top of page

Productive Conflict – Passive-Aggressive

Have you ever been accused of being passive-aggressive? What does that mean anyway? The Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict Reference Guide approaches the behavior and this is what it says:

“We can all think of occasions when we desperately wanted to express anger at someone, but didn’t want a full-scale conflict. Passive-aggression can feel like the perfect solution. We get to subtly punish someone – enough that they notice, but not so much that they can call us on it. Its many forms (e.g., ignoring, eye-rolling, nit-picking) make it endlessly flexible. Sometimes the goal is to bother someone enough that they initiate the confrontation, at which point we have an invitation to let loose on them. But whatever the end goal, we may take more satisfaction from it than we care to admit. Ask yourself: What am I afraid will happen if I am direct?”

Passive-aggression is often times a buzz word that is used in the wrong context. I have been told I was being passive-aggressive when I have skirted the direct issue, danced around the difficult topic, or used a parable to try and get my point across, all in an attempt to try and be tactful, helpful, and less hurtful. Passive aggression is a ‘punishment’ tool, not a communication technique. This guide suggests that examples include “ignoring, eye-rolling, and nit-picking”, and I will take the latter two over being ignored any day. Subtle or not, I can only think that this type of punishing others only comes back to harmfully affect that person that is subjecting others to their destructive behavior even more. Does passive-aggressive behavior bother you? Do you find yourself demonstrating these behaviors?

To view the previous blogs in this Productive Conflict series, click the links below:

You can find more information including a video on Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict here:

23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page