Passive Aggressive Diaries

Understanding passive aggressive behavior in families, schools, and workplaces

The Five Levels of Passive Aggressive Behavior

 

In The Angry Smile, we define five distinct and increasingly pathological levels of passive aggressive behavior. Do you "forget" to do your weekend chores? Do you have a hard time hearing requests that you don't like?  Where do you fit on our list?  Read More

What's Normal Then?

Level one and two sound like enirely sensible, sane ways of dealing with many situations. Consider working with an incompetent manager who repeatedly asks you to perform non-productive tasks. Being assertive is asking for trouble. The last thing anyone in a hierarchy wants is to deal with incompetence since it puts everythng on the table and inevitably leads to conflict. By delay and minimal compliance, time is freed for actually performing the tasks for which you are employed.
An angry smile? Not really, condescending is probably more accurate!

You are entirely accurate in

You are entirely accurate in your interpretation of the first two levels of passive aggressive behavior. Indeed, passive aggression exists in varying degrees, ranging from normal to pathological, and most people behave in passive aggressive ways from time to time.

More damaging passive aggressive behaviors are those that exist as part of a consistent personal pattern, spread across most situations, that leave a trail of relationship damage, workplace disruption, etc.

In The Angry Smile, we talk about four reasons why people behave passive aggressively, from the common, situational response to the destructive "way of life."

Per your note, the dynamics of many workplaces make them ripe for passive aggressive behavior to survive and thrive, though we suggest that this behavior never makes for greater productivity or a more positive morale. We outline steps for breaking passive aggressive conflict cycles and establishing more assertive workplace communication.

Good luck

"We outline steps for breaking passive aggressive conflict cycles and establishing more assertive workplace communication."

Good luck! In my experience the only things harder to change than people are workplaces!

indir 6 6 7

Passive Aggressive Work Colleague

I work with someone who is passive aggressive. He is a compulsive liar and denies things and has done heaps of things to me (sneaky of course) because he knows I don't trust him. He is a relative of the boss - don't need to say anymore!

Passive Aggressive men don't like "witnesses" - hence I only ever discuss important things in front of someone else. That is a great trick that really WORKS!!! Hence they can't "deny" they weren't told - and if they don't follow through - others SEE IT.
They can't stand being EXPOSED - yet they don't care who they hurt!!

These days - if he doesn't answer my text messages I don't bother asking why so he can deny getting it - I just call the person back and tell them. Or if I find something broken or not switched off - I have a diary and just make a note of it. I can tell you it is working wonders........don't give them the chance to play their little denial or lying games....NOT CONFRONTING THEM UPSETS THEM MUCH MORE.

I worked with my boyfriend

I worked with my boyfriend who was eager to have me come in a few hours a week.. Soon he started what you are describing. he would call me a naysaver.. " I have naysaver" he would tell me as he tried to use it on others.

I also watched him to nasty little things to his employees behind their backs and make unnecessary responses. One lady to me she absolutely hated him...

Because I dont know the relationship of your jobs, (and the way you write it sound like you are this guys supervisor) you do need to put everything in WRITING. The diary is good, turn off his ability to lie or deny....

My boyfriend's son, who is the same.. so we had two of them.... started his game which went in a different direction.. and he realized I was a valuable asset so she casually started to work me into the company without any compensation... I was to do all of this for FREE.

When I told him, and I caught on to the games... I told them pay or I would walk. My boyfriend told me had read my letter, he did not believe me, and I had to settle for $1000 a month and if that was not enough, it was my problem. I said OK. He though he had won, but he did not know I had already decided to leave. whatever he said was OK.

Here is what these guys don't get... PEOPLE HAVE OPTIONS. It is not all about these passive aggressive liars. So he said no, I finished what I was doing, went into the office when they were gone, took all my stuff, and left. No Note, No Reply.

You MUST command respect, cause these guys do not get it.

Passive Aggressive Level 5

I am married to a Level 5 all the way around. He's the absolute poster child for extreme P.A. He hurts himself and others by his rejection and masking of anger only to use indirect methods to get back at us. He has devestated his children and 2 other wives. He is of course blameless and everyone else is the problem. He agreed to marriage counseling, I'm sure he'll sit there pious uncaring. He was severely abused as a child and thus unable to exhibit healthy anger. All his faults are turned around and made to become yours. Every page of every article and book screams of his personality traits. He agrees and appears to be ok, then later drops the other shoe.

