The passive-aggressive person’s main focus in life is himself or herself.
The Passive-Aggressive does what he wants to do, when he wants to do it. He's often late, he procrastinates, he tells you he will do something and then he doesn't. He could get the job done faster and better, but he doesn't.
Often a person will ask me, "How can someone be passive and aggressive at the same time?" Here's an example.
Suppose I tell you I'll meet you at 11:00, and I don't show up until 11:30 because I decided to watch the end of the ball game. In addition, I don't even bother to call, nor do I apologize when I see you. My behavior is angry. It discounts you. I'm not jumping up and down having a temper tantrum, but my behavior is certainly aggressive toward you.
However, I am expressing the aggression passively. That's why it's called passive aggressive behavior.
In addition to being passively aggressive, many Passive-Aggressives have very nasty tempers. Remember: it's standard operating procedure for Passive-Aggressives to do as they please. So if you confront them about their behavior, they often turn the confrontation around, and confront you on your behavior.
Except their confrontation is usually more angry. As a result, it is you who backs down. And once again, they get their way. What is confusing at first about this personality type is that Passive-Aggressives are often very caring and sensitive people.
In fact, many of them will go out of their way to do nice things for you. The catch is, they take care of you when it's convenient for them, and in their own way.
For example, Passive Aggressive buys you a beautiful wool sweater for your birthday. You're allergic to wool. Or Passive Aggressive knows that you hate cats. He brings one home for the kids. Perhaps the best description of a Passive Aggressive is that he does what he damn well pleases. Take the following test, check off each item that applies to you or your mate.
You do what you want to do, when you want to do it, and how you want to do it. You set your own standards of behavior as opposed to following the standards of others.
You resist expectations of others by dawdling and forgetting. You hate it when others set deadlines for you, and often you do not meet them.
You get angry when crossed. You have a nasty temper and frequently use it to try to make your point, intimidate, and get your own way.
You think others have no right to tell you what to do, and often when you are told what to do, you respond in a defensive and hostile manner.
You rarely find yourself in a position where you think you have made a mistake and you need to apologize.
You often do not do what you have promised, and your mate is always on you about what you haven't done.
You are unsure of yourself, and internally you feel powerless, and dependent and lack self-confidence.
You defend your behavior with such excuses as "I forgot," "It never occurred to me," or "I'm sorry you think that of me." You feel innocent when you offer these excuses, and when you apologize it is usually a maneuver to get your mate off your case. Your apologies do not contain a promise to change.
You don't think about how your behavior affects others. You simply do not take others' wants and feelings into account if you want to do something.
You see yourself as basically a nice person and can't understand why others often feel irritated and angry with you.
If you have checked off 8 or more items, you are definitely a Passive Aggressive. If you have checked off 5, 6, or 7 items, you sometimes have passive aggressive behavior, but you are not a passive aggressive personality.
If you are a passive aggressor, you might want to check out my ebook, "How to Take Control of Your Anger.”
Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World” , “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide,” and “Thin Becomes You” at Doris’ web age: www.doriswildhelmering.com.
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