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Passive-Aggressiveness in your safety programs, are you aware?

When we drill down it comes to the person denying feelings of anger is classic passive aggressive behavior. Rather than being upfront and honest when questioned about his feelings, the passive aggressive person insists, “I’m not mad” even when he or she is seething on the inside regarding the safety issue . Or ” Fine.” ” Whatever.” And not speaking up about that safety issue that could impact other or themselves!  And yes it occurs among both men and women, in all civilized cultures and at every socioeconomic level. Why is this dysfunctional behavior so widespread?

I had a partner like this in health and safety one time and I would like show how is actions almost destroyed our whole team, passive aggression involves a variety of behaviors designed to “get back” at another person without the other recognizing the underlying anger. The P-A seems to actively endorse an idea or action, then passively resists it. She/he may tell you how much you deserved a promotion, then work to undermine you. One potential remedy is to rely on your team to set and reinforce expectations for the person.

Yes and NO!, Sarcasm being directly aggressive verbally, here the sarcastic person and target are both aware of aggression in what is said. Whereas, Passive aggressive person denies any aggressive intent, but still leaves the target of their aggression feeling hurt.

Passive behavior is often dishonest and involves letting other people violate your personal right to be treated with respect and dignity. Aggressive Behavior involves expressing your feelings indirectly through insults, sarcasm, labels, put-downs, and hostile statements and actions.

Where the pages of these actions start to form

Asking Threat-Based Questions

Sometimes a passive aggressive-comment can come off as a confrontation-like accusation,. One example is asking threat-based questions like, “Why on earth would you ever think that?” or even something as simple as, “Are you nuts?” (Unless, of course, the person you’re talking to says something truly off the wall, like she wants to go skydiving without a parachute.)

These questions are not only passive-aggressive, but they also put the other person on immediate defense.

Another passive-aggressive behavior happens when you want something but aren’t asking for it directly. “For instance, when a friend mentions she’ll be attending a party and you say, “I wish I could go,” “It’s better to ask, ‘Any way I could come?’ It’s more direct and doesn’t leave your friend feeling pressured or uncertain.”

Another, far less benign way this type of passive aggression can manifest is through small put-downs and insults, or “I wish I could get a new pair like that — but, sadly, all my shoe money goes to rent.”

Comments like these (perhaps intentionally) make the receiver feel guilty for getting or doing whatever it is that you can’t.

Sometimes jealousy and passive aggression combine. Instead of being able to react the way you might want to (happy for the person), you instead say something that just sounds, well, rude.

For example, if a friend gets engaged and you’ve been waiting years for your boyfriend to propose, you might call her new bling “cute” or say you thought the diamond would be bigger. If a friend buys a house and you’re nowhere near a down payment, you might call his place “cozy” or remark that it’s a good “fixer-upper.”

If you catch yourself doing this, take a step back and apologize. It’s better to acknowledge your misstep — even your jealous feelings, if you’re talking to a close pal — than mistakenly assume that no one caught it.

“Passive-aggressive behavior has 100 percent deniability and zero percent accountability,”. “You can always say you didn’t receive the invitation, you lost it, or it completely slipped your mind, while your true motive — to turn down the invitation — remains hidden.” Passive aggressive behaviour takes many forms but can generally be described as a non-verbal aggression that manifests in negative behavior. It is where you are angry with someone but do not or cannot tell them. Instead of communicating honestly when you feel upset, annoyed, irritated or disappointed you may instead bottle the feelings up, shut off verbally, give angry looks, make obvious changes in behaviour, be obstructive, sulky or put up a stone wall.

Some examples of passive aggression might be:

Non-Communication when there is clearly something problematic to discuss

Avoiding/Ignoring when you are so angry that you feel you cannot speak calmly

Evading problems and issues, burying an angry head in the sand

Procrastinating intentionally putting off important tasks for less important ones

Obstructing deliberately stalling or preventing an event or process of change

Fear of Competition Avoiding situations where one party will be seen as better at something

Ambiguity Being cryptic, unclear, not fully engaging in conversations

Sulking Being silent, morose, sullen and resentful in order to get attention or sympathy.

Chronic Lateness A way to put you in control over others and their expectations

Chronic Forgetting Shows a blatant disrespect and disregard for others to punish in some way

Fear of Intimacy Often there can be trust issues with passive aggressive people and guarding against becoming too intimately involved or attached will be a way for them to feel in control of the relationship

Making Excuses Always coming up with reasons for not doing things

Victimisation Unable to look at their own part in a situation will turn the tables to become the victim and will behave like one

Self-Pity the poor me scenario

Blaming others for situations rather than being able to take responsibility for your own actions or being able to take an objective view of the situation as a whole.

