9 common passive-aggressive work emails and how to neutralize each of them to still get what you want
- Workplace emails might give you a headache.
- And, if you have passive-aggressive coworkers, having to electronically communicate with them might make emails all the more stressful.
- Adobe found the nine most-hated passive-aggressive email phrases in a recent survey. Business Insider asked a social worker and a psychologist how to respond to deescalate the situation.
If that snippy coworker is being passive-aggressive in an email (again!), resist the urge to send an equally snarly response.
"The goal of the passive-aggressive person is to get someone else to visibly act out the anger that they have been concealing," social worker Signe Whitson, author of "The Angry Smile," told Business Insider. "Any time their covertly hostile email is responded to with overt hostility, the passive aggressive person succeeds."
Don't fight fire with fire. If you do, you're just falling into the passive-aggressive person's trap.
Instead, Dr. Neil J. Lavender, author of "Toxic Coworkers: How to Deal with Dysfunctional People on the Job," said you should focus on what you need to do to complete the task at hand, rather than "majoring in the minors."
"If the email is requesting you to turn in a report, then turn it in. If you need to return a phone call, then return the phone call," Lavender told Business Insider. "Don't get 'mired in the minutia.'"
Adobe found the nine most-hated passive-aggressive email phrases in a recent survey. Below, take a look at some key phrases you can use to diffuse the situation when one of those emails lands in your inbox.
'Not sure if you saw my last email'
'Per my last email'
'Per our conversation'
'Any update on this?'
'Sorry for the double email'
'As previously stated'
'Re-attaching for convenience'
If there's an ongoing pattern of passive aggression, sit down with your coworker
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