Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 41 · 4 years ago

Passive Aggressive Personality Trait

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this edition, Christine unpacks the Passive-Aggressive Personality Traits - they are much like a personality disorder and often show up similar to narcissism

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...grow with christinecom forward slash narcissism. That's grow with Christine dotcom forward slash narcissism. This master class will change your life again. That's grow with Christine Dot com forward slash narcissism. This is understanding today's narcissist, brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. Today I'm going to take a break from talking about just purely narcissism and talk to you about something called passive aggressive personality trait. I'll explain a little bit more about...

...that in a second, but first the reason why I'm doing this is because you will find that not everybody is what we call a pure narcissist, meaning that sometimes they take on the characteristics of another personality disorder or, in this case, a personality trait. So it's important to kind of understand what these might look like and how it might manifest. So we're going to talk about that today. And the reason it is called a personality trait instead of a personality disorder is because the last time the DSM was revised, and the DSM is our diagnostic statistical manual which we use for all different kinds of disorders, mental disorder specifically, and the last revision was the fifth revision, which occurred in May of two thousand and fifteen, and at that time there was not enough data or not enough research to justify turning passive aggressive personality from a trait...

...to a disorder. So therefore it is technically under the family of what we call undefined personality disorders. So understand that this is different than passive aggressive anger. Passive aggressive anger is just a type of anger and the passive aggressiveness only manifests itself within that environment. This personality trait is pervasive, meaning that it's in a variety of different instances and it isn't just centered around feelings of anger. And we're going to talk about ten signs today of a passive aggressive person and what I'd like to do is tell it through the story of tests. Tests was just super annoyed by her manager and her manager and she just could not figure out why she was so upset. So she normally would get along. Test got along with a wide range of different kinds of people. She...

...didn't have this problem before in other work environments. She had zero issue with authority, so it wasn't like a I can't work with my manager because they're in charge of me thing. And generally test was very well liked by most people. She was friendly, outgoing, easy to get along with but for some reason, and every single time test saw her manager, she wanted to run in the opposite direction. There are conversations were absolutely strained. Tests would begin by talking about one thing with her manager and then her manager would just be dismissive and then change the subject. Nothing would ever get accomplished, and while test was held to a high work standard, her manager did not model the same level, so she expected tests to work at a higher level than what she was willing to put out. Then her manager would even micro manage things that test was already considered to be an expert at, and asked her...

...to do things differently, in a way that was much more inefficient. When tests performance then suffered because of this micro management. We're going to change the way and do things my way. Test was held accountable for the reason why things were ineffective and not her manager. So test decided the best way to handle this was she would just avoid her manager like the plague. At first she tried to confront her manager, but that only ended up in ridiculously long conversations with absolutely no confusion. Frustrated, test began to write down the characteristics that drove her crazy about her manager and then look them up on the Internet, which is where she found the term passive aggressive personality trait. So we're going to go over the list of ten things that test found out. Number one, lots of excuses. So whenever tests would ask her manager about the completion of a task that was assigned to her manager, there was nothing but...

...excuses as to why it was incomplete. Test struggle to find even one thing that her manager actually fully completed. Most projects were left half done or not even done at all, and she would have just a ton of excuses as to why that was the case. Number two, overreacting and underreacting. So tests manager would overreact when test made an error, but when her manager made the same mistake she would underreact. So there was no consistency in performance. Even when this was brought to her managers attention, her manager would shift the blame to her supervisor. So again she's dodging any kind of responsibility. But there's a huge overreacting to other people's mistakes while under reacting to their own. Number three, conveniently forgets. This is a big one and it's very passive...

...aggressive. During a major project, test has manager would conveniently forget to communicate with key participants like tests. Instead, her manager would make decisions that would change the direction of tests work, but then not tell her about the change for days. Even when a simple email would do, her manager would conveniently forget to send it. So there's lots of forgetfulness all the time for passive aggressive that's number three. Number four resist change. Things were her manager's way or the highway. Even when her manager was acting unnecessarily inefficient, she resisted any change that she did not initiate. So the manager had to initiate the change in order for it to actually happen. Even then, the changes were usually for tests and not for her manager. So if there were any changes, it would be all about what test needed to do differently. Any suggestions...

