A passive aggressive manager is one who gets angry but keeps their feelings bottled up, either due to a need for acceptance, or from trying to avoid arguments and conflicts with others. They tend to make you question your own abilities, which can be detrimental. If you have ever worked under someone who is passive aggressive, you know how bad it can be. If you are currently working under one, here are some strategies to dealing with it.


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  • Make sure it’s not you. You must first examine the situation, is it really the manager or boss, or is it your behavior and actions that is triggering that response from your superior? Feel free to ask a close friend if there is something in your own behavior that may need adjusting.
  • Stay professional. Always keep a clear head, and don’t break your professionalism, even if your superior is absolutely crazy.
  • Don’t take it personally. Just know that certain behavior is just in your boss’s nature. It’s an internal struggle within them, and they may not be able to change. It’s probably not just you they treat that way; even if you don’t realize it other people in your office may be feeling the same way you are in regards your superior’s attitude.
  • Set clear expectations. Sit down and talk to your superior to be sure you know what they expect from you. Have them be very specific and be sure to get it in writing.
  • Get everything in writing. Any conversations that have discussed important details or goals get your manager to send it to you in writing. You may need this later to clear up any confusion.
  • Stand up for yourself. If you continue to let certain behaviors go on without defending yourself, are just as much at fault. Just let your manager know that certain behaviors, comments, or actions really bother you. The key here is to remain professional when doing this.
  • Find another manager. You can do this in more than one way, by either finding a mentor, applying to work in a different department of the company, or just leaving the company altogether. Some of these may seem a bit extreme, but just keep in mind of what will work best for you in your situation.
  • Find ways to manage stress at your desk. Get a stress ball, listen to music, or even take little breaks throughout the day. Sometimes working under a difficult person can cause built up stress and anxiety, so avoid a total melt down and just relax!


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