Shoulder Chips and Obnoxious Behavior

Why is it that some people go through life with a chip on their shoulder exhibiting what a colleague terms passive-obnoxious behavior?

You know the type, they’ll send you a complimentary email telling you what a wonderful job you just did on something but then they will casually add that they have a few “observations” they want to share with you about the work.

You’ll know they are passive-obnoxious when they then sign off their email without telling you what it is they have observed making you wonder what you did “wrong.” You can easily recognize them when you realize they aren’t even involved in the project but are giving you totally unsolicited feedback.

In fact, they go through life giving people they come in contact with lots of unsolicited feedback. I guess it makes them feel superior. If you challenge their behavior, they will proclaim they meant no harm. In fact, they will tell you they were only trying to help you by giving you positive feedback and the benefit of their knowledge. Everyone else is the real problem and so they go through life making life miserable for people around them.

This type of person isn’t likely to change. People will make excuses for them like "That's just how he communicates. Or, she's always that way – just ignore her." In a business setting, they typically get shuffled off to a position where they can be disregarded.

You should do the same. Deal with decision makers and disregard the passively-obnoxious.

2 thoughts on “Shoulder Chips and Obnoxious Behavior”

  1. I read this blog and never thought of it as passive obnoxious, but as a passive aggressive personality. In thinking it over, I know several people who I thought of as passively aggressive, but have now realized that they are actually obnoxious! Thanks for opening my eyes to a more in-depth view – good blog!

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