I was passive aggressive for a majority of my life, but I realized that it is not only petty, but it has also been the root cause of many issues in my life. The reason being passive aggressive has been a root cause in many conflicts is because when you do not say how you feel, how is the other person involved supposed to know what is wrong?
How are you solving any problems by talking about people instead of confronting them? You can not solve any problems at all this way. You create more because now all the subtle petty things you have done trying to tell the person you are upset, do not add up and anger that person because they think you are petty for no reason since you never gave them one.
Confront whoever you are upset with
I know confronting people is never fun, trust me. I know it makes you nervous and you probably stutter or laugh when you are trying to get words out. Trust me, I have gone through all of this countless times, and I still do.
My ex-roommate decided she wanted to move out of our dorm room, giving me no warning whatsoever but she told everyone else on the floor. So, instead of confronting me, she allowed me to be oblivious the whole time we were living together, and I never saw it coming.
I decided to break the cycle and confront her, but when I did that I was laughing at first, and I repeatedly chuckled, "This is funny." It is not funny, but this is the only way I could work up enough courage to say anything at all. However, once I finally was able to get my words out and say something, she remained passive-aggressive, and we resolved nothing. Since we did not solve anything, more problems arise because I am never sure what I can and cannot do around her.
DO NOT gossip about the issue
You should talk about issues with your friends, but do not tell everyone what is going on before you confront the other person. The reason I make this claim is that not only will gossiping hurt the person's feelings, but it will also cause more issues. Gossiping will cause more problems because EVERYTHING always gets back to whom you are talking about, which will create more arguments then are necessary. You already do not want to confront them, so why drag out the confrontation?
Look, I get it. Sometimes you get carried away and confide in too many people, but before going to other people, you should talk to the person you have a problem with. Otherwise, it is going to be like ripping a bandaid off slowly, which hurts a lot more than quickly handling it.
For instance, my ex-roommate decided it would hurt less if she pulled the "bandaid" of slowly, which I would have been understandable if I had not overheard her talking about it in the hallway with our floormates. My ex-roommate gossiping caused more problems because she failed to ever directly tell me what I did wrong, so now I am always anxious around her, and I am walking on my tiptoes. Also, since she informed everyone else her reasoning, I was alienated and left with only a couple of people who would talk to me because they did not want to be directly involved.
So, as you can tell, quickly ripping off the bandaid is much better than causing more harm than necessary.
I am not attempting to belittle anyone who is passive-aggressive because I know I, myself, can be very petty. For instance, I am now labeling all of my food since my ex-roommate has not moved out yet. Yes, this may cause problems but, at this point, I am just mimicking my ex-roommate's attitude. So, as I said before, I understand being passive-aggressive and the motive behind it. We all can be petty, and that is alright since no one is perfect. Just next time, try being confrontational and standing up for yourself because it will end up being much less stressful.