I’m sure you’ve dealt with individuals who have caused you to be so frustrated that afterwards you scratch your head asking “Am I crazy?” Most likely you just had an encounter with a passive-aggressive person. Such encounters may include sarcasm, shifting blame, saying one thing while meaning another to name a few. For instance, I used to know a co-worker who was very skilled at giving back-handed compliments such as “You look great! You must be doing something different” as well as sarcasm disguised as a compliment “Oh, I hear you’ve managed to pull off another miracle.” The problem with these kinds of comments is that if you try to confront them about the insult, you will be accused of not understanding, “I didn’t mean it that way” or of misinterpreting, “You must have a problem to think that. I was just trying to compliment you. Sorry I didn’t word it right to suit you.” As a result, you end up looking like the bad guy, feeling frustrated, and asking yourself, “Am I crazy?” And the other person walks away blameless.
Malicious type. Some passive-aggressive people deliberately attempt to cause the other person to become angry so as to displace their own feelings of anger onto the recipient. In this situation, if a man has a bad day at work he can create an argument at home in a passive-aggressive manner and then take his anger out on his wife. For instance, he comes home, glances around and asks “What have you been doing today?” When his wife becomes defensive “Are you saying that I’m lazy?” he responds with “You are really over-reacting! I was only curious about what you did today. You are so sensitive and I can’t even talk to you!”