Passive-aggressive behavior is nothing new, but you may be shocked to find out just how common it is. A recent survey by Preply interviewed more than 1,200 people about their experiences with passive aggression in conversation and online. With almost 100% of respondents saying they’ve dealt with passive aggression before, there’s no debate that people can’t hold back on having a little attitude! 

Anyone else surprised that the Northeast tied for the most passive-aggressive U.S. region? Preply pointed out how regional ways of speaking can be viewed as passive-aggression, such as a non-Southerner finding the area’s politeness fake. What’s the Northeast’s excuse? 


Online platforms offer another space for passive aggression to thrive. Without body language, trying to speak with others and understand their responses can feel foreign. Sixty-nine percent of responders said people are more passive-aggressive online than in person, though 44% also acknowledged being more passive-aggressive online themselves. Looks like passive aggression and hypocrisy work hand in hand!

Texting was found to be particularly susceptible to this, with being “left on red” and receiving only reactions to messages or one-word responses taking the cake. Preply advises against responding with passive-aggressive texts, like “k,” “nevermind,” “???” and the classic but dreaded “fine.” 


Interested in learning more about common passive-aggressive behavior and phrases? Click here