without taking responsibility for your actions
  • Designed to attack others without ever having to take responsibility for your behaviour
  • Aggression is disguised so that we can avoid taking responsibility for it
  • Designed to soothe intense anger and get your way without being open and candid; an indirect strategy
  • Combines elements of both the passive and the aggressive styles
  • The anger of the aggressive style causes you to want to attack, while the fear of the passive style causes your to hold back from being direct

Experiences of the Passive-Aggressive Style:

  • Fear that you would be rejected if you were more assertive
  • Resentment at the demands of others
  • Fear of being confronted
  • Self esteem decreases and anxiety increases
  • Characterized by shame and guilt of letting others down
  • During times of stress, find yourself struggling with emotional regulation and become even more passive-aggressive
  • Prone to developing habits that could lead to difficulty managing moods, difficulty making decisions and difficulty navigating your relationships
  • Find it hard to say no, set boundaries and practice assertiveness in your relationships


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