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You’ve probably heard the term, “passive-aggressive.”  There is nothing to gain with this behavior. It often hides indirect resistance and anger, making a remedy for the situation so much harder. Of course, context is critical. Carefully listen when hearing (or reading) these statements:

“No worries.”

The person may be concerned but not ready to bring it to your attention. The danger in this is that the individual can be an explosion waiting to happen.

“Thanks in Advance.”

This statement is telling the other person that you expect them to act. It can change the current relationship.

“I’m not mad.”

Yes, they are. People have to be able to voice their opinions honestly and openly.

“So…”

One of the worst words in the English language. Why? It’s usually followed by words that indicate anger, frustration or agitation. Or, it can be the beginning of an awkward conversation. Either way, listen closely. When you hear these words, figure out what person is trying to tell you.

“I was only joking.”

No, they weren’t!   Passive-aggressive statements often contain sarcasm. It’s even more damaging if said in front of others or a written format viewed by a group of people.

“Your thoughts?”

The above can be an honest statement, depending on what follows. If the context is in a conversation relaying the speaker’s unhappiness on a work assignment, it’s a way of telling the person they screwed up.

“Hope it’s worth it.”

Here, is clearly a passive-aggressive statement. The person is telling you that whatever the idea is, they think it is bad. Chances are, they will ask you how it worked out as well, hoping to infer they told you it would fail.

“Just wondering ...”

The person stating this phrase knows they should not be asking you this request, but will regardless. However, this is also a typical beginning for very shy people before asking a valid question. Context is everything.

“Whatever.”

This one word speaks volumes. They are mad. You are angry. They choose not to want to continue the conversation.

“I was curious, surprised, confused about … ”

This phrase is a way to disguise some criticism. Although some may use this phrase as a way to “soften the blow,” it’s still a means of putting you down.

“If you really want to…”

Although this sounds accommodating,  it’s a sign of non commitment. Try to explore the source of their indecision.

“Fine.”

The person does not mean everything is fine. In fact, they say just the opposite. It immediately shuts down communication.

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