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What is Passive Aggressive?


Simplicity1

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Well you probably know someone who is very passive aggressive. These people don't usually realize they are this way either which gets annoying for everyone around them.

 

Here's a personal example. My roommate last year was really passive aggressive. We took pictures on her computer nearly a year ago together, when we used to get along. Recently she found them, posted them online in as a series and the comments were as follows: (picture 1) "We sure are besties!", (picture 2) "Are we or aren't we besties?" (picture 3) "Yep...we are definitely besties." Though we are definitely not friends and everyone who knows both of us knows this.

 

You probably know someone like this. Another big example of this is when she read my private journal (which was put away) then tried to get all my friends to stop hanging out with me. It backfired and nobody liked her anymore. Then she would comment on how everyone else needed to start acting mature like herself. She would post status updates on her facebook about how mature she was and how everybody else was immature and needed to stop being that way. Her comments were usually somewhat like this: "_____ thinks that everyone needs to stop being so immature and grow up."

 

The examples on wikepedia that I think people most often think of are:

Ambiguity or speaking cryptically: a means of engendering a feeling of insecurity in others

and

Victimization response: instead of recognizing one's own weaknesses, tendency to blame others for own failures.

 

This is my personal definition on if though, but I'm sure someone else thinks of it a little differently or may chime in with an answer in a bit. For the most part, this is sort of how my friends and I would define it. But I'm sure it's a lot bigger than our definition.

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hm... let me rephrase, what does Passive Aggressive mean in a relationship? ..or what are some examples of someone being passive aggressive?

 

The link Miss Firecracker posted had this section:

 

"The passive aggressive ignores problems in the relationship, sees things through their own skewed sense of reality and if forced to deal with the problems will completely withdraw from the relationship and you. They will deny evidence of wrong doing, distort what you know to be real to fit their own agenda, minimize or lie so that their version of what is real seems more logical.

The passive aggressive will say one thing, do another, and then deny ever saying the first thing. They don't communicate their needs and wishes in a clear manner, expecting their spouse to read their mind and meet their needs. After all, if their spouse truly loved them he/she would just naturally know what they needed or wanted. The passive aggressive withholds information about how he/she feels, their ego is fragile and can't take the slightest criticism so why let you know what they are thinking or feeling? God forbid they disclose that information and you criticize them."

 

So an example in a relationship could be that one partner always complains to the other that, "You don't love me!" "You don't make time for me" "If you loved me you would do ______." The other partner tries to make time and tries to do these things, but the original partner then starts a fight and complains.

 

Or someone who always claims to be the victim. Or someone who makes plans with you and never follows through, then has an excuse ready, and expects you to just take it. Or has someone ever tried to lie to you and make YOU look like the idiot, when you know what really happened?

 

Does this help?

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There are a million subtle ways to be passive aggressive. Some people act this way almost continuously and don't even realize it. Something as simple as the way you spin a phrase can make it passive aggressive.

 

"The kitchen really needs to be cleaned as there are tons of absolutely filthy dishes, and many of them are yours. I'm sorry that I don't have time to help you clean them."

 

In reality, the person is not sorry. They are merely angry. The person didn't say, "You douchebag... clean your dishes!" (aggressive), nor did they say, "Could you clean your dishes?" (straight forward) They put on a passive-aggressive display to make it clear how upset they were without actually having to say what was really on their mind which was, at the time, "I freaking hate you for not cleaning your stupid dishes you stupid jerk."

 

So, in a way, acting passive aggressive can be a way to act really aggressive toward someone without having to result to the actual name-calling, and without having to own your negativity and aggression. Of course, in relationships of any kind, acting passive-aggressive too often is a killer. Most relationships won't survive it.

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