Have you ever interacted with a person with explosive episodes of passive-aggressive syndrome? Probably not, but you must have experienced the brute effects of passive-aggressive bullying at some point. How do you identify a passive-aggressive bully, how does it affect you, and how can you manage it effectively? Here is everything you need to know about passive-aggressive Bullying.
What is Passive Aggressive Bullying?
Passive aggressive Bullying might take ages to diagnose, but its mental effects might push you to the edge. It’s a type of Bullying whereby the bully might appear innocent before the public eye but still unleash terror behind the scenes. In other cases, passive aggressive bullies don’t know they’re bullies.
What is the Difference Between Passive Aggressive Bullying and Other forms of Bullying?
A passive aggressive bully might be hard to spot, unlike other forms whose effects are visible. Unlike other bullies who openly harass people, passive aggressive bullies often use subtle cues, like laughing sarcastically when someone wins or loses.
A passive-aggressive bully is also highly likely to accuse you of not being appreciated as a joke, even on the tiniest of details, while other bullies confront you directly. The final difference is that passive-aggressive bullies impose sabotaging rules in a soft way for you to break them and then accuse you of being careless.
What are the Common Types of Passive Aggressive Bullying?
Stating out the types of passive aggressive bullying could help you know if you have been dealing with a bully in the first place. Here are the common passive aggressive bullying examples that you can easily identify:
1. Silent Treatment
The silent treatment is one of the most brutal weapons that passive aggressive bullies use on other people. To achieve this, the bully ignores the other person’s presence and chooses not to talk to them.
For example, you meet with the supervisor manager in the corridors of the offices, and they completely ignore you. You may whisper or shout a “hey” only for them to appear disinterested.
The treatment leaves you doubting whether they heard you in the first place or chose to ignore you. Similarly, you could post a photo on social media, and the bully skips it without a second thought. What’s intriguing about silent treatment is that it occurs so randomly that it might take you years to know that the silent treatment was deliberate.
Passive aggressive bullies have perfected the art of being stubborn, especially when dealing with their juniors or those close to them. For example, you could be seeing signs of rainfall but the bully would fail to carry an umbrella, telling you that you are a daydreamer.
3. Sullen Behavior
Have you ever walked into an office and found someone so grumpy, sullen, and moody that you were scared to approach them? When you make an inquiry, their answers don’t get any better, and they are laced with soft insults and ridicule. It’s passive aggressive workplace bullying.
You could ask to see a company’s director, only for the bully to ask whether you are sure the director would be interested in meeting you. Such bullies keep whining about anything and everything, making everyone around them uncomfortable.
4. Failing to Complete Tasks
Another perfect example of passive aggressive bullying is when a person deliberately chooses not to complete a task. When a person abandons a task halfway without a valid reason but with intent, that becomes an example of passive aggressive Bullying.
In some cases, the bully could leave the task unattended so that juniors could complete it for them. In other cases, leaving the tasks unattended could be a subtle way of rattling bosses.
5. Subtle Insults
Passive aggressive bullies have an A-level of insults that you might not suspect at first. You have submitted your assignment to the teacher, and they tell you that you are so bright that you nearly outscored Mike. You know that Mike is a slow learner and rarely attains the pass mark, and later on, it hits you that the teacher was mocking you.
Passive Aggressive Bullying Red Flags
A passive aggressive bully cannot stay in the closet for long, and if you pay close attention, you might identify several red flags. The common red flags to note in a passive aggressive bully include the following:
· Failing to cooperate and making deliberate mistakes to annoy others.
· Showing resentment towards juniors and people they are not answerable.
· Constant mood changes and negative attitudes.
· False accusations against other people.
· Constant denial of the truth
· Acting as the victim all the time
How to Deal with a Passive Aggressive Bully
Dealing with passive aggressive bullies who depict themselves as victims is hard. However, these strategies could help you deal with bullying:
Familiarity breeds contempt, especially with passive aggressive bullies. However, when you create boundaries and stick by your rules, you put them in check, and it becomes hard for them to cross them.
Call out the Behavior
Addressing bullish behavior is another strategy to stop it from recurring. If the bully tries the bullish jokes, you can confront them publicly or privately to stop it. Tell them that their behavior is uncalled for and should stop immediately.
Know That You are Right
Passive aggressive bullies have perfected the art of making people guilty even when they are not wrong. However, if you are sure you did nothing wrong, don’t shy away from speaking the truth.
Passive aggressive bullies take advantage of naïve people to impose their authority. You can stop them by being direct and telling them off directly.
Strategies to Deal with Passive Aggressive Bullies
There are two strategies on how to stop passive aggressive bullying. These are:
· Set clear expectations
Whether the bully realizes their character or not, set clear boundaries and stick by them. Tell them the ramifications of their actions, keep your word, and don’t back down.
· Call out the behavior
Anytime the bully seems to throw tantrums, confront them and let them know that they are projecting passive aggressive behavior. This strategy will make them realize that their actions are known and cannot continue for long.
Passive aggressive Bullying can trigger mental health issues if not stopped. It can lead to low productivity, anxiety, and stress, affecting productivity. Identifying the red flags early and using the strategies above can help you manage passive aggressive bullies. In some instances, the bullying might push you to the edge. If this occurs, you can always seek extra help by confiding to friends, family, or a professional. Don’t let passive aggressive Bullying ruin your overall wellness.