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Passive aggression is deliberate


This research is starting to reveal hidden depths that people will step down to get either what they want or what they have been told achieve while not being discovered.


Passive aggression is a deliberate and masked way of covert feelings of anger (Long, Long & Whitson, 2009). It involves a variety of behaviours designed to get back at another person without the other recognising the underlying anger. In the long run, passive-aggressive behaviour can be even more destructive to relationships than aggression. Over time, relationships with a person who is passive-aggressive will become confusing, discouraging, and dysfunctional.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/passive-aggressive-diaries/201601/6-steps-confronting-passive-aggressive-behavior Accessed 17/03/2016

Paraphrase of Extract:

Without intent it is not considered as aggressive.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/passive-aggressive-diaries/201601/6-steps-confronting-passive-aggressive-behavior Accessed 17/03/2016

So, my own claims of being verbally aggressive were not ‘aggressive’ at all as they were done at a time when I was responding very quickly to a situation I was manoeuvred into. There was no premediated intent. I did not want to be aggressive in fact I mentioned twice how much my action really hurt me.


To delineate the range of behaviours that can be considered aggressive workplace behaviours, researchers have developed schemes of classification for workplace aggression. Neuman and Baron (1998) offer these three dimensions that encompass the range of workplace aggression:

  1. Expressions of hostility – behaviours that are primarily verbal or symbolic in nature
  2. Obstructionism – behaviours intended to hinder an employee from performing their job or the organization from accomplishing its objectives
  3. Overt aggression – violent acts

In an attempt to further break down the wide range of aggressive workplace behaviours, Baron and Neuman (1996) also classify workplace aggression based on these three dichotomies:

  1. Verbal–physical
  2. Direct–indirect
  3. Active–passive

Aggressive acts can take any possible combination of these three dichotomies. For example, failing to deny false rumours about a co-worker would be classified as verbal–passive–indirect. Purposely avoiding the presence of a co-worker you know is searching for your assistance could be considered physical–passive–direct.

Other researchers offer a classification system based on the aggressor’s relationship to the victim.

  1. Criminal intent (Type I) – this type of aggression occurs when the aggressor has no relationship to the victim or organization.
  2. Customer/client (Type II) – the aggressor has a relationship with the organization and aggresses while they are being served as a customer.
  3. Worker on worker (Type III) – both the aggressor and the victim are employees in the same organization. Often, the aggressor is a supervisor, and the victim is a subordinate.
  4. Personal relationship (Type IV) – the aggressor has a relationship with an employee at an organization, but not the organization itself. This category includes victims who are assaulted by a domestic partner while at work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workplace_aggression Accessed 17/03/2016

All this to me is starting to make me believe that while I felt wrong and inwardly hurt at work and because of my behaviour I was actually being far more rational than I had thought or even given myself credit for.

No, I am not paranoid, and I am not searching for excuses to offer on my behalf, I am trying to understand. Others are now starting to challenge the action of others as things are catching up with them as well



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