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Stop Doing These 20 Passive-Aggressive Things That Are Ruining Your Relationship


Stop Doing These 20 Passive-Aggressive Things That Are Ruining Your Relationship


Passive-aggressive behaviour is dangerous in any relationship. These actions or phrases tend to be petty and are meant only to hurt one's partner, making them something you definitely want to avoid. Here are 20 passive-aggressive things that ruin relationships - make sure you don't do these yourself!


1. Sarcasm Over Serious Issues

Using sarcasm as a way to hide your true feelings or as a method of critiquing your partner can be harmful to your relationship. All this behaviour does is undermines the seriousness of concerns, leading to misunderstandings and resentment.

Couple-7836141 1280Image by Jupi Lu from Pixabay

2. Silent Treatment

Communication is the most important aspect of any relationship, so refusing to speak to your partner or ignoring them as a form of punishment is detrimental. It doesn't solve the problem at hand at all! It creates a large wall that blocks open communication, leading your relationship toward plenty of potential conflicts and arguments.

Maria-Lysenko-X-T Rc3S1Oq-UnsplashPhoto by Maria Lysenko on Unsplash

3. Backhanded Compliments

Not all compliments are ones meant with good intentions; giving compliments that actually contain hidden insults doesn't only hurt your partner's feelings, but also ruins trust. These remarks can make your partner feel undervalued or question your sincerity.

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4. Withholding Affection or Attention as Punishment

Purposely withholding affection, attention, or any form of love as a way to punish your partner is incredibly manipulative. You're just playing with their emotions at this point. This bad behaviour only leads to feelings of rejection, loneliness, and betrayal, and can damage the foundation of any healthy relationship.

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5. Over-Exaggerating Your Contributions

No one likes someone who constantly exaggerates, and that goes for your relationship too. If you're always over-exaggerating your contributions to your relationship, especially in comparison to your partner's, it can create an unbalanced environment that fosters resentment. Acknowledgment and gratitude should always come from both sides of the table.

Toa-Heftiba-Nf4Erxitplu-Unsplash (1)Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

6. Always Saying "Fine" When It's Not

Saying "I'm fine" when you're really not is another example of passive-aggressive behaviour that's bad for a relationship. It's because you're dismissing the chance to openly discuss the problem and express your feelings. All it does is leave your partner guessing (when they can clearly tell you're upset still), escalating misunderstandings that didn't need to reach that level.

Claudia-Wolff-Owbcefxgrie-UnsplashPhoto by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

7. Procrastinating on Important Tasks

Procrastinating too often is already a bad trait to have, but did you know it can be unhealthy for your relationship too? Delaying chores or tasks, especially those important to your partner, is passive-aggressive because it can be used in a way to assert control or express displeasure about something. In other words, you're using it as a weapon to upset your partner.

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8. Sighing or Eye Rolling

A very visible way to express passive-aggression is with frequent sighing or eye-rolling during conversations. It comes off as dismissive or rude, with this non-verbal form of communication displaying a clear message of disrespect. If you have a problem with something, just say it.

Bored-3126445 1280Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

9. Making Snide Remarks Under the Guise of Joking

Making negative comments then trying to brush them off as "jokes" is a way to criticize without having to take accountability. If your partner did something you didn't like, openly express that to them with words instead of throwing it in as a joke that just makes them feel belittled.

Sydney-Tremaine-41Woqfwse1I-UnsplashPhoto by Sydney Tremaine on Unsplash

10. Comparing Your Partner to Others

Never ever compare your partner to other people. It doesn't matter if it's exes, friends, or family members, just don't do it. It undermines their self-esteem and displays dissatisfaction on your end. It's a manipulative tactic used to provoke some sort of change, leading to an unhealthy relationship built off of stress and doubt.

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11. Leaving Passive-Aggressive Notes

If you want to say something, do it face-to-face rather than through notes or other means of communication. All it does is make you seem cowardly and dismissive - your partner will definitely be thinking, "Am I not important enough to be told this in person?" This method is passive-aggressive because it avoids direct confrontation, but still creates an atmosphere of tension but with no chance of resolution.

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12. Subtly Changing the Subject to Avoid Topics

It's impossible to move forward in a relationship if you try to avoid sensitive topics. Intentionally shifting conversations away from topics you personally don't want to discuss is unhealthy and leaves your partner in a state of worry and anxiety.

Priscilla-Du-Preez-7S3Bir6Hatu-Unsplash (1)Photo by Priscilla Du Preez πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ on Unsplash

13. Using Social Media to Vent

Posting vague, targeted messages on social media to air grievances about your relationship is not only passive-aggressive but also publicly undermines your partner and your relationship's privacy. Always keep things private and between the two of you.

Robin-Worrall-Fpt10Lxk0Cg-UnsplashPhoto by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash

14. Playing the Victim

It's important that you learn to acknowledge your wrongdoings and faults when in a relationship. Constantly portraying yourself as the victim in every situation just unfairly puts the blame onto your partner. It's manipulative and passive-aggressive, leading your partner to feel disrespected and untrustworthy.

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15. Giving Unsolicited Advice Constantly

Offering unsolicited advice, especially in a condescending manner, implies that your partner is incapable of making decisions on their own. This behavior belittles their abilities and intelligence.

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16. Forgetting Important Dates or Promises

Pretending to forget significant dates or promises made to your partner can be a subtle way to express anger or dissatisfaction. This behavior hurts your partner and damages the trust in your relationship.Β 

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17. Overly Critical of Partner’s Interests

Criticizing your partner's interests or hobbies is disrespectful and hurtful. It shows that you don't care about what they enjoy and that you don't respect their individuality. It's an easy way to make someone feel undervalued, putting them in a place where they feel a need to suppress their personality.

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18. Intentionally Being Late

Consistently showing up late on purpose is a passive-aggressive way to exert control or display your anger about something. You're just playing with your partner's time, wasting their efforts and personal needs.

Graeme-Worsfold-Uhtcr Xbc8W-UnsplashPhoto by Graeme Worsfold on Unsplash

19. "I Was Just Trying to Help"

Using this phrase as a defence after overstepping boundaries isn't a proper apology. Not only are you avoiding taking responsibility for your actions, you're offering unwanted, not helpful advice that dismisses your partner's feelings.Β 

Andrik-Langfield--Kcqwy1Rd6I-UnsplashPhoto by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

20. Indirectly Asking for Things

Hinting at what you want instead of asking directly can be frustrating and confusing for your partner. This behavior avoids direct communication and places the burden of interpretation on your partner, leading to potential misunderstandings and resentment.

Nik-Shuliahin-Bunwp1Bl0Nc-Unsplash (2)Photo by Nik Shuliahin πŸ’›πŸ’™ on Unsplash