The term 'passive aggressive' first originated at the end of World War II, when a Colonel from the U.

S War Department used it to describe the 'immature' and 'difficult' behaviour of some of the young soldiers.

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These soldiers would become intentionally unresponsive and carry out tasks they didn't want to do sluggishly or ineffectively.

They did this in order to preserve an element of independence in an incredibly uniform environment.

He or she has little or no regard for other people's desires or opinions and wishes to meet goals forcedly, regardless of any hurt feelings. is a good example of aggressive behaviour- if you adopt this approach you will be likely to get what you want, but you will also jeopardise the relationship you have with your housemate, as well as putting yourself at risk of future retribution.

So where does passive aggressive behaviour come on the scale?

We've all heard the phrase in books and films before, but what does it really mean to be 'passive aggressive'?

We often give this name to people who are particularly difficult, stubborn, unreasonable, or 'tight-lipped'.

These people try hard to keep their real feelings inside but end up revealing them in subtle, under-hand but often far more destructive ways.

Sometimes this can be accidental but more often than not, passive aggression is a perfectly intentional form of behaviour.

One study discovered that people who had parents who were more controlling were more likely to become closed-off, withdrawn and cold in their adult relationships.