Signs You're Dealing With a Passive-Aggressive Person—and How to Respond
We all bear witness to passive-aggressive behavior at times—or maybe even exhibit it ourselves on occasion. You know the type: the person who hooks you on false promises, builds up your hopes, but rarely comes through. The friend who can't be counted on yet has an armful of excuses to explain her negligence. The family member who sets himself up for failure, then complains about his bad luck. The boyfriend who says he'll call for a date, but then doesn't until it's too late to go out. The partner who claims to have forgotten to pick up groceries, rather than explain that he actually just couldn't be bothered. Much of the time, "passive-aggression is what's not done, more than what is," explains Scott Wetzler, PhD, a clinical psychologist, author of Living With the Passive-Aggressive Man and vice chairman of the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y.