Dealing With Passive Aggressive People

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♾️ Empath's Guide for Dealing with Passive Aggressive People

dealing with passive aggressive peopleDealing with passive-aggressive people can be incredibly challenging as an empath, highly sensitive person (HSP), or intuitive feeler. You likely pick up on their bottled-up anger and resentment, even when buried deeply below the surface.

This awareness can leave you feeling uneasy, anxious, and wondering if you did something wrong. Learning how to handle passive-aggressive people is essential for maintaining emotional equilibrium and having healthier relationships.

Table of Contents

♾️ Understanding Passive Aggression

Passive aggressive behavior occurs when someone is upset or angry but doesn’t know how to communicate it directly. Instead, they may make snarky comments, give silent treatment, procrastinate, or pretend everything is fine while seething with resentment. As an empath, you can sense this disconnect between their outer demeanor and inner emotional state, which is unsettling.

Empaths and Dealing With Passive Aggressive People

how to handle passive aggressive peopleFor the empath, a passive-aggressive person is confusing and draining to be around. You feel their anger but can’t trace the source. You may blame yourself or feel responsible for their emotions. Sensitive people also tend to cope with their own frustrations passively at times to avoid conflict. Recognizing this pattern in yourself is key to learning how to handle passive-aggressive people

Self-Awareness and Authenticity

Authentic self-expression is one of the first steps to attracting emotionally healthier relationships. Notice if you resort to sarcasm or hide your true feelings to “keep the peace.” Repressed self-expression can make you feel isolated and resentful. Commit to being more authentic and direct.

Recognizing Passive Aggression

Common signs of passive aggression include:

  • Stubborn, obstinate, “my way or the highway” attitude
  • Sense of malcontent, “Nothing’s ever good enough.”
  • Obstructive, “If I can’t be happy, no one can.”
  • Sabotaging success or happiness
  • Snarky, biting sarcasm or backhanded “compliments”

what makes passive aggressive peopleIf you spot these traits easily in others, you likely have some of these tendencies yourself based on the spiritual law of attraction. Accepting this is the first step in learning “how to handle passive-aggressive people” skillfully.

Disengaging from the Dynamic

When you sense passive aggressive behavior, don’t take it personally or feel you have to fix it. Detach with compassion. Accept the person as they are, and understand that their behavior comes from their wounds. Disengage from any dysfunctional patterns between you two.

Mindful Presence

When passive aggression arises, take a breath and get present. Find your inner place of calm in the eye of the storm. Ask yourself how you want to respond authentically. Honor the other person’s spirit, not their transient personality quirks.


Send the passive aggressive person loving-kindness. Extend them compassion, recognizing their behavior stems from their suffering and lack of skillful means. See their true self beyond the surface. Reconnect with your capacity for unconditional love.

Modeling Healthy Communication

Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Be curious about others’ experiences and feelings and create an opening for authentic dialogue. Share your truth responsibly, without blame or judgment. Model the honest communication you’d like to receive.


Learning how to handle passive aggressive people is an inside job. It starts with self-awareness—acknowledging your frustrations and passive tendencies. Express yourself more authentically.

Disengage when you spot passive aggression, responding mindfully instead of reacting. Most importantly, extend compassion to the other person and yourself. You can transform this challenging dynamic with patience and practice and enjoy more peaceful, honest relationships.

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