How To Deal with Passive Aggressive People – Jocko Willink


chuckle like yourself I tend to have low
opinions slash expectations of people my question is how do you act friendly with
someone when you know they’re trying to play passive-aggressive power games with
you say say you know person and you know he’s a snake but social and work
situations demands and expects that you act like their friend how do you
reconcile that within your mind is that or is that not being fake I know you’re
gonna say play the game but but do I really have to play these snake games
just to get ahead in the world alright so first of all from the first part of
that this this blatant statement that I have a low opinion of people is actually
factually not true I I don’t come out of the gate with a low opinion of people
that’s actually not true I have high hopes for people that they’re gonna do
well but I don’t have expectations that they’re gonna perform there’s a
difference there right I don’t view people in a low my opinion of people is
not low right out of the gate but I don’t layer heavy expectations on them
because that’s unfair so that’s number one I set the bar low so people can
pleasantly surprise me but believe me I don’t have a low expectation or a low
opinion of people now the question yes you absolutely called it and what I was
going to say play the game right yes yes that’s what you’re gonna do now let me
let me produce where you got snakes okay if you don’t learn to play with the
snakes you’re never gonna get the anti-venom from their fangs you’re never
gonna get him figured out and if you don’t figure out how to get the
anti-venom the snakes are always gonna own you so you got to learn how to deal
with snakes okay because a team to kid from Arkansas
or something and we were out in the hills somewhere and there was a
rattlesnake and he grabbed that thing like he was picking up a like he was
picking up a pair of socks it was like no factor boom walked over picked up the
snake whacked it against the tree I said okay
knows how to deal with snakes and it’s the same thing here
people are snakes does that mean you just avoid them and you’re not gonna
play the game and the worst thing you know what you don’t do with the snake is
you don’t walk over and get all like intimidate them and get in their face
and so it bites you you know and getting poisons you right so yes you got to play
the game people like this exist right and and so let’s say let’s take a let’s
say you take the moral high ground and you refuse to work with and accept and
be humane with these snakes okay if that’s what you do now guess what now
the snakes don’t like you now they see you as a threat and now they attack and
like I said this is when they bite in they poison and they kill you and what
good are you now you’re dead so you can’t help anybody when you’re dead you
can’t achieve your goals you can’t help the team you can’t accomplish the
mission because you are on the moral high ground now let’s say that you learn
to play the game you learn how to handle those snakes like that young boy from
our from Arkansas you learn their moves you get the antidote you get the
anti-venom for their poison and you actually in this process you become
immune to their attacks and you reach a point where they actually don’t attack
you because they’re familiar with you and they trust you and when that happens
then you can overcome their weapons you can rise up you can get control of them
and you can utilize them for your own purpose right now if that purpose was
something that was self-centered or something that was for your own good and
not for them or not for the team then it’d be a form of manipulation and it’d
be pretty negative but if all you’re doing is trying to get these snakes on
board with the program to help the whole team win
we got no issue with that mmm we got no moral issue with that I got no moral
issue with me treating people nicely to try and get them on board with the
program so that they can help our team win I got no issue with that moral
or otherwise so that’s the answer I think you know when the time is right
you be nice to those snakes when the time is right you put that little stick
with the noose around the end of it you put it around their head and yes and you
collect their venom and you can use snakes to do things like kill rats right
snakes can be used for some kind of good at some point now I know it’s hard right
I know it’s hard and is it being fake maybe it is maybe that is being fake but
you’re doing it for the good of the team so again it’s not the personal game
that’s a huge difference and also if you think about this idea of being fake if
you would be nice to people to help the team win then isn’t that actually you
right so how can you be fake by being you right if my if what I do is hey I
help people and I get in their head and I’ll I’ll be nice to them so we can win
mm-hm if I do that that’s me that’s not being fake that’s actually what I do
that’s not being fake so I think regardless in the end it is something
you have to do you do have to play the game and that is how you’re gonna help
your team win and is also if you want to get those snakes to come over to the
light and get away from the darkness you’re not gonna do it by trying to kill
them all you’re gonna do is offend them and they’re gonna attack you like I said
if you show them a good example if you’re productive and when you get all
that stuff done and you accomplished your mission and what you do is you say
hey it wasn’t me to accomplish the mission it was the snakes they did it
you know what those snakes start to stand upright they start to D defang
themselves and they start to realize that maybe they can do some good out
there too i like the snake analogy hey he started it that Oh commentary like no no no no way
you saying you know how you slowly build that relationship whatever yeah that
part’s hard because it takes like time it takes harder than time is it takes to
the stomach yeah yeah you got the guy that you knows a slimy guy that’s just
looking out for themselves you could have a hey man what’s going on yeah hey
Bill what’s happening you know good to see you yeah hey yeah no good yeah
didn’t got a great weekend thank you yeah how was your weekend yeah you know
so you’re in that mode and you got a gut through that you know because you know
you’re a good person right right I think yeah it’s specially passive aggressive
like that can be tough as a lot of times its way easier if I’m like if I if I
