The 3 most significant indications of ‘passive aggressive’ and ‘childish’ habits: Harvard body movement professional

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We’ve all needed to handle passive aggressiveness eventually. A manager raises a dismissive eyebrow when you speak, or a buddy boxes you out of the discussion at a group breakfast.

But the lines are frequently blurred. I definitely battled with this myself, which is why I invested much of my profession at Harvard investigating body movement and interaction.

I constantly advise taking the high roadway, instead of shooting back or being hostile. Here are 3 indications of passive aggressive or childish habits, and how to react efficiently:

1. Extreme brevity

You send your employer an e-mail asking, “Should we go ahead and schedule a meeting with this potential client?”– and they respond with a curt, one-word response like “yes,” “fine” or “OK.”

Some individuals merely choose to offer brief, to-the-point responses. But if you observe that they’re mainly reacting by doing this to you, and not to others, then this level of brevity may be a sign of passive aggressiveness.

How to react:

  • Ask clarifying concerns: “Thanks! What day and time works best for you?” or “Is there anyone else I should invite?”
  • Keep your cool: Don’t take the bait. Stay focused in today and prevent acting defensively.
  • Use humor: Humor is an excellent method to diffuse stress. You might state, “If we don’t land them as a client, at least we got a free meal on the company!”
  • Gently address it: This can be valuable sometimes. The objective is to reveal real intent and a desire to comprehend: “I feel you might be upset with me. Is this right?”

2. Slow reactions

Getting the quiet treatment can appear as postponed e-mails or texts, or perhaps ghosting habits.

Being on the getting end of these actions can activate what I call “timing anxiety,” an extreme concern we feel when we discover ourselves questioning all the possible significances behind the sluggish reactions.

Unfortunately, there are no absolute guidelines to understand for sure if somebody is utilizing silence as an intentional minor, or if it is simply an oversight.

How to react:

  • Don’t dive to conclusions. Unless it’s crucial that you get a reply ASAP, bear in mind that you never ever truly understand what somebody is going through. Maybe they have a lot on their plate, or are handling individual problems.
  • Send a mild pointer: Some individuals truly forget, so a follow-up can be valuable: “I know you’re very busy. But when you get a chance, I’d love to chat about this.”
  • Switch to a various mode of interaction: If you follow up two times without any reaction, attempt sending out a work DM rather of an e-mail. Or visit their workplace if they aren’t addressing their phone.

3. Change from casual to official language

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