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How to Be Passive Aggressive

by eHow Relationships & Family Editor

Contrary to popular thought, recent psychological research has shown that passive aggression can actually be a healthy alternative to aggressive aggression. If you're feeling slighted, it can be a happy medium between letting the issue go but feeling resentful and making your feelings known during a screaming match. If you're used to engaging in healthy interpersonal relations, here are some tips for developing a passive aggressive personality.

Foster a deep, underlying sense of anger and injustice. Yes, your life has been hard. No, nobody has ever truly appreciated your amazing abilities. Your parents were detached and your teachers disinterested. It's time to fight back, passively.

Concentrate on reasons why the people in your life are not quite worth your time. No flaw is too small to focus on. Perhaps her nose is just a little too large. Maybe you don't like your friend's laugh. Your coworker might be too ambitious.

Think of little things you could do to inconvenience others. You'd be surprised just how easy it can be to really throw a wrench into somebody's day. A few late appearances and unanswered emails should do the trick.

Take bold inaction when necessary. There's no reason you should ever feel pressured to "succeed in life." If you are feeling overwhelmed by the expectations of others, crawl into the fetal position until the storm has passed.

Remember that insincerity is the best way to hide your true feelings. For instance, if you are jealous of a co-worker's promotion, warmly congratulate her. Then make a note to stab her in the back at the most convenient opportunity.

Fail to communicate. When your spouse, boss or friend comes to you with wringing hands, look shocked and appalled at their distress. Find out what the trouble is and proceed to tell them you had no intention of causing a problem. Ask if there is something you could do to help.

Tip

  • Though failing to appear on time and not returning phone calls are classic signs of passive aggression, feel free to get creative. For instance, you could invite your sweetheart over and prepare her least favorite meal. Forget to feed your friend's dog when he goes on vacation. The options are endless.