12 Passive Aggressive Ways To Tell Your Boyfriend You're Angry Besides 'I'm Fine'

by Jamie LeeLo

Look, being passive aggressive is immature, unfair and doesn't get anyone anywhere when it comes to productive arguments.

When fighting with a significant other, one might suggest using open communication and being both honesty and clear.

But, let's be real. We're all just human, and what fun is being a rational, thoughtful adult? It is WAY more enjoyable (read: easier) to spew passive aggressive one-liners instead, leaving your significant other confused and flustered.

Guille Faingold

But choosing which passive aggressive phrase to use is a true art, and the perfect phrase should have both maximum confusing impact while being as brief as possible. The shorter the remark, the greater the confusion and gray area for your boyfriend to dwell in!

The most popular example is when your partner asks you, "Are you OK?" and you respond with, "I'm fine."

Ah, what genius. What nuance.

"I'm fine" is NOT saying "I'm great," nor is it saying "I'm furious." It toes an unclear, gray line, leaving your partner wondering if they should let it go, follow up with more questions or if they're actually in serious hot water.

Here are a few other examples of some of my favorite passive aggressive phrases, rated on a five-point Passive Aggressive (PA) scale:

1. "Whatever."

5 PA stars.

A classic. This phrase has just the right amount of ambiguity, so you aren't really saying ANYTHING.

Sure, by using context clues, your boyfriend MIGHT assume you don't actually have an opinion on whatever it is you are disagreeing about, but we all know it's actually the exact opposite.

You have LOTS of opinions, and he has to do the hard work of digging them out of your clenched heart.

2. "You do the math."

3 PA stars.

This one is great because not only does it withhold your thoughts, but it also suggests your significant other is an idiot and can't figure things out for himself. Points for creativity here.

3. "Good for you."

3.5 PA stars.

"Good for you" strongly implies "whatever we're talking about is a positive in your life but a negative in mine, and I'm MAD at you for ignoring how this negatively affects me, asshole." Bonus points for brevity!

4. "I don't care."

4 PA stars.

Similar to "whatever," you can always default to "I don't care."

However, this one isn't QUITE as passive aggressive, as even the most dense of partners knows what it really means. (AKA "I ACTUALLY CARE A WHOLE DAMN LOT.")

5. "That's just great."

2 PA stars.

No, every thing is NOT actually great when you say this. Because this one requires maximum sarcasm for the greatest effect, it rates high for effectiveness, but low in passive aggressiveness.

6. "Isn't that special?"

2.5 PA stars.

Now, this phrase is definitely for beginners. When you say "special," you obviously don't mean delightful and unique. You mean annoying AF. Again, heavy sarcasm is required.

7. "Whatever makes you happy."

4.5 PA stars.

Congratulations! You've advanced to Intermediate Passive Aggressor with this one. This might sound like a trap to someone else because it IS a trap.

Your words are saying "do whatever you want," but what you really mean is... do whatever I want.

8. "Wow."

5 PA stars.

Five points for this word in all categories — ambiguity, brevity and overall effect.

"Wow" by itself can mean literally anything, and it's a great exit strategy for any conversation, which will leave your sparring partner wondering "WHAT?!"

9. "Must be nice."

3 PA stars.

I love this one because it instills doubt AND guilt in the other person, suggesting your partner has done something wrong and/or has something you want.

10. "I'm sorry you feel that way."

5 PA stars.

This is for the advanced passive aggressor to chip away at your partners' insecurity and use mind games at their best.

Here's the kicker: You aren't actually apologizing for anything. You are saying you wish your partner behaved or felt differently about your actions, which you still stand by. This is both very passive aggressive AND very sneaky.

11. "Up to you."

3.5 PA stars.

This one is going to feel like a test to your partner because it is.

You are actively putting the ball back in their court while still withholding your precious true feelings they need to know so they can act accordingly.

They'll feel flustered, confused and just as much in the dark as they were at the beginning of this conversation.

12. "Don't worry about it," "Let's just drop it" and "Forget it."

3.5 PA stars.

These three are all great ways to say, "THIS IS NOT OVER. DON'T YOU DARE GET COMFORTABLE." They are, for the most part, interchangeable and will instill great amounts of frustration and doubt in your partner.

Pick your poison and enjoy the show.