Dear Abby: When I was growing up, my father would ask my mother what she wanted, and then he would buy the opposite. For example, if she wanted a brown sofa, he would buy a blue one.
One day I realized that he acts the same way toward me. He will ask my opinion about the color of something – like an appliance – then buy the opposite color. Is there a name for this behavior? – Anonymous in Atlanta
Dear Anonymous: Yes, there is. It is called “passive aggression,” and it’s a way of demonstrating veiled hostility without being directly confrontational.