Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Psychology 101

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.


HotForSimon said...


ps. This is my third attempt to post this reply. My God. It's too early for all these password/swirly word combinations.


wallofdenial said...

so I take it life at work is a little political?????????

Wicked H said...

Well you know, guilty by proximity. Actually this post is about a friend's work situation for whom I have been giving advice. Although I have dealt with this same situation in prior work places. Live and learn....

Joe said...

Interesting questions! Especially since most of us in the office setting do deal with both types.

I agree with you in that I prefer the full blown aggressive. Although they may be overboard and intense, their responses are usually honest and straight to the point.

Passive agressive people drive me insane and I find them to be manipulative and almost impossible to deal with straight on.

Great advice on keeping your thoughts to yourself. I'm going to practice my shift eyed look in the mirror today just so I'm prepared! :-D

Have a great day!

Wicked H said...

Joe: The tactic works well. If the button pusher cannot push your buttons, they move along.

Thanks and you have a good one!


Phillip said...

Really? Keeping your cards close to your chest is effective for aggressives? I am going to have to try it.

Thanks for the tip, Wicked.

sophie said...

I'm with you. Give me a good, old fashioned aggressive type any day. Unfortunately, so many people don't recognize the passive aggressor, and don't understand what the problem is.

Weary Hag said...

Hm. Given the option, I'd prefer a nice, middle-of-the-road type, BUT since we rarely come across that type in the workplace (at least that's been my experience), I'll take the full-on aggressive personality type.

As someone else mentioned already (darn) ... the passive aggressor is usually hell bent on manipulation and it's quite the task steering clear of their methods.

Haglette-Schwarzenegger ... now there's a name I could live with! hahaha

Amy said...

I'm with you on the full blown aggressive thing. My dad is like that and you are absolutely correct, sitting back with an amused smile just sends them right up the wall and rocketing into the stroke stratosphere!

LAS said...

I agree. Passive-aggressive types are an enormous pain to deal with.

mvas said...

Absolutely right on. Aggression displayed is easier to handle than the 'well' hidden aggression in a passive aggressor. Effective manipulation is always difficult to handle I guess..