NOTE:  This is the "condensed" version.   For the expanded version please see Dr. Wetzler's book,  pages 35-37......                                                
*FEAR OF DEPENDENCY  - Unsure of his autonomy & afraid of being alone, he fights his dependency needs - usually by trying to control you. 

*FEAR OF INTIMACY - Guarded & often mistrusful, he is reluctant to show his emotional fragility.  He's often out of touch with his feelings,  reflexively denying feelings he thinks will "trap" or reveal him, like love.  He picks fights to create distance.

*FEAR OF COMPETITION - Feeling inadequate, he is unable to compete with other men in work and love.  He may operate either as a self-sabotaging wimp with a pattern of failure, or he'll be the tyrant, setting himself up as unassailable and perfect, needing to eliminate any threat to his power.

*OBSTRUCTIONISM - Just tell a p/a man what you want, no matter how small, and he may promise to get it for you.  But he won't say when, and he"ll do it deliberately slowly just to frustrate you.  Maybe he won't comply at all.  He blocks any real progress he sees to your getting your way.

*FOSTERING CHAOS - The p/a man prefers to leave the puzzle incomplete, the job undone.

*FEELING VICTIMIZED - The p/a man protests that others unfairly accuse him rather than owning up to his own misdeeds.  To remain above reporach, he sets himself up as the apparently hapless, innocent victim of your excessive demands and tirades.

*MAKING EXCUSES & LYING - The p/a man reaches as far as he can to fabricate excuses for not  fulfilling promises.  As a way of withholding information, affirmation or love - to have power over you - the p/a man may choose to make up a story rather than give you a straight answer.

*PROCRASTINATION - The p/a man has an odd sense of time - he believes that deadlines don't exist for him.

*CHRONIC LATENESS & FORGETFULNESS - One of the most infuriating & inconsiderate of all p/a traits is his inability to arrive on time.  By keeping you waiting, he sets the ground rules of the relationship.  And his selective forgetting - used only when he wants to avoid an obligation.

*AMBIGUITY - He is master of mixed messages and sitting on fences.  When he tells you something, you may still walk away wondering if he actually said yes or no.

*SULKING - Feeling put upon when he is unable to live up to his promises or obligations, the p/a man retreats from pressures around him and sulks, pouts and withdraws.

A passive-aggressive man won't have every single one of these traits, but he'll have many of them.  He may have other traits as well, which are not passive-aggressive.
FROM:  Kaplan, H.I. & Saddock, B.J.  (1997)  SYNOPSIS OF PSYCHIATRY, 8th ed.  Baltimore:  Williams & Wilkins

The following is an excerpt from the above:


People with PAPD are characterized by covert obstructionism, procrastination, stubbornness, and inefficiency.  Such behavior is a manifestation of passively expressed underlying aggression.  In the DSM-IV the disorder is also called negativistic PD.


PAPD patients characteristically procrastinate, resist demands for adequate performance, find excuses for delays, and find fault with those on whom they depend; yet they refuse to extricate themselves from the dependent relationships.  They usually lack assertiveness and are not direct about their own needs and wishes.  They fail to ask needed questions about what is expected of them and may become anxious when forced to succeed or when their usual defense of turning anger against themselves is removed.

In interpersonal relationships, these people attempt to manipulate themselves into a position of dependence, but others often experience this passive, self-detrimental behavior as punitive and munipulative.  People with this disorder expect others to do their errands and to carry out their routine responsibilities.  Friends and clinicians may become enmeshed in trying to assuage the patients' many claims of unjust treatment.  The close relationships of people with PAPD, however, are rarely tranquil or happy.  Because they are bound to their resentment more closely than to their satisfaction, they may never even formulate goals for finding enjoyment in life.  People with this disorder lack self-confidence and are typically pessimistic about the future.


PAPD must be differentiated from histrionic and borderline PD.  Patients with PAPD, however, are less flamboyant, dramatic, affective and openly aggressive than those with histrionic and borderline PD.


