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How to do deal with passive people?

(8 Posts)
Neon1077 Sat 15-Oct-16 08:14:50

I need some advice to stop this getting under my skin so much. I'm currently involved on a project with a couple of people from my DC class. It's quite time consuming (at the moment but will be short lived) and one person is quietly sitting back & allowing everyone else to do the work. I've started noticing this as we are doing a lot together at the moment and i'm finding it very frustrating & irritating that this person is happy to let the others do all the work while they quietly get on with their own personal things & will still claim the credit. I can't see a way around this but to keep quiet, but it's starting to really niggle me & I think my frustration comes out in my tone sometimes. This person is playing a very good political game and I doubt anyone else can see. I'm learning they are very good at sitting back & letting everyone else sort things out around them. I'm a proactive person so can't bring myself to do this too. WWYD?

pallasathena Sat 15-Oct-16 08:32:43

I'd get assertive and make a pointed comment, something along the lines of, "Perhaps you could make the coffee while the rest of us carry on with all this work?"
His/her reaction will be interesting to see. Some people are just bone idle and if they can get away with doing the minimal, they will.
Alternatively, he/she could be feeling intimidated, unconfident or just be going through a rough time in their life. If that's the case, then try and be kind.

Neon1077 Sat 15-Oct-16 08:53:20

Thanks for your comment. I'm aware my post probably comes across as trivial but it affects my life generally as I struggle playing any political game well. My true feelings eventually show which I don't think does me any favours as I come across like a loon while the other quietly gets away with everything. I'm trying to ignore the fact that they are doing nothing (I genuinely don't believe they have big struggles that would prevent them from doing any research for example) and I keep my distance whenever possible so we aren't in too much contact but at the same time dislike it all very much as I feel there is an undercurrent.

HandyWoman Sat 15-Oct-16 11:07:08

I think it depends on the context - is the project some PTA thing? Or is it professional?

Annoying as it may be I wonder whether the fact that this 'affects your life generally' means you'd be better off trying to figure out why this is. People you come across in life/at school are who they are...especially in group situations.

Also how can you possibly surmise for sure this person doesn't have any big struggles with confidence or circumstances in their life..

Cary2012 Sat 15-Oct-16 11:58:10

There are always people, at work, or in situations like you describe who don't pull their weight. Some people lack confidence some are happy to drift along and let others do their share. The workers then feel resentful, and feel they're being taken for a mug.
If I was you I would arrange a little status update meeting. Just to see how everything's going, to make sure you're all on course. Minute it and distribute to all participants. Delegate tasks to those not pulling their weight, with deadlines against them. This deals with it in a fair professional way, is in the open and pins them down to specific duties.

Good luck

MatildaTheCat Sat 15-Oct-16 12:12:59

Is this as team without a leader? I agree that there needs to be an evaluation of the task and progress with a clear plan and tasks evenly delegated to match the skills sets available.

Some people may be intimidated by the noisy confident members so not fulfilling their potential. Or could be a lazy arse who isn't pulling their weight.

RiceCrispieTreats Sat 15-Oct-16 13:35:30

This person doesn't sound "passive" so much as manipulative : you mention "playing political games" a few times.

With truly passive people, the solution (as with toddlers) is to present them 2 concrete options: "do you want to do x, or do you want to do y?"

With manipulative people, the solution is to stay the fuck away from them.

Neon1077 Sun 16-Oct-16 07:59:04

Thanks for all your replies. Handy woman, you make a good point how can I possibly know. I was trying to stay away from it being too much about confidence issues as although that may be part of it, I actually felt it was more manipulative behaviour which rice crispie mentioned.

Crispie - thank you, it sounds idiotic but I hadn't realised that I was subconsciously linking passive people in the same box as manipulative people and branding it 'passive'. I have become more irritated than I should over this hence posting so I can try and gain some perspective over the weekend. It's actually the subtle manipulation that is irritating me, not being passive - which I agree can be down to troubles, confidence etc.

Cary/Mathilda - I think it's more about being a lazy arse and agree maybe a status meeting is needed but fully suspect they won't have done anything.

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