Which would you rather deal with, a full on aggressive work associate or one who is extremely passive aggressive? Is one easier to deal with over the other? If so why and if not why not?
My personal preference is to deal with the full blown aggressive. For one thing, they are not in control of their actions due to the adrenaline surge. Sure it can be intimidating but it’s amusing to sit back and watch them self destruct while you remain calm and poised. This tactic works well with an aggressor. For their goal is to rattle with their display.
The passive aggressor is certainly more calculating and therefore can do more damage. Generally, the passive aggressor will not confront you directly, rather go over your head and you’ll hear about it from a superior. Depending on how you handle this reprimand/criticism, the passive aggressor will consider the battle won or lost. It has been my experience that passive aggressors thrive on the fall out.
The best lessons I have learned through experience, to not let them know what you’re thinking. It will stop both types in their tracks. It isn’t easy. Especially if you share work space with either or both, but it can be done.