According to Wordfinder representative Joe Mercurio, “Digital communication doesn’t let us see each other’s immediate reactions, which is why we look for ways to ‘politely’ express irritation.”
Passive-aggressive behavior is a pattern of indirectly expressing negative feelings instead of openly addressing them. Some of the most passive-aggressive phrases used in the workplace?
1. Please advise
3. Friendly Reminder
4. Will do
5. Thanks in advance
6. Per our last conversation
7. Circling back
8. As per my last email
9. As promised
10. As discussed
Some of the least passive-aggressive work phrases include, “Sorry to bother you again,” “Any update on this,” and “I’ll take care of it.”
In an effort to communicate more effectively, Mercurio urges employees to limit the use of passive-aggressive phrases, and to not respond to messages or emails when feeling frustrated. A good rule of thumb? If you feel uncomfortable reading it, rethink your approach.
Jill, What Can I Do? The Golden Rule – do unto others – is a good tip when communicating with others. Read your communication before sending it and see how it would land on you. If you get a thumb up, hit send. If not, reword your communication to be direct, minus the irritation, so both you and the receiver feel satisfied.