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What Is Passive-Aggressive Behavior?

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Definition:

The phrase passive-aggressive is used to describe behavior or a personality trait that involves acting indirectly aggressive rather than directly aggressive. Passive-aggressive people regularly exhibit resistance to requests or demands from family and other individuals often by procrastinating, expressing sullenness, or acting stubborn.

Passive-aggressive behavior may manifest itself in a number of different ways. For example, a person might repeatedly make excuses to avoid certain people as a way of expressing their dislike or anger towards those individuals.

Some suggest that passive-aggressive behavior may stem from being raised in an environment where the direct expression of emotions was discouraged or not allowed. People may feel that they cannot express their true emotions more openly, so they may instead find ways to passively channel their anger or frustration.

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