Friday, March 5, 2010

What is Passive Aggressive Behavior?

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) MEDLINE:

Passive-aggressive personality disorder is a long-term (chronic) condition in which a person seems to actively comply with the desires and needs of others, but actually passively resists them. In the process, the person becomes increasingly hostile and angry.

People with this disorder resent responsibility and show it through their behaviors, rather than by openly expressing their feelings. They often use procrastination, inefficiency, and forgetfulness to avoid doing what they need to do or have been told by others to do.

Some common symptoms of passive-aggressive personality disorder include:
  • Acting sullen
  • Avoiding responsibility by claiming forgetfulness
  • Being inefficient on purpose
  • Blaming others
  • Complaining
  • Feeling resentment
  • Having a fear of authority
  • Having unexpressed anger or hostility
  • Procrastinating
  • Resisting other people's suggestions
A person with this disorder may appear to comply with another's wishes and may even demonstrate enthusiasm for those wishes. However, they:
  • Perform the requested action too late to be helpful
  • Perform it in a way that is useless
  • Sabotage the action to show anger that they cannot express in words

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