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In the workplace, employees must choose their words with extreme care—making it an ideal environment for passive aggression. The workplace hierarchy may resemble a dysfunctional home environment.For a child whose primary caregiver was all-powerful and gave the child no recourse for the direct expression of anger, a hierarchical workplace may trigger his or her template for perceiving authority figures as hostile.I disagree with the assumption made throughout this article that passive-agressive behavior is intentional.People do not want to hate their jobs or be deeply unpopular at work.8 Traits that Make the Office a Perfect Place for Passive-Aggressive Behavior 1. Other than the home—where most people spend between six and 10 hours of their time, mostly sleeping—many adults spend more time at work than anyplace else.
I once had to deal with a pricing department at a company.
From whispering gossip at the water cooler to evading personal contact by way of email, today’s workplace offers countless opportunities for passive-aggressive behavior.
Passive aggression is a deliberate and masked way of expressing hidden anger (Long, Long, & Whitson, 2009).
These heartfelt and personal emotions need an outlet. The hierarchy of most workplace cultures makes direct expression of anger seem like insubordination.
An employee may feel that his or her boss has slighted her.
Regardless of the accuracy of the perception, the passive-aggressive employee will tend to respond as if any authority figure in the workplace is the abusive adult from their childhood. The heavy reliance on electronic communication provides an ideal cover for passive-aggressive exchanges among coworkers.