Shadow Boxing: How to Spot the Saboteurs and Passive/Aggressives in Your Office and Your Life

Dealing with passive aggressive (PA) people is supremely annoying, frustrating and anxiety producing. They’re bullies and they fight dirty. If you attempt to fight back and stand up for yourself, they’ll play the victim, blame you for upsetting them and turn others against you so that YOU look like the bad guy.

There’s nothing worse than a PA boss,co-worker, “friend” or family member. They’ve got “smile to your face while they stab you in the back” down to a science. A normal, honest, up-front person is no match for a good PA. Passive-aggressive people are so afraid of confrontation they’re unwilling or unable to just say what’s on their mind. You can’t have an honest conversation with them, because there’s usually a sabotage program running like a virus in the background. They’re not necessarily liars, they just lie when it serves their purposes, which are to stonewall YOU.

These people can’t admit they don’t like you, are angry, don’t wish to have anything to do with you or whatever their grudge may be. Instead, they manipulate, sabotage and creatively distort the truth so you are left holding the bag emotionally or financially so they don’t have to be the bad guy.

If you want frustration to be a predominant theme in your life, have a close relationship with a PA. Frustration is the primary outcome in this mismatch, because they’re saboteurs. It’s a battle that is lost before it begins, because the PA can’t ever admit they’re wrong. To do so would make them vulnerable and have to admit the truth.

The political party who is not in the White House at any given time tends to resort to passive/aggressive behavior as a group because they have to be obstructionist spoilsports to get any attention. The group behavior of Republicans in Congress, “the Party of NO” is a good example. Rather than engaging the other team and negotiating to run a few plays that might benefit the AMERICAN PEOPLE, they react like whiny kids in a school yard. If the PA doesn’t get their way, be prepared for a tantrum. This is a game that cannot be won…except by them.

Trying to deal with one of these wounded people in a straightforward, direct way is useless, because that is too scary for them. It really is like trying to grab a shadow. Every move you make is instantly countered. It’s the ultimate chess game, except no matter how well you plan your moves, they’re always one crucial step ahead of you. Just when you think you’ve finally made your case, they pull a checkmate out of their bag and walk away laughing. Remember that a really good PA is a master manipulator. If a manipulator is any good at all, you won’t know you’re being manipulated.