Have you ever felt frustrated by something but hold back voicing your feelings?  Instead, you take the “calmer” approach and mutter snyde remarks under your breath or begin acting cold/distant/detached.   Here’s where the passive-aggressive lie comes into play- you aren’t mitigating the situation through your little jabs or seemingly unaffected behaviors, you’re actually only making it worse.  Let’s look at a real world example.  Your co-worker Jane is really getting on your last nerve.  You guys are working on a presentation and she keeps slacking off.  But you don’t want to cause any friction among the two of you so you let your anger fester.  It slowly comes out in the form of side comments directed at her which are uncalled for.  Then Jane becomes annoyed at your behavior, so on and so forth.  Taking the passive-aggressive approach did just one thing- created another problem.  Initially you were the only team member who had a problem, but since you didn’t voice your frustration, the annoyance leaked out and caused Jane to become angry with you.  Being passive-aggressive really tempered all possibilities of a bad outcome here right?  I’m not suggesting that you voice every complaint that pops into your head.  After all, some days we are just in overreact mode; however, if you do have a valid issue then putting it on the table in a rational and cool fashion is the best approach.  Why?  Well if you can make a valid argument for your grievance then it’s likely that you will be understood, agreed with and the problem will be fixed (or at least improved upon).  Then you can move on with your day and avoid creating another problem.   Doesn’t your problem deserve the spotlight?  Do you really want to lessen its importance by having a second issue to address on top of your own?  People who take a mature approach to addressing their concerns not only actually have the issue dealt with, but they also command a great deal of respect from those around them.  Why not earn this same respect and alleviate your problems from the get go.  Say no to acting like a child by saying no to passive-aggressive behavior. Not only will your problems thank you, but so will everyone else.

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