Proforma Blog

Image courtesy of

If you work in an office setting, chances are you’ve run across some form of passive aggressive behavior. It could be verbal, an email, or one of those ‘love notes’ often left in the lunch room (that read ‘STOP STEALING MY LUNCH, RON!’).

I find it odd that people still indulge in this practice. I think it says a few important things about your character:

1.    You are juvenile. Passive aggressive behavior only serves to show everyone else how petty you are, and that you’re so immature you can’t face your problems.

What to do instead: Find out the source of your problems and try to solve them by speaking with that person. If it’s an anonymous lunch thief, notify your supervisor or your HR department.

2.    You’re wasting time. You’re also not getting anything accomplished. I once saw a passive aggressive note for ‘people’ to ‘throw their K cups away when they’re done,’ with the offending K cup on display like a scarlet A. While it’s plausible that the offending person in this scenario forgot to throw it out, it took the author of the passive aggressive note a lot longer to set up the display as opposed to just throwing out the cup.

What to do instead: Put yourself into the other person’s shoes. Do you want to get written warnings every time you forget to throw something away? Pick your battles, not everything is reason to push the panic button.

3.    You’re compromising relationships. Your passive aggressive behavior is ruining your professional relationships. No one’s going to take you seriously if you’re always being passive aggressive to get your way. Sure, you could just write a note, but what happens when someone recognizes your handwriting?

What to do instead: Don’t sweat the small stuff – if there’s a real issue then take it through the proper channels. The only thing being passive aggressive will do is ruin your reputation.

Until Next Time,
Tom Zobel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *