When was the last time you didn’t share your honest opinion when asked? Or the last time you got upset with someone and didn’t let the person know why? Or maybe you procrastinated on an assignment because you didn’t see the value in it. It’s hard to recognize our own passive-aggressive behavior, but if we don’t confront it, it breeds mistrust and erodes our credibility.
First, identify what drives you to be passive-aggressive. Understanding the underlying cause (maybe a fear of failure, or rejection, or conflict) allows you to address it head-on. Then be honest with yourself about what you really want: What do you truly think or really want to say? What outcome are you hoping for? Think about how to express those desires in a direct, respectful way. And finally, get input from others to see if you’re improving.