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How to Leave Passive-Aggressive Notes

Master the art of sending someone a stinging missive -- while hiding behind a facade of goodwill -- with these helpful hints on how to leave passive-aggressive notes.


  • Step 1: Consider framing your criticism as helpful advice in your passive-aggressive note: make your hurtful remarks, then end with something along the lines of "I'm only telling you this because I care about you."
  • Step 2: Get the most bang for your passive-aggressive buck by pretending you're just passing along nasty stuff other people are saying. This is especially wicked because it makes the recipient think everyone is talking about them. End with: "Of course, I don't think this. I just thought you should know what everyone else is saying."
  • FACT: "Passive-aggressive personality disorder" was coined by psychiatrists during World War II. It referred to soldiers who technically followed orders, but managed to create problems nonetheless.
  • Step 3: Try disguising your gibe as a compliment. For example: "I think it's so brave of you not to buy into the whole 'you have be thin' thing."
  • TIP: Add a smiley face to further underscore your "joke."
  • Step 4: Start the note out sweetly so your victim has no idea you're setting them up for a verbal sucker punch.
  • Step 5: Toss in your insult and then pretend it was a joke by writing "Just kidding!" at the end of your passive-aggressive note.
  • Step 6: Know what passive-aggressive behavior is: A sneaky way to say or do something mean without taking responsibility for it.

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