12 Passive-Aggressive Texts Women Send When We’re Angry But Pretending We’re Not

We all do it—we send passive-aggressive texts when we’re mad at our partners instead of just saying “I’m mad at you.” In our heads, it’s the quickest way to express contempt when we don’t have time to get into a full-fledged fight. We assume these guys will get the hint, and sometimes they actually do. Do any of these texts look familiar to you?

  1. “Fine.” Fine isn’t good. Fine isn’t even fine. A “fine” with a period means that you’re incredibly displeased. “Fine” means that you’re ready to stop talking about a subject for now but you plan on revisiting it eventually. Hopefully, the conversation will have a different conclusion the second time around.
  2. “I’m not mad.” When a woman says she’s not mad, it means she’s secretly still a little mad — and she’ll probably bring up this incident again in a few months since there was never any real closure on it. “I’m not mad” is simply an “I’m not going to let this lead to a big blow-up argument… yet.”
  3. “OK.” In the world of emojis, “ok” is almost as empty as not responding at all. As the years have gone on, there are plenty of responses you can give that aren’t so cold. Compare “ok” to “sounds great!” or “okay! :)” and you can see the difference.
  4. “I dunno” or “IDK.” Are you talking about whether or not a particular assignment is due in class next week? If so, this is fine. But if a woman texts this while talking about plans for the night, she’s not invested enough to do the legwork. She wants you to figure things out and have the confidence to present what you have in mind.
  5. “Yep” or “Yup.” The only time these two words aren’t passive-aggressive are when someone’s trying to confirm directions with you. If you’e talking about anything emotional and throw a “yep” out there, you’re pretty much saying “I’m dismissing everything you’re talking about and bringing this conversation to a halt.”
  6. “…” Either a typed out ellipses or a sign that someone’s in the midst of responding without sending the text are bad. The typed out ellipses means that someone has no response and wants you to know that. The typed out and then deleted response ellipses on iPhones means that someone typed something negative and then thought twice. If the sender catches it, they’ll be so curious about your unspoken words. It’s cruel but it happens.
  7. “Whatever you want to do, I guess.” When a woman sends this text to their partner, she’s given up. She’s not happy about the plan but doesn’t want her partner to be happy about where things left off.  Remember, relationships should be a compromise. If your partner never wants to take your suggestions, this familiar text may tell you it’s time to cut them loose.
  8. “You do you.” This is code for “I don’t give a crap about what decision you make.” In a normal conversation, it’s not the worst thing someone could say, but in a text, it can come off as being a little passive-aggressive. If a woman texts this, she may have some extra input regardless of what you choose to do.
  9. “So…” When you text someone this, you’re pretty much saying that the person you’re talking to needs to get to the point already. That, or it makes it look like you’re just glossing over what they’ve already told you. It hits people the wrong way but is so common when someone’s secretly mad.
  10. “Um.” Just imagine someone saying “Um” in normal conversation. Either they’re extremely awkward when it comes to conversing, or they’re trying to prove someone wrong.  In-text, it’ll always come across as being the latter. Using “um” means, “I’m tired of trying to get my point across.”
  11. “You never do anything for me.” This text may very well signify the end of a relationship since it shows there’s resentment. Either the woman is expecting their partner to buy them flowers and other cheer-up gifts, or they just feel very alone in their relationship. Even if it’s followed up with an emoji, there’s still a hidden resentment here.
  12. “Maybe your last girlfriend was cool with it, but.” The second you bring up a past relationship, you’re asking for trouble. Women who talk about an ex so openly are willing to fight about whatever’s on the table. They feel secure enough to know that any sort of “Guess I’ll go back to them” retaliation text won’t be a serious threat.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.