passive aggressive behavior in relationships

The Angry Smile Online Training Teaches People How to Manage Passive Aggressive Behavior


The Angry Smile ONLINE course is NOW AVAILABLE via the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute’s website!  See below for a very special offer…


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Is there a person in your life who procrastinates, carries out tasks in intentionally inefficient ways, is quietly manipulative, creates minor but chronic irritation in others, and makes you feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster? If so, you may be working or living with a PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE person.



REGISTER TODAY FOR THE ANGRY SMILE ONLINE TRAINING to discover how to stop frustrating arguments, endless conflict cycles, and relationship-damaging wars of words.



10% DISCOUNT: All participants who register for The Angry Smile Online course during the month of August 2013 will receive a 10% discount on the course fee! Simply enter the code FACEBOOK at checkout and the discount will be applied upon checkout. 




Passive Aggressive Shopping: Husband vs. Wife


As we teach in The Angry Smile training, people are willing to go to great lengths to avoid expressing their anger directly…here’s a hilarious one for the passive aggressive files!


Fine! Whatever! 8 Passive Aggressive Phrases Everyone Should Know


Do you ever feel like you are riding on an emotional roller coaster with your child? Is your little one friendly and sweet one day, then sulky and withdrawn the next? Does your teenager consistently procrastinate, postpone, stall and shut down any emotionally-charged conversation? Do you, as a parent, ever resemble that same portrait? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are good that passive aggressive behavior has found a way into your home and family.


Check out my article in the Huffington Post Parents section to learn about eight of the most common passive aggressive phrases and to figure out if “sugarcoated hostility” exists in your home and family.

Win a FREE Copy of The Angry Smile!


Hello all–

I’ve got a busy Fall planned, with several training workshops featuring The Angry Smile.  Although I’ve got a good number of stories about sugarcoated hostility, excessive civility, defiant compliance, and plain old passive aggressive behavior to share, I am always looking for fresh, new examples.  If you have a good example of passive aggressive behavior from a friend, family member, co-worker, parent, child, mother-in-law (those are the best!), boss, on Facebook, via e-mail, on a post-it note, or all of the above, I would love to hear it!

Please e-mail me your story to or better yet, leave it here via the Comments section.  Be sure to leave me your e-mail address; I will be sending a free copy of The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools, and Workplaces, 2nd ed. to the best example I receive.

Spread the word.  It’ll be great for my collection of real-life examples of passive aggressive behavior and probably worth several laughs for you as well, as you hear about the hilarious lengths some people go to avoid expressing their anger directly and assertively.




PLEASE NOTE: By submitting this story to, you grant Signe Whitson a permanent, royalty-free license to use and/or reproduce this story for any purpose.

5 Strategies for Parents Coping with a Daughter’s Passive Aggressive Behavior


Please check out my article, featured on  The post offers insight into the intentionally maddening world of passive aggressive behavior and tips for how parents can cope with–and effectively change–this pattern of behavior.



What’s Your Anger Expression Style? Take this Quiz to Find Out


Is your child the type to come right out and tell you when he is feeling angry? Does he stuff his anger inside? Perhaps he is most likely to express his feelings in sneaky ways. Or maybe, when he is mad, the whole world knows about it—and better step aside! Whatever your child’s anger style, chances are he has developed it over the years and modeled it after…gulp…much-loved family members.

Take this Anger Styles Quiz to learn about how anger is articulated in your family: (more…)

4 Strategies for Confronting Passive Aggressive Behavior in Your Relationship


One of my favorite stories about passive aggressive behavior in a marriage goes like this:

“Cash, check or charge?” I asked, after folding the items the woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet, I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse. “So, do you always carry your TV remote?” I asked. “No,” she replied, “but my husband refused to go shopping with me and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.”

In relationships, passive aggressive behaviors are often used to avoid the direct confrontation of short-term conflict, but in the long-term, these dynamics can be even more destructive to marriage than outright aggression. To keep assertive communication


Seinfeld Would Just Die: The Passive Aggressive Couple


>3 Steps for Improving Communication with a Passive Aggressive Spouse


>Check out this article about how to effectively confront passive aggressive behavior in your relationship, posted on Mom It Forward

Behavior: Improving Communication With Your Spouse

>Passive Aggressive Facebook Posts


>Just saw this deliciously passive aggressive posting on Facebook:

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