1. Communicate via notes
Passive aggressive people LOVE communicating indirectly. A note is the perfect way for them to let off steam and aggressively “put you in your place” while avoiding the conflict altogether, since they don’t have to be there when you read it. Normal people bring up conflicts when they can discuss them and find a solution together, they don’t dump and run.
2. Boiling over and having an emotional blow up
Normal, healthy individuals deal with problems when they arise. Passive aggressive people hate conflict, so they ignore it until they reach their boiling point and vomit conflict everywhere. You can do something that really hurts them but not know about it until months later when you commit a tiny micro-sin like being 5 minutes late and they’re blowing up and talking about how your entire friendship is always like this. It seems to come from nowhere.
LOL. Literally no one over the age of 5 should be doing this.
4. Never forgetting a minor wrong you committed against them
A passive aggressive person is like an elephant, they truly never forget. While a normal person is able to air their grievances and experience that catharsis — thus being able to rid themselves of that emotion, it builds slowly inside a passive aggressive person. They keep a mental list of all the things you’ve done wrong while they — always the saint — have bitten their tongue.
5. Suddenly giving you the cold shoulder
The way you know a passive aggressive person is mad at you is that they suddenly ignore you. They might think they are being subtle, but suddenly having a completely different disposition towards someone is never subtle. You can spot that shit a mile away, and it’s now up to you to play a guessing game as to why they’re pissed at you and planning when to bring it up knowing it’s going to result in an emotional tantrum (see #2).
6. They punish you
A normal relationship works like this: you get mad, you have a fight, you get over it. A passive aggressive person doesn’t want to have the fight, so it’s somehow better for them to silently stew for months (or even years) and criticize you for small things, like your restaurant order or being a few minutes late. It’s never actually about that tiny indiscretion, it’s always secretly about some big perceived wrong you committed in the past.
7. Say “it’s fine” about a million times in a conversation, without ever being fine
When you do engage in open conflict with the passive aggressive person, they try to get out of it as quickly as possible instead of figuring the situation out. That, or they “punish” you by not being willing to work it out. Either way, they’ll keep repeating “I’m fine” while you both continue to know that they are not, in fact, fine.
8. They one-up you
Because the passive aggressive person is holding onto a lot of past hurt, they try to feel better about it by constantly one-upping you. They have a deep well of unexpressed anger they can only allow themselves to express in tiny, deliberate jabs.
9. In groups, they talk about you like you aren’t there
In group hangouts, you can discover why your passive aggressive is really mad. For instance, in conversation with another person, in front of you, they’ll drop a bomb like this, “Well, Amy never wants to hang out with me anyways.” Um, what? Where did that come from and why would you bring it up like this? Sigh.
10. They are ALWAYS the victim
A passive aggressive person views themselves as both a saint and a victim. They are a saint because they always try to get over a conflict themselves without bringing it up to others, and a victim because this is their burden to bear alone. Except, no one is asking them to do this. It isn’t healthy or effective. They are filling themselves up with toxic resentments and worsening every relationship they have. If only they could cut out this faux-sainthood middle man and just express and release the feelings as they occur — we’d all be better off.