launch a confrontation against you it’s way easier mentally to be like okay
we’re in a little bit all right now it’s easy but if I just do like one little
big and then kind of walk away or something like that is that can be way
more like trying on your mind on your patience no and then when you when you
battle through that right or the idea I got a battle through this okay it’s
gonna be hard just you know mentally whatever I got a battle through that oh
I guess what you got to do that for a long time now one time that you think
that was hard right well you gotta keep on using that continual seething ever
does make a challenge but I think if you just know this if you know if you can
see the light and you know what you can do too and I hate to use this word
because it seems to be a trendy word right now you got a game a fire a little
bit you know when somebody does something passive-aggressive to me I’m
like Oh score I’m gonna have fun with this hey you’re right that was a really
good job that your team did over there you know when they say dig at me yeah I
think you guys did fantastic I didn’t foresee that at all yeah you’re you’re
crushing it just oh oh that hurt but guess what I’m gonna win in the long run
I just want a little battle against you yeah and you let these little things by
don’t let the little things bother you man think about the big stuff big stuff
to worry about out there can’t let the little things bother you and are you on
the right path if you’re trying to do the right thing for the right reasons
man it’s all good doesn’t matter what else yeah I’m good
with it and that’s it but kind of the light at the end of the tunnel like you
know like you know that’s where I’m going this is just part of the thing you
know I see the whole path yeah and it just makes it easier when you kind of
know that but the worst man the kind where I see you talk about
passive-aggressive be the worst I don’t this is not like this thing that bothers
me yeah I don’t know it doesn’t it never been a big issue for me when somebody’s
passive-aggressive with me I just okay cool I see the game were in I’m up yeah
I’ll play that game with it man see if you can just look at it like that and
look at it like that yeah man it make it you would almost make it the opposite
situation like you would almost my pleasure does cuz I don’t I’ve never had
a big issue with some guy that’s being bad never had that yeah a little shot
right there you know what come throw some credit down I’m gonna flank them
yeah they’re gonna be good not worried about that person that person is not
really secure in the first place right and they’re sort of one of these slimy
snakes right that are trying to make things happen that’s okay I’ll just just
help them help them out you know what you’re trying to be past
regrets Mel but bring out in the open bring out the clear not enough not an
offensive way but you know what I think you’re right about that
you know I think you could do a better job here come on and help my team or
whatever yeah because when they’re doing that what are they attacking you
you’re Sarah tacking your ego so if you just get over that thing and just say
you know what no big deal yeah that’s good oh I see what’s going on here let’s
bring it out in the open bring out in the open expose the ambush and just say
hey buddy yo oh yeah we’re good let’s start let’s let’s move forward together
his team how’s that sound I’m down you know what and I’m thinking about this
I’m like yeah that sounds so easy but you know what I realize it’s one like I
care about the person and they be passive aggressive like or if I care
about like their opinion or said I say that you had to offend them in that way
not in the way we’re like I might offend them but like if like you care about
what they think you know okay and they’re like what’s wrong with that but
I guess maybe that’s where my sensitivity to it is and
coworkers maybe in the oven had co-workers in a long time well I guess
you’re a co-worker but you’re not passive-aggressive but you’re aggressive
maybe it would be in a situation like maybe a co-worker situation would be the
kind of situation that I’m like thinking about where people will be more
sensitive than us you know what actually the other day you and I had a
conversation you might have been being passive-aggressive no maybe you we were
trying to do something and you said hey you know I’m just not sure if this is
like really something we should do and I was like cool don’t do it that was a
passive-aggressive that was like it was different is like trading lightly you
know okay you know like it wasn’t necessarily true straight dope oh you
gave me a little bit of a indication yeah I said oh there’s something going
on some kind of ambush here I said okay come on out
good let’s bring it out in the open because I’m good it’s not that it’s like
you know I respect your opinion let’s go with it no factor make that happen it
was good how I roll yeah the passive-aggressive is the kind
where like you know if I’m mad at you for something and then I’m like nope all
good but meanwhile my body language is saying yeah it’s like that kind of is
that even passively yes that is what passive-aggressive is it’s like it’s
like like oh it’s all good but then like little digs you’re indicating other
stuff it’s like this very thing it’s black yeah like I said we’re not when
someone’s being out with me I’m gonna bring them all the way yeah I’m gonna
bring from passive to just straight aggressor yeah so that we can get
through it because I’m not going to guess that’s a good thing if we’re not a
team why are we going against each other yeah what’s probably it at the root
there is just ego situation yeah you can put that to rest
you’re good hard though hard to put that ego in check for all of us yeah yeah man
I mean coworkers are your peers so you know it’s natural to kind of care what
they think even if you don’t like them you know it’s just I think it’s just
natural yeah of course people want to do a good job but yeah and want other
people to think that they’re doing a good job yeah but nothing wrong with
that so when they start throwing jab it’s okay you know what why are they
throwing a jab maybe you’re not doing as good a job as you thought you were and
now take a little shot to your ego so let’s address it let’s figure out what
the issue is yeah yeah this is like jujitsu yeah I’ve done this move I’ve
seen this move before rock and roll