How To Deal With A Passive-Aggressive Boss

Passive aggressive behavior is to express things negatively instead of directly addressing them. Dealing with a passive-aggressive boss is tough. However, it should allow you to give your best at your workplace.

A few qualities of a passive-aggressive boss are that you rarely get credit for your success, others get praised for less work, do not support you while making important decisions, and hold back the information that requires sharing. So, a passive-aggressive boss quality is to hold important information intentionally to hinder an employee’s progress.

Passive-aggressive managers act more controlling, hold indirect communication, and appreciate less. Employees expect their boss to be generous, give clear directions and be trustworthy. Passive-aggressive managers act the opposite of this.

A passive-aggressive boss’s behavior towards you is not that they don’t like you. The roots are psychological. The behavior arises due to the feeling of insecurity. They rarely appreciate people and favor one over others to develop a feeling of insecurity.

Remote and hybrid work culture

Passive aggressiveness behavior usually results due to remote and hybrid work culture, wherein there is no less scope for managers to talk to the employees directly. Anger and frustration are the natural outcomes of it. Moreover, the interaction across digital tools influences people to get into such behavior.

The absence of regular communication with the boss sees that other people are paid more attention and have more opportunities and recognition than others. Passive-aggressive behavior results from fear, and such behavior is most common at a high level. Praise and feedback become rare as a result of this.

Heart-led leadership to combat passive aggressiveness

Heart-led leadership is about being empathetic and understanding people below them and surrounding them. Science proves that heart and the brain and connected through a vagus nerve. The signals sent from the heart to the brain are many relative to what the brain sends back. This proves that most of our decisions are driven by feelings and emotions.

Managers who wish to develop loyalty, productivity, and commitment have to focus on how their employees feel. This means that employee engagement happens with decisions made from the heart.

Human beings rely on positive emotions to thrive. This applies even if you are not in a management role; you can put your heart into building a healthy relationship with your boss. A generous and caring attitude towards him leads to the bosses behaving the same as us. We get back what we give.

Honesty and professionalism solve passive-aggressive bosses

The important thing is not to react. Honesty and professionalism are two means of dealing with it. Usually, when passive-aggressive comments happen, act professionally. Such behavior will not irritate you but will help you stay confident and makeup things easily. In the end, what matters is to have self-respect.

Work matters at the end of the day in professional life. So, work focused, make it peaceful as it can be, and deliver. By the end of the day, you will find that your productivity enhances and the deliverable is qualitative. Challenging instances exist, and how you react can make a difference.

Some effective tips for passive-aggressive bosses

  1. Do not directly confront your boss

Never directly confront your boss, as the situation could get worse. Attitudes build and could lead to an argument unsuitable for your professional life.

  1. Compliment when necessary

Be to others as you wish others to be with you. If you are dealing with a passive-aggressive boss, be genuine and appreciative when necessary. After a specific time and space, you will observe that even your boss reciprocates with positivism.

  1. Passive aggressive behavior gets fixed with emotional care

Passive aggressiveness is the result of insecurity. Those who feel isolated or down wish to do the same to others. Be kind to your passive-aggressive boss even though it is challenging.


Mental and emotional health is the key to both personal and professional life. Following the tips and heart-led leadership qualities can minimize passive-aggressive behavior in the workplace to create a healthy atmosphere. Hence, it is important to ensure a peaceful environment to deliver the best.

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