What a covert aggressive looks like

  • They pretend to be innocent, ignorant, or confused when they did something awful. This tactic is to make you question your judgment.
  • They don't give a straight answer to a straight question, but evade the question or change the subject when cornered.
  • They lie by omission or distortion by deliberately being vague.
  • They may either respond with charm and flattery, of will suddenly be angry.
  • They'll play the victim and make themselves out to be the one in distress.
  • They rationalize by giving a plausible excuse for engaging in inappropriate behavior, or they will downplay their behavior.
  • Covert aggressives don't feel bad, but they know you do. They will send you on a guilt trip so you will lighten your accusations.

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Communication

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Manipulation by passive and covert aggression
  • Passive-aggression is an indirect way to go on the offensive. An example is when someone tries to "get you back" by resisting cooperation and giving you the "silent treatment."
  • Covert-aggression is calculated and underhanded to get what they want while keeping their aggressive intentions hidden. Covert aggressive people want to do bad while looking perfectly good.
  • Let go of the pretense that if you play nice, they will play nice.
  • Know your vulnerabilities and focus on the one thing that really needs to change: yourself. You can only control what you do.
  • Set some boundaries for yourself. Be prepared for the consequences and set a support system.
  • Memorize the list of tactics used by an aggressive person. Then it is easier to recognize the attack.
  • If you're willing to accept an excuse, know that they will fling excuses at you until one stick.
  • Stay calm and polite, and avoid sarcasm, hostility, or threats.
  • Without being rude, be specific about what you expect or want from the other person. Aggressives will only participate if they can get something out of it. If they have to lose, they'll make sure you go down too. Ensure you propose win-win solutions

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RELATED IDEAS

Passive-Aggressive Behaviour

Passive-Aggressive behaviour is a hidden, manipulative form of anger, generally used to avoid direct communication. The passive-aggressive person tries to leverage their behaviour using tactics like inaction, avoidance, withdrawal, or silence, to manipulate the other person.

This behaviour arises mostly due to the way an individual has been brought up. Many families do not have core values and discourage emotional expression or communication.

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IDEAS

Active listening has three components:
Paraphrase: Repeat what they have said in your own words. "If I understand correctly... "
Inquire: "You mentioned you found our proposed price unacceptable. Help me understand how you came to this conclusion?"
Acknowledge: "It sounds as if you're quite disappointed with..."

Active listening should be maintained throughout the conversation.

Don't try changing people, try understanding them.

When you try to change someone they tend to resent you, dig in their heels, and get worse. The way to disengage a difficult person is to try understanding where they are coming from.

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