Passive aggressive personalities may lead to workplace abuse.

Aggressive or passive aggressive personalities: Which is more likely to cause workplace bullying or mobbing?

No Passive Aggressive personalities

Watch out for the passive aggressive personalities in the workplace.

We often wonder if the person who is so anxious to please others is such a good person to have around.

If you watch this person closely, you will notice he will not confront, as in the case of the aggressive type. Instead, this personality type will work deceptively behind the scenes or from a distance to disrupt the workplace or gain favor. Passive aggressive personalities are still vocal, yet tend to complain more without direct attacks, or compensates for frustration and dissatisfaction by using disagreeable tactics such as being sneaky to overly agreeable. This workplace verbal abuse can escalate into a very nasty situation if left unhampered.

Do you have one or more of these types of personalities in your place of work?

Potshot Taker

Hiding in the business so to speak, this individual will use direct jabs, humor, sarcasm and within the workplace, verbal abuse and verbal sparring to put others down. In addition, he eavesdrops on conference calls to silently gather information. He talks behind other people’s backs all the while ensuring his behind-the-scenes efforts cannot be traced back to him. He is not verbal in a meeting or open forum, so his opinion is never voiced aloud. He is insecure in himself and his job skills.

Destructive Storyteller

Whether it is about a person’s work or personal life, this individual creates destructive and manipulative ideas, innuendos, and statements that are not true. He gets a kick when his rumors evoke strong reactions, yet he does his best to cover his tracks so that these rumors cannot be traced back to him. He is very specific in the type of rumors he spreads – salaries, business competition, senior management changes or derogatory statements about them, job cuts, workplace dating, etc. – so that they have their intended impact. While this kind of destructive behavior can significantly impact the target individual(s), it seems to give the bully a false sense of self-worth and power.

The above-mentioned personalities are only two examples of the types of people who can be deceptive in the workplace. Such people are always thinking up new and creative ways to be deceptive and to abuse others for their own benefit. How much more productive it would be if this negative energy was channeled into being cooperative, supportive, and pleasant employees and co-workers.

The damage done to others is mostly psychological. It destroys the victim’s sense of value, confidence in his own abilities, and eventually affects the physical side with symptoms such as headaches, ulcers, phobias and sometimes more serious illnesses such as cancer. Mental health consequences can include depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and more.

In actuality, passive aggressive personalities will be more dangerous and damaging than aggressive bullies. Any abuse in any situation is completely unacceptable. Hidden abuse is often more damaging than open abuse because it is often not discovered until it’s too late, while open abuse is easier to detect and deal with. It is the same with passive aggressive personalities who abuse in the workplace. The mental and physical damage steadily increases and the source of it is often not known or dealt with for a long time, if ever.

We all have choices regarding where and with whom we work. If your body is telling you that you are working for a person with any of the above traits, listen to what it is saying.

Decide if you want to stay and work it out or whether you are ready to leave. Leaving a job under these circumstances is difficult. You may need to take time to heal from the abuse you have suffered while working with this person. I can’t stress enough – take care of yourself first. You deserve to be physically, emotionally and mentally healthy. You are entitled to be in a happy and well functioning work environment.

Judith Munson is the author of "Alligators in the Water Cooler; A Guide to Identifying Bullies & Their Buddies in the Workplace", Speaker, and Facilitator.
She is a Healthy Workplace Advocate,bringing awareness to companies and individuals through her work as an author and speaker. Her work stems from her own experience of Workplace verbal abuse and being bullied and mobbed with the end result of being traumatized and losing her job. 
 Judith Munson
Article Source: Judith Munson

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