Passive-aggressive people are energy vampires. They’re esteem-sapping forces that you, frankly, don’t need in your life. Avoid their nonsense-ery as much humanly possible by adopting the mentality, “Namast’ay away from me.” Or, if you can’t quite evade them, minimise your interaction. Pass-agg peeps’s foolish mouthes are inevitably going to run off some pass-agg litany sooner or later, and you don’t need to be a part of it. 

Still not sure if that person’s actually having a dig? Rule of thumb: If you’re not sure, they are. Let us clarify… But, before we do, you’re gonna need to equip yourself with some shades for the incoming  shade.



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“Oh, I didn’t know you meant now.” “Um, no, I hadn’t heard, Christina didn’t cc me into that email.” “Ugh, I’ll do it, don’t worry.” Fiddy bucks you’ve heard these at some point throughout your career. The pass-agg coworker is an inevitability, unfortunately, and they’re the snaky individs who will corner you into taking on additional tasks and subtly cut you down in meetings because of their own jealousy/insecurities. 

They’re the work bullies and blamers, at the ready to shirk all responsibility if a project doesn’t quite achieve its target or if miscommunications happen. Pass-agg colleagues are an unpredictable lot, but you can bet your next promotion they’ll play ignorant if ever you confront them about their hijinks.

Tamara Mellon, The Frontline - Barely there straps lengthen legs and drop jaws


Passive-aggressive people love a good queue. Why? Because they’re masters of the Sneaky Slide. They’ll slowly slip their way into a queue by feigning friendships with some random chick or the door bitch. They’ll bitch if ever you have the audacity to do the same, and will give you deathies if you call them out on the crappy queue etiquette. Expect a couple of not-so-accidental nudges or standing on toes. 

Bitch, sit down. Be humble.



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Pretty much every and anyone who huffs or scoffs beside/behind you, or who even lets out a “Fuck” or “Fuck’s sake,” yep, they’re being pass-agg. This is the rule. Also anyone who doesn’t move inside the train carriage or over a seat on the bus is just a dick. Don’t get mad at these people, they can’t help being inconsiderate jerks.

Kusmi Tea


At parties and events, pass-agg peeps moonlight as one-uppers. These arseholes will name drop it like it’s hot, caszzzzually slip into conversation all of the exotic destinations they’ve just come back from and/or are soon travelling to, and they will, without a doubt, give you a backhanded compliment about your outfit. Whether they’re your boss’s insecure partner or the token snooty couple, pass-agg guests are a mainstay at any private function. Beware their humble brag.



This one’s a doozy, for obvious reasons. From friends that give the occasional jab through to full-blown frenemies, pass-agg remarks from those closest to you always smart. Comments like, “I’m not mad. It’s fine. Whatever,” and, “Oh, I thought you knew,” are never going to be kosher in Healthy Relationshipsland. Ditto the guilt-trippers, Debbie downers, and fake-nicers who bitch about you behind your back but are fake-nice to your face. 

Dealing with pass-agg behavior from people in your friendship group is the hardest to deal with because these are people you, generally, don’t mind being around. You might even go so far as to say you like them. It’s tough. If the pass-agg comments are frequent enough you’ve got a decision to make: Does what they offer to you in friendship outweigh the shitty things they say? If not, then it’s time to walk away. Or my personal favorite, super-petty option: open the library and give that hoe a big-ass read. 

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