I have issues letting go, even though I know that's what I should do. He doesn't even engage long enough to apply ways to avoid his aggression. It's maddening at best.I am hopeful that our therapist will be skilled enough to keep him engaged and coming to sessions.

the smart passive agressive--help?

so what do you do when the passive aggressive behavior IS admitting a habit of passive aggressive behavior ("you're right, that was passive aggressive, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that"), apologizing for it, using it in the next fight, being called on it, admitting it, apologizing for it, using it in the next fight, being called on it, ....?

the dude has made a fine art out of passively aggressing passive aggression.

yes, he will "straighten up and fly right" and do, not do, whatever the thing was that started that particular fight (and done like it was meant to be done) but then, two days later does the same friggin thing over something else...Sometimes I think he does "right" only because he's learned that that is the only way to get this dog to let go of that bone.

Dude reminds me of a story in the little house on the prarie books:
Laura & Mary play in the haystack, sliding down it and messing up the stack. Pa comes home and tells them not to slide down the stack. The next day, the stack is messed up again so Pa asks Laura if they slid down the stack; Laura says no, but that they did roll down it. Pa says "the hay must stay stacked" and that is the end of it.

This dude slides down the stack, then rolls down the stack, then pulls down the stack, then knocks down the stack, and apologizes each time but never getting the principle that the HAY MUST STAY STACKED.

Yeah he's got a MESSED UP background (no skills)and I certainly understand how he learned (young) that this was his best option for self-protection, and self-defense in a inner world sort of way, and he has improved over the last 14 years (kicking and screaming). But I know psychology inside and out and sometimes (only sometimes) I can't tell when he is really bewildered about the principle of the hay staying stacked and when he is not.

(okay yeah so I probably let him get away with the benefit of the doubt more than I should but heck, I do love the guy so whatayagonnado?)

Perhaps you are reinforcing

Perhaps you are reinforcing his negative behaviors by giving him the benfefit of the doubt. If you've tolerated it for 14 years, he's got very little incentive to truly try changing his behavior. We always train others on how to treat us.

Example 1

Promising to follow through but not following through on time, or being chronically late are great examples of passive-aggressive behavior. They can also have other, more situational causes, such as disorganization or overcommitment. Perhaps the person genuinely means to follow through but underestimates the time it would take or is too much of a perfectionist. The person may not be assertive enough to say no to interfering commitments or may have a attention deficit disorder that interferes with getting the task done. Jeffrey Young, PhD has written about life scripts or schemas that we may not even be aware that can cause this type of behavior, such as feelings of entitlement to special treatment. The person may also be bad at prioritizing due to a pattern of subjugating their own needs. A good psychotherapist will begin by finding out the details of the situation and life patterns, thoughts and feelings so as to pinpoint the often multiple contributing factors and use the right tools to treat them.

Recommendations for Handling Passive Aggressive Behavior

Thank you for your comment

I recall I dated a man that routinely used a few levels of passive aggressive behavior. There were times we would get in a dispute and I would initially question- what happened? - when reflecting on how we got into a conflict and what could have been done differently. A common thing he would tell me is that I don't love him, which turned out to be a guilt statement so I would do something he wanted. A few days later he would make plans for a date and then cancel because he thinks that I don't deserve to have the date with him for not loving him. Thankfully this relationship is over but I am left feeling used for being put in a tough situation of emotion and manipulation. Nonetheless, it will be great to get tips on identifying this behavior and examples for responding to these passive aggressive episodes in a healthy way.

The Passive Aggressive Man's Behavior

I think every woman feels the same. ROBBED emotionally, and because these men continually blow you off, there is no closure so you are left with a lot of emotion and they dont care. You have been manipulated, lied too, cheated one, etc.

I was involved with a man who is extremely passive aggressive. Even his kids see it. His son is just like him, and when you have two of them going, it comes off 4x as strong.

I caught onto his game, and then learned he was dating someone else at the same time, telling me he was going out with a "buddy".... I was so upset, I wrote to her and asked if she knew about me? She had no clue, in fact she had lived him some 10 years before and decided to leave after a year and a half. She was giving him a second try that was going no where.

We actually met and became friends. I told we had and that we are not returning his calls, we are not going out with him, etc. He lost two really great woman who could help not only him in his business but could and did make him money.

I got the truth. They are usual and customary in their behavior and he has since bought a new place and moved away.

I have missed some of our good times together. I miss his sweetness, when he was able to do that, but I dont miss his unkindness, his abuse, and his taunting.

It is not being able to close the pain that is the worst part... but pain has a limit and you move on.

How do you know?

When someone puts off (procrastinates) on projects or chores but says they will do them, this is passive aggressive? What is the distinction when one just feels lazy?

Jumping to a conclusion

Good question. The article implies intent without proving it in the section where she claims the teenager returns the car on empty as being passive aggressive.

This approach has the effect of ignoring other common non-confrontational reasons for peoples behavior: laziness, negligence, inattention, humans make careless mistakes, etc.

