12 Ways SMART Women Deal With Passive-Aggressive Friends

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passive agressive friendship

Here's how to be an adult when your friend is being childish.

I think we all have that friend that sometimes gets passive-aggressive, seemingly out of nowhere. Or maybe they're passive-aggressive more frequently than you'd like.

If you're like me, passive aggression is THE worst because it brings out the worst in everyone involved, lowers the amount of respect you hold for a person, and just generally keeps things tenser than they need to be for longer than they should be.

There are multiple ways to deal with this. Here's how smart people handle it:

1. Consider their perspective.

Something might be going on with them, so jumping to anger or annoyance might make it worse. You'd be surprised how many times a person takes something out on you without meaning to. Be caring and considerate. What would you want someone to do for you if the roles were reversed?


2. Don’t respond in the same way — respond better.

It's easy to sink down to their level, but don't. You'll only encourage the behavior and be just as bad. Instead, make them see you as the person they ought to be acting like. Keep your cool.


3. ... or don’t respond at all.

Sometimes all they deserve is your silence. It might feel hard at first, but you'll feel stronger for it later.


4. Make a few little changes to help chill them out.

Don’t succumb to it or give in, but try to make the relationship more peaceful so that it's easier to facilitate a mature conversation about it.


5. Take a break.

You ain't got time for that mess. Give yourself space to breathe in some fresh air and good vibes.


6. Have fun with other friends.

To piggy back off that last one, spend more time with people who love and appreciate you. They'll encourage you to be your best self.


7. Give yourself a few seconds (or more) to respond.

Respond in a way that highlights why that comment isn’t appreciated, or make light of it. Don't go with your initial reaction — it's best to handle these things wisely.


8. Bring it up.

Though they might not accept it. They may deny it. But bring it up calmly and without sounding aggressive. Even if they deny it, at the very least, you've brought up your perception and that just might be enough to get them to rethink their "not aggressive" words or actions.


9. If they apologize, accept it.

Easy, right?


10. Forgive them even if they don’t apologize.

You're not doing it for them, you're not "letting them off the hook." You're doing it for you, because ultimately, a grudge helps no one.


11. Know the difference between passive-aggressive, and aggressive with a smile.

I've noticed sometimes people will say someone was being passive-aggressive, when in reality, they were being openly aggressive, but then backpedaling to make it seem like they were just kidding or it's no big deal or they didn't say anything.

This isn't passive — this is someone punking out. Intentionally hurting you, and then not owning up to it because, to put it bluntly, they're punks. If this is the kind of person they are ... is that who you really want to be around?


12. If this issue persists, consider moving on.

They might fall into the toxic friend category. Cut them out of your life, and move on. This doesn't have to be dramatic. Just do what's best for you.