I don’t like to throw out canned psychological labels, really, I don’t, but you if you have ever dealt with a passive-aggressive person you know what it feels like to go crazy trying. The thing is, I believe, to one degree or another, we all have passive-aggressive tendencies. I mean we can’t really help it. Most of us have been reared to repress our angry feelings, to be good little boys and girls and to accept the status quo. Some of us have just had harder lessons and when that happens we learn to say one thing and do another. Act like we are happy when we are not and to put the needs of others above our own, then all of a sudden the repression builds and we explode like roman candles, blowing the lid off the facade and shocking anyone within striking distance, because we are usually so nice, so accommodating.
In psychological circles there is a big book called, “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”, or The “DSM”, the book says that Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder can also be called Negative Personality Disorder, and to be honest I think that if I had to label myself it is what I suffer from the most and this has created in me a co-dependent personality which I have acknowledged and worked on for many years, but just because I know it’s there doesn’t mean it’s cured, it just means I must pay vigilant attention to my behavior, not to please others, but to please myself. I please myself when I realize the world is not peopled with others who are out to get me, or who are there to fuck-up my mood or my life. For many years I simply hated authority figures, would not show up for work and blamed everyone else on the planet for every bad thing that happened to me. And there were some people to blame. And there were bad things that happened to me, BUT and that’s a big BUT, I realized that I can take control of my emotions and I never realized how bad I was until I married someone who was so, so, so much worse than me.
According to Widpedia this is the definition of Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder:
Passive-aggressive behavior refers to passive, sometimes obstructionist resistance to following authoritative instructions in interpersonal or occupational situations. It can manifest itself as resentment, stubbornness, procrastination, sullenness, or repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is assumed, often explicitly, to be responsible. It is a defense mechanism and, more often than not, only partly conscious. For example, people who are passive-aggressive might take so long to get ready for a party they do not wish to attend that the party is nearly over by the time they arrive. Another form of passive-aggressive behavior would be leaving notes to avoid face-to-face discussion/confrontation.
Passive-aggressive personality disorder (also called negativistic personality disorder) is a personality disorder said to be marked by a pervasive pattern of negative attitudes and passive, usually disavowed resistance in interpersonal or occupational situations. It was listed as an Axis II personality disorder in the DSM-III-R, but was moved in the DSM-IV to Appendix B (“Criteria Sets and Axes Provided for Further Study”) because of controversy and the need for further research on how to also categorize the behaviors in a future edition. On that point, Cecil Adams writes:
- Merely being passive-aggressive isn’t a disorder but a behavior — sometimes a perfectly rational behavior, which lets you dodge unpleasant chores while avoiding confrontation. It’s only pathological if it’s a habitual, crippling response reflecting a pervasively pessimistic attitude.
When the behaviors are part of a person’s personality disorder or personality style, repercussions are not usually immediate, but instead accumulate over time as the individuals affected by the person come to recognize the disavowed aggression coming from that person. People with this personality style are often quite unconscious of their impact on others, and thus may be genuinely dismayed when held to account for the inconvenience or discomfort caused by their passive-aggressive behaviors. In that context, there is a failure to see how they might have provoked a negative response, so they feel misunderstood, held to unreasonable standards, and/or put upon.
Treatment of this disorder can be difficult: efforts to convince the patient that their unconscious feelings are being expressed passively, and that the passive expression of those feelings (their behavior) inspires other people’s anger or disappointment with the patient, are often met with resistance. Individuals with the disorder will frequently leave treatment claiming that it did no good. Since the effectiveness of various therapies has yet to be proven, these individuals may be correct.
Passive aggressive disorder is said to stem from a specific childhood stimulus (e.g. overbearing parental figures, or alcohol/drug addicted parents).
Does it enlighten you? Do you see yourself in there? If you see yourself congratulations! If you see your significant other watch out because no matter how hard you attempt to enlighten them, they may never see their reflection while they cling to the only way they know to exist in this world. If you can put up with it for a lifetime or even a short time, putting up with it is all it will be. If you are wondering whether or not you are involved with a passive aggressive type look here at this article:
or this article:
And of course if you are really questioning the behavior because you can never seem to please this person, no matter what, do a search of your own. The thing is this form of behavior can take on a really ugly shape in the form of withholding sex in order to exert control in the relationship. This type of punishment is usually said to be used by women, and it is, but men can do it too and this is what I experienced when I was married. And Dag-Nab-it, I wish I had found this article earlier, (Withholding Sex as a Form of Punishment), because I, being of low self-esteem and co-dependent blamed myself for the lack of sex in my marriage and I felt incapacitated for years because of it. This is not just me blaming the other person. This is not just me being a victim. This is me going crazy because I married someone who was a much better manipulator than I was. The upside is, I learned a great deal about myself in the mirror of him and I learned a great deal about who I will accept into my life in the future. But what I learned that is most important is that with some people no matter how hard you try you will only make yourself crazy in the offing and when this happens it is best to simply cut ties and move on. If you are in a sexless, crazy making relationship as hard is it may feel to let it go, letting it go is the only way to return to sanity!