Survey shows passive-aggressive behavior is on the rise at the office

The Mayo Clinic describes passive-aggressive behavior as “a pattern of indirectly expressing negative feelings instead of openly addressing them,” but if you work in an office, a new survey says you’ve already seen it in action. 

And chances are, you’ve done it yourself.

In fact, 70% of American workers say their co-workers are more passive-aggressive than ever, according to the poll of 2,000 people that was commissioned by the digital learning platform Go1.

Nearly half say this behavior has gotten worse since COVID began.

Sixty-four percent say they witness passive-aggressive behavior from co-workers once a week, with women noting it more frequently than men: 54% of the employees polled say they’ve witnessed co-workers gossiping about others behind their backs; 50% hear complaints and resentment; 49% see some co-workers getting the silent treatment; 42% hear sarcastic comments; and 37% witness dishonesty from their co-workers.

Two in three of those polled say they’ve engaged in that behavior themselves, with 18% blaming work stress for their behavior. Forty-one percent say they send “friendly reminders” as a sign of their own passive-aggression, though 32% employ sarcasm and giving other employees the silent treatment, too.

Survey questions, methodology and results have not been verified or endorsed by ABC News or The Walt Disney Company.