A person who exhibits passive-aggressive behavior will often be very friendly and smile while they readily agree to your request. They may even seem enthusiastic about your suggestions. However, their actions are contradictory. Sometimes they may even do the opposite of what you request. A passive-aggressive person usually will procrastinate, have a lot of excuses or not do anything at all. Some providers have legitimate reasons for not carrying out a request, so be careful of labeling someone as passive-aggressive. A passive-aggressive person often uses the following excuses:

 I tried, but I don’t know how to do it.

 I meant to do it, but I forgot.

 It’s not my fault because…_(Someone or some situation kept me from carrying out your request.)

 I was going to do it next week.

 It’s not fair! I don’t know why they want me to do this anyway.

 I can’t.


When you encounter passive-aggressive behavior you can ask questions which allow her to give you feedback on how she is really feeling.

 What do you think your first step should be?

 What information do you need to fully understand what is required?

 How do you feel about making the necessary changes?

Listen carefully to the answers. Even if she is complaining and acting negatively, listen respectfully. Do not let her make you feel guilty for making the request. Do not be manipulated into taking the responsibility of accomplishing the goal on yourself.

After you have listened and understand her, restate what and why it is necessary for her to be responsible for making the change. When dealing with a passive-aggressive person it is important that you clearly define your own responsibility and her responsibility. Do not do the work for her.