Withholding usual behaviours or roles for example sex, cooking and cleaning or making cups of tea, running a bath etc. all to reinforce an already unclear message to the other party

Learned Helplessness where a person continually acts like they can’t help themselves – deliberately doing a poor job of something for which they are often explicitly responsible

Passive aggression might be seen as a defence mechanism that people use to protect themselves. It might be automatic and might stem from early experiences. What they are protecting themselves from will be unique and individual to each person; although might include underlying feelings of rejection, fear, mistrust, insecurity and/or low self-esteem.

Yes the danger can lurk in the actions!

What Causes Passive-Aggressive Behavior?

Passive-aggressive behaviors can have grave consequences to relationships between people in families, romances, and even in the workplace. So why is this often destructive behavior so common? There are a few things that can contribute to the prevalence of passive-aggression.

  • Upbringing: Some suggest that passive-aggressive behavior may stem from being raised in an environment where the direct expression of emotions was discouraged or not allowed. People may feel that they cannot express their real feelings more openly, so they may instead find ways to passively channel their anger or frustration.
  • Situational characteristics: The situation also has an influence on passive-aggressive behavior. When you are in a situation where displays of aggression are not socially acceptable, such as at a business or family function, you might be more inclined to respond in a covert way when someone makes you angry.
  • Taking the easy road: Being assertive and emotionally open is not always easy. When standing up for yourself is difficult or even scary, passive-aggression might seem like an easier way to deal with your emotions without having to confront the source of your anger.

Passive-aggressive behavior is the indirect expression of hostility, such as through procrastination, stubbornness, sullen behavior, or deliberate or repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible.

·        Passive-aggressive behaviour often utilises malicious compliance; that is, veiling one’s intent to not do something in performing the specific task in such a way that an unwanted result is caused. Another source characterizes passive-aggressive behavior as: “A personality trait marked by a pervasive pattern of negative attitudes and characterized by passive, sometimes obstructionist resistance to complying with expectations in interpersonal or occupational situations. Behaviors: Learned helplessness, procrastination, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or deliberate/repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible” Other examples of passive-aggressive behavior might include avoiding direct or clear communication, evading problems, fear of intimacy or competition, making excuses, blaming others, obstructionism, playing the victim, feigning compliance with requests, sarcasm, backhanded compliments, and hiding anger

Yes you ALWAYS have the right to refuse unsafe work or events but in the workplace  “The worst case of passive-aggressive behavior involves destructive attitudes such as negativity, sullenness, resentment, procrastination, ‘forgetting’ to do something, chronic lateness, and intentional inefficiency.” If this behavior is ignored it could result in decreased office efficiency and frustration among workers. If managers are passive-aggressive in their behavior, it can end up stifling team creativity. P bar Y Safety says, “It would actually make perfect sense that those promoted to leadership positions might often be those who on the surface appear to be agreeable, diplomatic and supportive, yet who are actually dishonest, backstabbing saboteurs behind the scenes.

If you have got this far in this safety then passive aggression is an area of interest to you and possibly a problem in your life or the life of someone close to you.

Five tips for overcoming your own passive-aggressive behaviours:

·        Become aware of the underlying feelings causing your behaviour

·        Become aware of the impacts of your behaviour and how your desire to defeat others, get back at them or annoy them creates yet further uncomfortable feelings for yourself

·        Take responsibility for your actions and reactions

·        Try to not feel attacked when faced with a problem but instead take an overall objective view of the situation

·        Learn to be assertive in expressing yourself. You have a right to your thoughts and feelings so communicate them with honesty and truth and strengthen your relationships

Five tips for coping with the passive-aggressive behaviour of others:

·        Become aware of how passive aggression operates and try to be understanding towards your partner

·        Explain to your partner how their behaviour towards you is affecting you. Communicate calmly without blaming – i.e. talk about how you feel and what you think without using language that will enflame the situation more. For example you might say “I feel upset by your behaviour” rather than “you’ve done this or that”.

·        Be aware of your responses to others and yourself– do not blame yourself for the behaviour and reaction of others

·        Be honest about your part in the situation

·        If the aggressive behaviour of others continues to affect you in a negative way, set clear boundaries around yourself – rules for what you will and won’t accept. Stay strong and focused and get on with your life in a positive way.

In the short term, passive aggressive behaviors can be more convenient than confrontation and generally require less skill than assertiveness. They allow a person to exact revenge from behind the safety of plausible excuses and to sit on the office chair all week long rather than complete a list of undesirable chores or tasks. Truth be told, while momentarily satisfying or briefly convenient, in the long run, passive aggressive behavior is even more destructive to interpersonal relationships than aggression.

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