In a follow-up study averaging 11 years of 100 PA inpatients, Small found that the primary diagnosis in 54 was PAPD; 18 were alcohol abusers, and 30 could be clinically labeled depressed.  Of the 73 former patients located, 58 (79%) had persistent psychiatric difficulties and 9 (12%) were considered symptom-free.  Most seemed irritable, anxious, and depressed; somatic (internal physical) complaints were numerous.  Only 32 (44%) were employed full time as workers or homemakers.  Although neglect of responsibility and suicide attempts were common, only one patient had committed suicide in the interim.  28 had been readmitted to a hospital, but the disorders of only 34 had been diagnosed as schizophrenia.


Patients with PAPD who receive supportive psychotherapy have good outcomes, but psychotherapy for these patients has many pitfalls.  To fulfill their demands is often to support their pathology, but to refuse their demands is to reject them.  Therapy sessions can thus become a battleground on which the patient expresses feelings of resentment against the therapist on whom the patient wishes to become dependent.  With these patients, clinicians must treat suicide gestures as any covert expression of anger, and not as object loss in major depressive disorder.  Therapists must point out the probable consequences of PA behaviors as they occur.  Such confrontations may be more helpful than a correct interpretation on changing patients' behavior.


A.  Defining Personality
    i.     is it constant across situations? 
    ii.    is it multifaceted?
     iii.   is it permanent, unchanging?
     iv.   where does it come from?
     v.    stable set of characteristics & tendencies that determine                 an  individuals response to a varity of circumstances

B.   Defining Abnormal Personality
      i.   inflexible, maladaptive traits that interfere with a                            person's  ability to perform adequately in various soical                  roles:

           CLUSTER A -  Odd, eccentric, mistrust, constricted emotion
                                  a.  Paranoid - tense, guarded, suspicious                                         b.  Schizoid - socially isolated with                                                        restricted emotional expression
                                  c.  Schizotypal - peculiarities of thought,                                               appearance, behavior, emotionally                                                  detached

            CLUSTER B-  Dramatic, emotional, erratic                                                               a.  Antisocial - manipulative, exploitive,                                                dishonest, disloyal, lacks guilt,                                                          breaks  social rules, childhood                                                          history of troubled behavior                                                         b.  Borderline - cannot tolerate being                                                    alone, intense, unstable moods and                                                 personal relationships, chronic anger,                                              drug/alcohol abuse
                                  c.   Histrionic - Seductive, needs                                                             immediate gratification and constant                                                reassurance,  rapidly changing                                                         moods, shallow emotions                                                            d.   Narcissistic -  self-absorbed, expects                                                 special treatment and adulation,                                                      envious of attention to tothers
              CLUSTER C - Anxious, fearful, avoidance tendencies
                                   a.  Avoidant - easily hurt and embarrassed,                                           few close friends, sticks to routines to                                               avoid new  and possibly stressful                                                      experiences
                                   b.  Dependent - wants others to make                                                    decisions, needs constant advice and                                               reassurance, fears being abandoned                                           c.  Obsessive-Compulsive -                                                                     perfectionistic,   overerconscientious,                                               indecisive, preoccupied with details,                                                stiff, unable to express  affection.
                                   d.  Passive-Aggressive - resents demands                                              and suggestions, procrastinates, sulks,                                             "forgets" obligations or is deliberately                                                inefficient

Comparison to Axis I

a.  earlier onset
b.  perhaps less florid
c.  less responsive to treatment
d.  more continuously/consistently present
e.  systems are ego syntonic

Challenges of Assessment

a.  best format?
    i.   interview - response bias
    ii.  behavioral observation
    iii   self-report

b.  best source?
    i.   client
    ii.   informant
    iii.  psychometrics

c.  psychometrics
    i.   reliability - different clinicians find different personality                   disorders; diagnostic criteria are subjective (e.g.                              suspiciousness)
    ii.   validity - overlap in diagnostic criteria and phenomenology            raise questions about whether they are distinct entities.
          (1)  85% of patients with one personality disorder quality for                  another.                                                                                       (2)  some suggest a dimensional approach might be more                     valid  than a categorical approach.

end of page

page two
           "Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man"
PLEASE NOTE:  any information that is gender specific is because I did not feel at liberty to alter another person's work (or experience) nor knew for sure if those specific characteristics applied to both sexes..  Please read all of the articles on both pages and those on the LINK page as well for as an accurate of a picture as possible about p/a behavior as it relates to both sexes..
More articles on pg 2  (click below)
to read "Typical P.A. Beliefs," a reply from a P.A. and MORE