If you wonder why a supposedly nice comment makes you feel bad - perhaps you need to re-think the 'nice'.
The beauty of passive aggressive behavior - that hidden anger - is that it confuses the victim with its 'top-coat' of nice...
Often, it isn't until you walk away that it hits you... 'WHAT DID THEY SAY!?'
Instead of sinking into a bad feeling, recognize that someone just did a sneak attack and perhaps, just perhaps, you feel bad because they wanted you to!
DANCE WITH IT! EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas…
5 STEPS FOR THE COUNTERPUNCH…
1) Recognize it for what it is - mean and sneaky!
2) Take a giant step back - this is not a nice person - more like something oozing stench - and you don't want to get that smell on you!
3) You don't have to answer! One very effective strategy is the non-response, and in person the dead-pan stare!
4) If you do feel a strong need to respond, you can try: "Whoa! That was seriously nasty! Guess you had a bad day." For a double whammy you can add #3 - the dead- pan stare.
5) We assume that people we care about and value are capable of being more honest with their feelings… but since none of us are perfect, if one of the good guys has a slip into P/A behavior, you can always try calling it like it is: "Sounds like you're angry with me, want to talk about it?"