Intentional ineffectiveness and unacknowledged hostility.
Indirect control of others without taking responsibility for actions, or anger, denies/refuses open statements of resistance/maintains own "good intentions."
Cannot say a direct "no," indirectly expressed resistance to demands of others for performance, thwarts/frustrates authority/spouse/partners/relatives.
Intentional but unconscious passivity to hide aggression, denial of/confusion over own role in conflict, gives mixed signals ("go away and come close") hostile defiance alternating with contrition.
Overcritical, "left-handed" compliments, subtle attacks, blames, insults, complains to others/"bitches," critical of boss/all authorities/those with power/control over him/her, carping/fault-finding as defense against intimacy/commitment, unnecessary and prolonged argumentativeness.
Denial of most emotions (especially anger, hurt, resentment), hostile motives, deeply and persistently ambivalent, sullen, envious, resentful.
Intentional inefficiency that covertly conveys hostility, veiled hostility, resents control/demands, fails to meet deadlines.
Qualifies obedience with: tardiness, dawdling, sloppiness, stubbornness, sabatoge, "accidental" errors, procrastination, forgetfulness, incompleteness, witholding of critical information/responses/replies, leisurely work pace.
Not lazy or dissatisfied with job, but spotty employment record, no promotions despite ability.
Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder
(Negativistic Personality Disorder)
DSM IV - 4th Edition
The essential feature is a pervasive pattern of negativistic attitudes and passive resistance to demands for adequate performance in social and occupational situations that begins by early adulthood and that occurs in a variety of contexts. This pattern does not occur exclusively during Major Depressive Episodes and is not better accounted for by Dysthymic Disorder. These individuals habitually resent, oppose, and resist demands to function at the level expected by others. This opposition occurs most frequently in work situations but can also be evident in social functioning. The resistance is expressed by procrastination, forgetfulness, stubbornness, and intentional inefficiency, especialy in response to tasks assigned by authority figures. These individuals obstruct the efforts of others by failing to do their share of the work. For example, when an executive gives a subordinate some material to review for a meeting the next morning, the subordinate may misplace or misfile the material rather than point out that there is insufficient time to do the work. These individuals feel cheated, unappreciated, and misunderstood and chronically complain to others. When difficulties appear, they blame their failures on the behaviors of others. They may be sullen, irritable, impatient, argumentative, cynical, skeptical and contrary. Authority figures (e.g., a superior at work, a teacher at school, a parent, or a spouse who acts the role of a parent) often become the focus of discontent. Because of their negativism and tendency to externalize blame, these individuals often criticize and voice hostility toward authority figures with minimal provocation. They are also envious and resentful of peers who succeed or who are viewed positively by authority figures. These individuals often complain about their personal misforturnes. They have a negative view of the future and may make comments such as, "It doesn't pay to be good" and "Good things don't last." These individuals may waver between expressing hostile defiance toward those they view as causing their problems and attempting to mollify these persons by asking forgiveness or promising to perform better in the future.
These individuals are often overtly ambivalent, wavering indecisively from one course of action to its opposite. They may follow an erratic path that causes endless wrangles with others and disappointments for themselves. An intense conflict between dependence on others and the desire for self-assertion is characteristic of these individuals. Their self-confidence is often poor despite a superficial bravado. They foresee the worst possible outcome for most situations, even those that are going well. This defeatist outlook can evoke hostile and negative responses from others who are subjected to the complaints of these individuals. This pattern of behavior often occurs in individuals with Borderline, Histrionic, Paranoid, Dependent, Antisocial, and Avoidant Personality Disorders.
In DSM-IV, individuals whose presentation meets these research criteria would be diagnosed as having PERSONALITY DISORDER NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED.
In OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER, there is a similar pattern of negativistic attitudes and problems with authority figures, but Oppositional Defiant Disorder is usually diagnosed in children, whereas this proposed disorder should be considered only in adults. This pattern should not be considered if the symptoms are better accounted for by DYSTHYMIC DISORDER or if they occur exclusively during MAJOR DEPRESSIVE EPISODES. Passive-aggressive behaviors are frequently encountered in everyday life, particularly among those in authoritarian situations (e.g., work, military, prison) that do not tolerate other forms of assertiveness. Only when these passive-aggressive personality traits are inflexible, maladaptive, and cause significant functional impairment or subjective distress do they constitute a disorder.
7. Contributed by Ms. Liva Lindqvist..... Ms. Lindqvist recently posted to the site messageboard the desire to change her passive-aggressive behavior. Another person asked her some questions and this is her reply... I want to personally thank her for not only allowing me to add this to the site but for her ability to so eloquently express herself. I truly believe it will be beneficial to both p.a.s and non-p.a.s alike........
" What am I afraid of?
I am afraid of taking chances, losing control. I'm afraid of being hurt, of not having the "upper hand" in a situation.
What am I angry about?
I am angry about feeling powerless. I carry around some anger from my childhood as well. I wasn't allowed to express my anger, I was suppose to be a good little girl through my parents' divorce with I was 8. I'm angry about being "caught out" of my behavior.
Why do I manipulate?
When I manipulate I know the outcome of whatever it is I'm doing, I know what I'll get even if the end result is negative.
Do I have reservations about my partner?
The only reservations I may have about my partner is when I'm angry about him not accepting me the way I am, but I can't honestly say I would want him to.
What triggers my P.A. behavior?
Anything that is expected of me can trigger it. If I know I should be doing something, especially for someone else. If there are expectations on me I will, almost without exception, do something so it goes bad or the result is poor.
Is my partner doing anything to facilitate my P.A. behavior?
It's not as easy any more. It use to be that he wanted to believe me. I knew he would go for what I was saying or promising. Now that has changed. My partner is the only one who confronts me. He is the only one who has ever pointed these things out to me and set up boundaries. He doesn't accept my behavior and tells me so." Liva
FROM: "Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders,"
Aaron T. Beck, Arthru Freeman......Some of the typical beliefs that are listed for the Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder (pg 360)
*BASIC BELIEF: I could be stepped on STRATEGY: Resistance
*The only way I can preserve my self-respect is by asserting myself indirectly...for example, by not carrying out instructions exactly.
*I like to be attached to people but I am unwilling to pay the price of being dominated.
*Authority figures tend to be intrusive, demanding, interfering, and controlling.
*I have to resist the domination of authorities but at the same time maintain their approval and acceptance.
*Making deadlines, complying with demands, and conforming are direct flows to my pride and self-sufficiency.
*it is best not to express my anger directly but to show my displeasure by not conforming.
*I know what's best for me and other people shouldn't tell what to do.