>Experts say that 7 percent of human communication comes from words, while 38 percent is from a person’s tone of the voice and a whopping 55 percent comes from his body language. I’m no math wiz, but those numbers tell me that when a passive aggressive person wants to mask his anger, sending an e-mail, text, or posting online can be the perfect way to do it! In a face-to-face or live telephone interaction, body language and tone of voice betray anger and hostility. When these interpersonal elements are absent, it is easy to mask a whole lot of hidden anger.

The Perfect Crime

  • Have you ever received an e-mail from a boss or co-worker that was completely professionally appropriate, yet simmering with hostility?
  • Has anyone ever Facebooked you with an embarrasing comment for all of your FB friends to read…couched in justifiable language (“What? It was only a joke! Don’t be so sensitive”)?
  • Did you ever send a text brief enough to deny that any real thought went into it but long enough to tell a person what you are really thinking about her?
  • How often have you held your breathe after dialing a phone number, hoping you’ll get an answering machine that will allow you to leave the real message you would never leave in person?

When you receive a message that you KNOW was intended to insult you…and you know that the sender KNOWS he was intending to insult you, and he KNOWS THAT YOU KNOW…but you can’t prove it just from his words…you’ve been the victim of the perfect passive aggressive crime!

Please share your stories of passive aggression in e-mails, texts, voice mails, online, etc here!