Recommendations for Handling the Five Levels of Passive Aggressive Behavior

I recall I dated a man that routinely used a few levels of passive aggressive behavior. There were times we would get in a dispute and I would initially question- what happened? - when reflecting on how we got into a conflict and what could have been done differently. A common thing he would tell me is that I don't love him, which turned out to be a guilt statement so I would do something he wanted. A few days later he would make plans for a date and then cancel because he thinks that I don't deserve to have the date with him for not loving him. Thankfully this relationship is over but I am left feeling used for being put in a tough situation of emotion and manipulation. Nonetheless, it will be great to get tips on identifying this behavior and examples for responding to these passive aggressive episodes in a healthy way.

Recommendations for Handling the Five Levels of Passive Aggressive Behavior

I recall I dated a man that routinely used a few levels of passive aggressive behavior. There were times we would get in a dispute and I would question- what happened? - when reflecting on how we got into a conflict and what could have been done differently. A common thing he would tell me is that I don't love him, which turned out to be a guilt statement so I would do something he wanted. A few days later he would make plans for a date and then cancel because he thinks that I don't deserve to have the date with him for not loving him. Thankfully this relationship is over but I am left feeling used for being put in a tough situation of emotion and manipulation. Nonetheless, it will be great to get tips on identifying this behavior and examples for responding to these passive aggressive episodes in a healthy way.

Recommendations for Handling the Five Levels of Passive Aggressive Behavior

I recall I dated a man that routinely used a few levels of passive aggressive behavior. There were times we would get in a dispute and I would question- what happened? - when reflecting on how we got into a conflict and what could have been done differently. A common thing he would tell me is that I don't love him, which turned out to be a guilt statement so I would do something he wanted. A few days later he would make plans for a date and then cancel because he thinks that I don't deserve to have the date with him for not loving him. Thankfully this relationship is over but I am left feeling used for being put in a tough situation of emotion and manipulation. Nonetheless, it will be great to get tips on identifying this behavior and examples for responding to these passive aggressive episodes in a healthy way.

Recommendations for Handling the Five Levels of Passive Aggressive Behavior

I recall I dated a man that routinely used a few levels of passive aggressive behavior. There were times we would get in a dispute and I would question- what happened? - when reflecting on how we got into a conflict and what could have been done differently. A common thing he would tell me is that I don't love him, which turned out to be a guilt statement so I would do something he wanted. A few days later he would make plans for a date and then cancel because he thinks that I don't deserve to have the date with him for not loving him. Thankfully this relationship is over but I am left feeling used for being put in a tough situation of emotion and manipulation. Nonetheless, it will be great to get tips on identifying this behavior and examples for responding to these passive aggressive episodes in a healthy way.

Recommendations for Handling Passive Aggressive Behavior

I recall I dated a man that routinely used a few levels of passive aggressive behavior. There were times we would get in a dispute and I would question- what happened? - when reflecting on how we got into a conflict and what could have been done differently. A common thing he would tell me is that I don't love him, which turned out to be a guilt statement so I would do something he wanted. A few days later he would make plans for a date and then cancel because he thinks that I don't deserve to have the date with him for not loving him. Thankfully this relationship is over but I am left feeling used for being put in a tough situation of emotion and manipulation. Nonetheless, it will be great to get tips on identifying this behavior and examples for responding to these passive aggressive episodes in a healthy way.

Passive/aggressive partner = rage

My husband of 30 years(we are now separated) absolutely drove me to heightened levels of frustration and I think insanity at times. You see, I have a very low tolerance and we went head to head for those 30 years; he being passive aggressive and me being right out there and assertive/aggressive/passive too at times. No matter what I did ( and I did try passive/aggressive means too) bow,sing,dance,ride,jump, placate, lie down, stand up, get angry, support, rage, counseling, religion,fake it till you make it, leave, come back, withdraw, silent treatment (not very good, I am a communicater). I think he could have held out forever; actually he has. there was certainly no satisfaction for me...EVER. He is the master of passive/aggressive and I without a doubt give him the #1 award. He never raised his voice; he never challenged me; he silently did whatever he wanted to do in a way that appeared innocent all along making me look like the bad guy and it worked most of the time. Actually it still does. The rage that is my scourge lives with me today.

Did I read this correctly?

Did I read this correctly? He lives with you still?

.....We teach people how to treat us.

Passive-aggressive

Never thought of it that way...that we train people on how to treat us. That helps. Thanks.

