Passive Aggressive Behaviour: Understanding and Dealing with it in Teenage Girls
Passive Aggressive Behaviour: Understanding and Dealing with it in Teenage Girls

Passive Aggressive Behaviour: Understanding and Dealing with it in Teenage Girls


Passive aggressive behaviour is a common pattern of communication that is characterised by indirect, ambiguous or unspoken resistance to another person’s requests or demands. Teenage girls are often victims of this type of behaviour, especially in relationships with friends, family, or romantic partners. It can lead to feelings of frustration, confusion, and low self-esteem, which can impact their mental health and well-being.

Passive aggressive behaviour is often seen as a way of avoiding conflict or expressing anger in a more socially acceptable way. For example, a teenager may use sarcasm or make a passive aggressive comment instead of expressing their anger directly. They may also give the silent treatment, or engage in passive aggressive behaviour by saying yes to a request while secretly planning to do the opposite.

Passive aggressive behaviour can be damaging to a teenager’s relationships, as it creates a negative atmosphere, fosters distrust, and leads to misunderstandings. It can also lead to decreased self-esteem and confidence, as the person may feel that they are being dismissed, criticised, or not heard. 

Passive aggressive behaviour can also lead to anxiety and depression, as the teenager may feel like they are walking on eggshells, constantly trying to read between the lines to figure out what the other person is really saying.

It is important for teenage girls to understand that passive aggressive behaviour is not an effective way to communicate or resolve conflict. Instead, they should try to express their feelings and opinions directly and in a respectful manner. It can be helpful to identify the root cause of their passive aggressive behaviour, such as fear of rejection or conflict, and work on developing assertiveness skills. This can include learning how to say no, communicate clearly, and set boundaries.

Moreover, it is important for parents, teachers, and other adults to recognise and address passive aggressive behaviour in teenage girls. This can be done through open and honest communication, encouraging assertiveness, and promoting healthy conflict resolution skills. By working together, we can help teenage girls break free from passive aggressive behaviour and improve their relationships and mental health.

how should you react to passive aggressive behaviour

When faced with passive aggressive behaviour, it is important to react in a way that is assertive and respectful. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Remain calm: When someone engages in passive aggressive behaviour, it can be easy to get defensive or react in anger. However, it is important to remain calm and take a step back to avoid escalating the situation.
  2. Identify the behaviour: If someone is being passive aggressive, it is important to recognise the behaviour and acknowledge it. This can help you understand what is behind the behaviour and respond in a more effective way.
  3. Confront the person: If you feel comfortable, you can confront the person directly about their behaviour. This can be done in a calm and non-confrontational manner, such as saying, “I noticed that you seem to be upset about something. Is there anything you’d like to talk about?”
  4. Set boundaries: If someone is engaging in passive aggressive behaviour, it is important to set boundaries and let them know that this type of behaviour is not acceptable. This can be done by saying something like, “I am not comfortable with your passive aggressive comments. I’d like to have a direct and respectful conversation.”
  5. Focus on solutions: If the situation involves a conflict, it is important to focus on finding solutions instead of blaming each other. Encourage the person to express their concerns directly and work together to find a resolution.
passive aggressive

By reacting to passive aggressive behaviour in a calm and assertive manner, you can help to reduce the negative impact it can have on your relationships and mental health. Additionally, by setting boundaries and promoting healthy communication, you can create a more positive and respectful atmosphere for everyone involved.

How can I avoid being passive aggressive

To avoid being passive aggressive, it is important to recognise and address the underlying causes of this behaviour. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Identify the triggers: Take some time to reflect on the situations and feelings that trigger your passive aggressive behaviour. This can help you understand what is driving your behaviour and find alternative ways to express yourself.
  2. Practice assertiveness: Assertiveness involves expressing your feelings and opinions directly, in a respectful manner. By developing your assertiveness skills, you can learn to express your needs and boundaries in a healthy way.
  3. Communicate directly: Instead of expressing your anger or frustration indirectly through passive aggressive comments or actions, try to communicate directly with the person involved. This can help to reduce confusion and foster a more positive relationship.
  4. Use “I” statements: When expressing your feelings, use “I” statements instead of blaming or accusing others. For example, instead of saying, “You never listen to me,” try saying, “I feel like my opinions are not being heard.”
  5. Practise active listening: When someone expresses their feelings or opinions, it is important to listen actively and understand their perspective. This can help to reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and conflicts.

By avoiding passive aggressive behaviour, you can improve your relationships and create a more positive and respectful atmosphere. Additionally, you can increase your own self-esteem and confidence, as you will be able to express yourself in a direct and assertive manner.