Julie Miller's Mental Health Blog

“P” is for Passive Aggressive

Posted on: June 9, 2010

“He’s/She’s so passive aggressive…”

A pervasive pattern of negativistic attitudes and passive resistance to demands for social and occupational performance, beginning by early adulthood.  The DSM describes this as a condition requiring further research, but I’m guessing most of us have interacted with someone who displays these characteristics at some time in our lives, or maybe BEEN one of these folks.

The DSM-III (p. 733) goes on to describe the individuals as those who resent, resist, and oppose demands to function at a certain level.  This can include procrastination, forgetfulness, stubbornness, and intentional inefficiency, especially in response to tasks assigned by authority figures (or frankly, anyone willing to make a “demand”).

Remember, this is a PATTERN of these behaviors.  A way to say NO without really saying no.  It’s like being a wolf in sheep’s clothing – I look so nice and docile on the outside, but underneath it all, I’ll show you.  And I’ll get my way,…


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