Passive-aggressive behaviour

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Passive-aggressive behaviour is indirect aggression that pretends to be innocent. People may resist the demands of others and avoid direct confrontation, but do not agree to do what is ordered or suggested .[1] It tries to hide its underlying aggression, as in "I would have had a good day if I hadn't been cleaning up someone's mess".

This is not a psychological problem, just a way of behaving. In some groups it happens quite often. In the workplace it occurs when people do not want to do what the employer wants them to do.[2] The behaviour was first defined during World War II. Men were not openly defiant, but used "passive measures, such as pouting, stubbornness, procrastination, inefficiency, and passive obstructionism" to express their feelings.[3]

Personality disorder[change | change source]

Extreme cases may become psychiatric problems. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders revision IV (DSM-IV) describes passive-aggressive personality disorder as a "pervasive pattern of negativistic attitudes and passive resistance to demands for adequate performance in social and occupational situations".

References[change | change source]

  1. "Passive–aggressive | Definition of Passive–aggressive". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
  2. Lane C. 2009. The surprising history of passive–aggressive personality disorder. Theory & Psychology 19 (1): 55–70. [1]
  3. Lane, C (1 February 2009), "The Surprising History of Passive–aggressive Personality Disorder" (PDF), Theory & Psychology, 19 (1): 55–70, doi:10.1177/0959354308101419