5 passive-aggressive phrases that 'make people respect you less': Public speaking expert - Deepstash
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Passive aggresive behaviour isn’t always intentional. A study found that people who have these tendencies often just struggle with being honest about their emotions.

Here are phrases that we can avoid to not being passive aggresive


674 reads

1. “Just a friendly reminder...”

1. “Just a friendly reminder...”

It's a “throat clearer” — an indirect attempt to demand attention or a faster response. Other phrases to eliminate: “Per my last email...,” “Not sure if you got the memo, but...” or “As I mentioned before...”

These phrases only camouflage your request and make the other person think you’re trying to nag, blame or be bossy.

What to say instead:

Be direct. If you need a quick turnaround, there’s nothing wrong with saying, “Hey, I’m sorry to bug you again, but I need a response.”


688 reads

2. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but…”

2. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but…”

This phrase almost always prefaces something annoying or offensive.

What to say instead:

If so, it’s fine to say: “Is this a good time to talk? There’s something that’s been bothering me” or “I’m concerned about your performance. Let’s talk about it.”


693 reads

3. “Got it.”

3. “Got it.”

Sometimes, this is just another phrase for “Yep, okay.” But the sarcastic version means something different: “Shut up, I heard you” or “You’re annoying, leave me alone.”

What to say instead:

Examine why you’re upset. Then try saying, “I’m sorry if I seem annoyed. I’m having a hard time with this assignment” or “I’m stressed because I already have two deadlines today.”


679 reads

4. “Hey, how are we doing with that task I’m waiting for?”

Softening a request might seem polite, but it can also be a form of passive aggression. Think of other “softeners” like “Thanks in advance” or “Hey, what’s our ETA looking like?”

If you’re asking for something as a boss or colleague, don’t pretend like you’re being a pal. It’s fine to be explicit and state what you need and when.

What to say instead:

Be upfront. Remind them of the deadline, then explain the stakes of missing it: “I really need this by tomorrow or the client will be very upset.”


492 reads

5. “If that’s what you want to do…”

5. “If that’s what you want to do…”

This phrase implies disapproval. Other passive aggressive judgement signals include “Just so you know...” or “For future reference...”

Your listener hears a common refrain in each of these phrases: “I don’t agree. Don’t you know who I am? You messed up again.”

What to say instead:People don’t usually make decisions to upset you. If you disagree, speak up. But lead with the benefit of the doubt. Is your input required? Is this the right time to say something?

If so, be polite and direct as you advocate for what you think is best: “What if we take this course of action for this benefit?”


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I read, I like, I share


We should avoid these phrases that only serve to irritate the listener.


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