Yeah, it's an overused term. I use it generally to indicate behavior where one avoid directness and instead tries to use indirect means such as conversation avoidance, dropping hints, subtle retaliation etc. for perceived slights.
I don't like it. Sometimes I do it. I hope my friends call me on it when I do.
I don't like it when my friends use it on me. It makes me feel less than, unworthy, lost and confused. If a person is direct, at least I know where I stand, and I don't question every single one of my actions. I don't wonder why someone won't talk to me.
I'm fighting myself on this one, though I don't know what to do. I do not know how to break that behavior, even for an instant. Do I go for the cathartic confrontation, or just wash my hands and walk away. The former may accomplish little and engender more permanent anger. The latter may be just as passive-aggressive as the treatment I received. Gentle inquiries seem to yield nothing.