How to Deal With a Passive Aggressive Person

Because there's nothing more frustrating than someone who won't just say what they actually mean.

If your coworker constantly hits you with sarcasm, or a friend secretly sabotages any situation, you might find that it's wearing on your relationship. On this week’s episode of “I Want to Like You,” the experts help you understand why someone might be angrily tap dancing around an issue instead of just coming out and telling you their wants or needs. Host and Real Simple editor Kristin Van Ogtrop speaks to Dr. Andrea Brant, psychotherapist and author of 8 Keys to Eliminating Passive-Aggressiveness, and Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach and author of Poised for Success.

According to Brandt, if someone grows up in a family where one parent is dominant and the other is subservient, the child will learn that powerful people cannot be approached directly. Therefore, they learn to subvert their anger to avoid conflict, and later in life it manifests in sarcasm, failing to follow through, sabotaging situations or withholding intimacy. The best way to handle a friend or partner who fits any of those categories? Be upfront with your needs. Let them know you expect them to be direct – and that they upset you less when they are honest.

To learn more about dealing with passive aggressive people, listen to the full episode below, and don't forget to subscribe on iTunes!