Hi, My situation is exactly

Hi,

My situation is exactly like yours- my husband is exactly like you described yours and I am exactly how you described yourself. I am not married for long- but long enough to understand the passive aggressive behavior of my husband. My question to you is- Did he ever regret his behavior after the marriage ended? Did you ever feel responsible for the marriage ending? Did you feel it was worth spending 30 years with him? Or do you think it would have been much better leaving him earlier in the marriage?

I am sorry if my questions are too intruding but I need to know this from someone who has already been there. I am planning to leave my husband too....

situation

I hope you left. DONT BLAME YOURSELF. I see after 2 years my boyfriend, and I still am in love with him, but I know I can never go back cause he will be bad. Futhermore, he never tries to talk to me, he just comes in to check up on things. For the first time this man who thought we should get back together today told me " there is NO LOST LOVE HERE" I think he was blown away to hear what my ex had to say...

There are fish in the deep blue sea!

Leave!!

Leave the guy and run cause trust me he will premeditate deceipt and a long term plan to leave. When the time is right for him he will leave u when least expected.
Mark my words that he will blame u for it and tell u that he doesn't love or attracted to u anymore.
He will go on to tell u of course, after u tell him u love him.. That u had to as he never ever wronged while u verbally abused him during the entire relationship.

Be smart and move on and seek therapy for him and put boundaries before he makes his move leaving u with feelings of guilt and confusiosn. That's is if want to preserve ur relationship and sanity. And make no mistake about it that he probably also turned his entire family against u and u against urs..... They do it as a means of control

Good luck

You are 100% correct

All that you mentioned has happened already. Lets says between the time I wrote this post the first time and now. He left with a well planned strategy to make me look bad and turned his family against me. All the evidence he collected after provoking me, tell a story that I am to blame. The divorce is in process. Any word of caution and advice from you?

You need to find out what he

You need to find out what he is doing.. Look in his computer if you can.. find the deamons cause they are there.... in plain site.. Get a private investigator to help you maybe... and when you SEE who is really is, you will be shocked.

I found out that my PA had caused an auto accident while being DRUNK.. he plowed into a building, he was arrested, etc. He NEVER told me about it.. That is an event you don't just forget about!!! Sitting in jail, and you forgot about that time? Come ON!!!

You date other women.... Check his credit cards.. or cards you had with him... He will never go to the same place you went with him. IN fact, there is a site... it is for me.. they tell me who cheat, "1. always use the same lie, 2. never go to the same restaurant, and there are 10 rules" I think my PA knew all this...

They rush things.. he had wanted to marry me months earlier.. LOVED LOVED LOVED me! RIGHT!!! and then flip! I wanted to take time to get to know him... my first marriage was like this and I did not want that episode again... I ended up having to raise a family all alone with little emotional, physical, or financial support... I did not want another bout with that!

I want love, commitment, respect. integrity... I know there has to be a man out there who can offer that.. it is not with this guy.

If you can get the information, you can turn it on him. Make sure people know the truth.. they will figure it out.

Leave!!

Yes, we had a discussion after a short trip.. I could see that he was using the trip to punish me, and then he tried to back me into a corner. I had already decided to leave... so I just listed to what he said, but quietly in my own mind put my plan together.. It took me 5 days to make my exit. I had to make sure I was in a safe zone before moving, and I never told him what I was doing .. I just left.

He wants me back, or so he thinks, and he only wants me back so he can punish me... hurt me more. I got what I needed, took everything, and GONE!!!

I know he has tried to turn people against me. He has gone so far as to tell people I am "mentally ill".... Everyone knows that is not correct, and I have so many connections that he is going to find that "that sell" is going to get questioned.

Don't blame yourself for ANYTHING!!! It is all make up B.S.!!!
You have NOTHING to be ashamed about.....

?

This sounds like me. He left us in December. It was my finals week in school, my 5 year olds birthday, christmas. He told me i made him this way. I endured almost 4 years of hell. He slept with me 11 times. I begged for us to get help after I supported him through Navy seal training ( yr and a half) with a two year old and a 5 year old he told me I needed fixed. Filed for divorce. waited two months to serve me I had to force him to give me the papers, emotionally and mentally abused me. I was a mess. luckily back in October he convinced me it was me and that I had to get my anger under control etc... thats when my therapist told me it wasnt me. together with his PTSD and passive aggressive it has been horrible... its been two months. treats me like im the taliban. I finally packed his things because he wouldnt. ughhhhh!! now I have to find my career at 37 , figure out a whole bunch of things. I tell him to stop bothering me and he its like no matter what I say the rules dont apply to him. I told him I would put a restraining order on him and he laughs.

I dont think you had a "low

I dont think you had a "low tolerance" I think you were a Saint!

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Signe Whitson is a licensed social worker and co-author of The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools, and Workplaces, 2nd ed.

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