There is always a passive-aggressive individual in every workplace but it all gets way worse when the person is your boss.
Passive-aggressive behaviour can be described as a non-verbal aggression that manifests itself in negative behaviour. It is a situation where someone is angry with you but cannot tell you.
Passive-aggressive behaviour can come in different ways and in different situations. These situations can stem from interaction with; family members, to friends, acquaintances, work colleagues or bosses. That is why you need to handle these individuals with a considerable amount of patience and tolerance because little issues can go from 0-100 real quick.
When a boss is exhibiting a passive-aggressive behaviour towards you, it gets worse. Why? A manager or boss – whoever you answer to in the workplace has the power to make or mar you in your work environment. If your colleagues exhibit behaviours such as this, it is easier to handle than dealing with it with your boss. With your immediate colleagues, you can address the issue by doing your job whilst still minimize undue interactions that might turn on you or simply ignore them. But with your boss, you can’t.
Your boss can help your career development or can bring it to an abrupt end.
Here is what you need to do to handle your passive-aggressive boss.
Is It Me?
Are you doing your job well and effectively? Are your boxes ticked? Your “I’s” dotted and “T’s” crossed? How is your behaviour at work, to your boss, and colleagues?
All this is very important because sometimes the problems we face are ones we started unconsciously. In addition, it is easier to spot a flaw in others but never in us. So it’s advisable to spot the problem in order to find a solution. But if you have searched yourself properly and analyzed the situation, then continue to the second bullet.
Don’t Take It Personally
Never take the attitudes of a passive-aggressive person too personally. Especially when it comes from your boss. Passive-aggressive people, most times have a problem when it comes to interacting with people – they lack social skills. They can come off as hostile because they don’t understand what love or affection is – it’s a foreign feeling. They are stubborn for reasons best known to them.
You have no idea what your boss might be going through. He might be pouring out his frustrations on you because he is trying to let out anger – from failed contracts, tasks pending, his own shortcomings or family trouble. Look at this person in empathy and meet with them in areas or ways you can help solve a work need for them.
Meet With Your Passive-Aggressive Boss
Most of the time when your boss is giving you the passive-aggressive treatment, you are the last person he wants to look at, meet with or have a conversation with.
Make a way where there seems to be no way and talk to him. Waiting for when he is happy to meet with him might have you waiting for the world to come to an end. Take advantage of every opportunity you have and meet with him and address the situation in which you have found yourself.
When you are given audience, do not play the victim or the blame game card. Discuss on a ground where you both can interact and can have your work goals met. If there is something you could improve on or better reach/ manage, assignments that can work with his schedule without failing to meet deadlines would be nice.
Working with a passive-aggressive boss can be like living in a house where the roof is constantly on fire. You know you will get burnt the longer you stay. So try and find something that distracts you from the confusion you are surrounded by.
Get a hobby. Find a good distraction. Something that helps keep you motivated in the workplace or keeps your energy up to fight another day.
Find something that you love and do it.
After all said and done. Having played the Good Samaritan. Having done everything possible to improve the work interaction with your boss and still, it doesn’t work out in your favour… leave.
You need a work environment where you can be nurtured, grow and develop. With a passive-aggressive boss, learning and growing in the workplace is never going to happen.
You will remain frustrated, stagnant and it will ultimately destroy your self-esteem.
Dust off your CV, update your CV and start job-hunting again. Depending on how long you have been out of the job market, the stress of job-hunting can be daunting and it might take a while for you to find somewhere else.
But it is better to leave a house that is on fire than have the flames catch up with you.
This article was written by Omah Ogbuehi; she tweets via @OmahSpeaks