Also see Recommended Reading and the LINKS page
SUGGESTIONS by Kim Neske

Listed below are some tips on how to find peace, restore balance, control and harmony in your life while dealing with a passive-aggressive
individual.  Although my original goal was the aforementioned, what occurred is that by doing the following to take back my own life, the passive aggressive person that I had to deal with actually started being more cooperative, mature and helpful...  Why?.. this will be explained along the way..   One of the reasons I have created this page is that  I cannot count the number of times I have passed  along  this information via email  so rather than continue to do so, I decided to  create this page... 
1.  Learn the behavior... inside and out.. read the various books recommended on the site, the articles, links and of course as many of the archives that you can.......  The more you understand the behavior the more you will understand how the p.a. "thinks"... By doing this you will "see" a game long before you get  caught up in it and react to it...(this behavior is extremely difficult to see because of the covert and insidious nature of it) If you do not react strongly, you do not give the p.a. the emotional control, nor do you give them the opportunity to turn the tides and focus on your anger rather than on what the p.a. has or has not done.  Also, learning the behavior gives you the confidence you need to confront the behavior... The p.a. relies on your self-doubt so that he/she CAN turn the focus on you.. Once you know what you are dealing with and are confident  in that fact they are  less able to instill the doubt and make you the wrong one and themselves the "injured" party...

2.  Ignore as many of the games that you possibly can.  Remember that the p.a. is doing this for a lot of reasons; attention, victimhood, revenge ( from a real or imagined slight from you). or just to show you that they do not have to do what you want them to do... If you do not react they do not get the reward they were seeking and eventually stop the behavior.  When you DO have to confront them, do it in a very calm manner.   Although the p.a. tries to anger you, they are afraid of strong emotions , they view them as a sign of weakness and have no respect for you .  If you stay in control,  they cannot only "hear" you better they realize that you are serious.  Also, make sure that you can and will follow through with whatever you say you will do.... They will call your bluff.   Let them know that it isn't personal... That it isn't a "payback" but that you cannot tolerate the offending behavior and  state the consequences if they do not quit.

3.  ACCEPT THE P.A. for what they are .. period... in doing this, you will find a new peace has entered your life.. You will no longer struggle with frustration, anger and resentment.  Although they  may have presented themselves very differently in the beginning, know this is not who they really are, and stop trying to get them back there... either by changing them or yourself...  neither works... and the p.a. will thwart any attempt  ....

4.  Although I have received some grief for suggesting this.... reduce opportunity for the p.a. to play games... HOW.. by doing as much for yourself as you possibly can.... Will there be some resentment?  Yes,  some.. but remember that the p.a. sees you as authority..  the p.a. HATES expectations, so the more you try to extract from them the harder they dig in their heels and either not do it at all, do it slowly or mess it up...  You end up angry and frustrated and the p.a. is the winner of the p.a. game.  I am not suggesting that you do THEIR work, but if it is something that affects you, then do it yourself or hire someone to do it.. otherwise all  you end up with is just one more arena for the p.a. to play  the game in.  Remember that in this area as in most others you cannot win with them.. if you ask them to do something or participate, they act put upon, if you do it yourself  or exclude them they act put out.. So make it easy on yourself and do what will make your life run more smoothly in the end.. 

Also, take note of the ways in which the p.a. does hurt you... you can reduce opportunity there as well by not asking them anymore...  For example, if you ask them to go somewhere with you and they either always refuse or act up when they get there.. stop asking... The p.a. does eventually see that their behavior has consequences not to mention they start feeling ostricized  as well.   

Know that  the p.a. is aware of what they are doing most of the time, however, sometimes it is knee jerk reactions and most of the time they will not understand WHY they did it.. Their behavior is so ingrained and they are so out of touch with their true feelings that it is difficult for them to know  these things.

5.  If you CAN, approach them  in a calm, rational manner and point out that they are participating in passive-aggressive behavior... This may help.. But there again, you must do it in a way that is not attacking... Show them some articles, or point it out each time it occurs, then state that you will not particiapte in it with them.    Eventually they will start to be aware of some of it and might think it worth looking into for themselves. 

Be consistent in the above.. that is important.. At first the p.a. probably will step it up a bit because what once worked is not working any longer  and they do not understand why.. this is why it is even more important that you be consistent...   
As I originally stated.. I did not do all of this because I wanted the p.a. to conform,  or "trick" him into "behaving"...I did it simply because I needed to find ways to eliminate the emotional control he had in my life... And this was the only way I found that worked.  In the end, because I did not play the game, because he could no longer make me the bad guy, because he did not get the attention or desired result from participating in the behavior, because eventually he felt very ostricized because of it and realized that he could not control or manipulate  any more by participating in it he began to cooperate more, act more mature and the games have subsided considerbly... Is he still P.A.?  YES... will he still pull the rug out from under me.. if I let him.. and I let him by forgetting momentarily that he is p.a. and that he will act like I would expect a mature, responsible adult to act..In his eyes it would be seen as me  attempting to take advantage of him, tell him what to do or control him and  he would have to do something to put himself back in the driver's seat.. i.e.  act out passive-aggressively. ....  For any REAL change to occur, the p.a. needs to acknowledge that he/she has a problem, and seek help..  Some may be able to achieve some progress on their own, but others may need to enter therapy...  if they do, I do NOT suggest that it be couple's therapy.. The p.a. (as you are aware) has the uncanny ability to turn their problem into YOUR problem and can do this just as easily in therapy as they can in the home...  Make sure that the therapist is well aware of passive-aggressive behavior. You would not believe how many times I have been told (and experienced myself) that the therapist fell for the p.a. tricks also... 

Note:  this is a work in progress.... I have suggested this so many times that I write this now from memory but if I have left anything out I will add it.. Hope it helps you, hope it restores  peace and balance in your life...

Kim
© Copyright  2003 Kim Neske
This is the first of four pages of tips on dealing with the p.a... at the end of this article are three more links, Solutions (various authors, contributors),defending (Scott Wetzler) and Success by Lori M.
Page two
Page three
Also see Recommended Reading and the LINKS page
Passive Aggressive Helping Hand