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JR, M.A.
JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
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Workplace manager does passive/aggressive technique of ,,forgetting

Customer Question

Workplace manager does passive/aggressive technique of ,,forgetting'' extremely important items. For example, told me about a mutually agreeable move in the company. Then, insists that I remind him that he needs to get a phone number to apply. After multiple, verbal and written requests. He does get the phone number. Of course, the opportunity is long gone. My fear is he is doing this again on a much higher move up in the company with paid training. He is relying on how could someone argue because he forgets. Coping strategies, please.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 8 years ago.

It sounds like your manager is a real jerk. Unfortunately, there are far too many folks like this in powerful positions. Forgetting is his unconscious way of maintaining control while appearing innocent. He may actually forget things, but his failure to write things down and follow through shows his stubborn stance. With people like this, all you can do is to point out that they seem to have trouble remembering to follow through with things. Suggest that he take notes or write something down when you give him a request. His failure to fix his forgetting is likely repeated in many aspects of his life, including his personal life. The problem is that as his subordinate, you can only correct him but so much without him getting overly defensive. Your best bet is to avoid interaction with him as much as possible and when you have to request something from him, I suggest that you make it as clear as possible. Beyond that...there is nothing else you can do about it. I suggest that you work on accepting this guy's behavior and committing to doing whatever you need to do help yourself. This guy probably disappoints many people and you are not the only one. Try reminding yourself of how he will likely respond before you approach him to ask for something. Try to anticipate his forgetting and counter his attempt to use passive/aggressive avoidance. I'm sorry this is so frustrating for you. I assure you that you are justified in feeling this way. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution in this situation.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Well, this manager is, unfortunately, the MISSING LINK between my receiving crucial information for the training and promotion. Should he ,,forget'' to connect me with this information, as I fear he will. What should I do to cope?

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