...and improving communication, participation and effectiveness were resisted by her manager. It's almost as if she enjoyed the level of inefficiency because, and we'll get to that later, the reason why, but she does enjoy the level of inefficiency that's resist changed. Number five avoids conflict. This is probably the most frustrating and confusing aspect of all of them. Test is manager would avoid all conflict, yet her manager would intentionally stir up conflict between tests and her coworkers. So from an up from management point of view, it looked like her manager could handle the conflict, but in reality she personally avoided it while instigating it in others and kind of watching them go through their argument. So instead of dealing with their own conflict, she pushed it aside, stirred up the conflict in...

...other people help them to resolve it so that she would wind up looking good. It's a very passive aggressive way of handling conflict. Number six apologizes without change. Most Times. Test as manager was quick to apologize for any misunderstanding. That is very non narcissistic ish. So I just want to point this out, that this is one of the characteristics for which narcissists and passive aggressives like they're really in conflict over. So tests manager was quick to apologize for any misunderstanding, but then nothing would change to prevent the same mistake in the future. It almost seemed like her manager would just apologize to avoid discussing the issue so she could go back to doing things the way she wanted to. So that is apologizing without change. It's kind of this passive aggressive I'm sorry, but then nothing never happens after it. Number Seven Harbor's anger. Test was a naturally sensitive person, so she was able to pick up on her...

...manager's anger, frustration and hostility easily. When test confronted the emotions she perceived, her manager is dismissive and blame tests instead. So tests would usually get blamed for it and get blamed for what she perceived, even though it wasn't test's fault, it was what test was perceiving from her manager. Number eight complains a lot. This is the second half of what we had talked about a little bit earlier. For tests, the most frustrating aspect of her manager was the constant complaining or whining about how things worked, even when they were valid suggestions. Her manager would not take action and instead blamed others. Her manager seemed to love to complain, not change, and the reason for this one in particular, and what makes this so passive aggressive, is because if there's not something to complain about, then that means that they actually have to do the work, and passive aggressives want to avoid work at all turns.

Number nine no accountability, since part of being a manager is to accept responsibility for leading a team. It was confusing to watch tests manager not accept any responsibility at all. Any attempt to identify an area of accountability was met with hostility and anger. It seemed as if her manager was ineffective on purpose to avoid being held accountable. This is a second half to the explanation. So first they complain a lot and then they want no accountability for things that are going wrong, and then last number ten agrees, but doesn't do so even during a team meeting. Her manager would agree to complete a task but then would not follow through. When confronted, you would make excuses, sometimes lie and blame others. This left employees constantly unsure of what would and would not get done. Eventually, they all learn not to ask their manager for anything, and that's precisely what a passive, aggressive person wants. They don't want...

...to have to be held responsible for anything, and so therefore they try to pass it off, they blame others, they make excuses and their ineffectiveness slows everything down. So people are just like whatever, I'll just do it myself. And that's exactly what they want. And when you allow when you're working with somebody like this, it can be enormously frustrating. As it was for tests, because passive aggressive behavior is super annoying to people who actually do complete tasks for tasks. Once she identify the behavior and realize it was not going to change, because a passive aggressive personality trait is no different than a personality disorder in that it does not change. It is there, it is part of their life going forward. So test made a decision that she's and sought out another position at her job because it was more important for her to be able to enjoy her work environment. Then it mattered really what the job was...

...that she was doing. Now. She was lucky enough that she was able to do that. Not Everybody is. So again, the reason I wanted to go over the passive aggressiveness is because I see a lot of this sometimes with narcissists, and so some of these characteristics and traits are going to sound really familiar to you and you're going to say, hey, that sounds just like the narcissist, and it does. There's a lot of overlap in the personality disorders and this is just one of the examples of what that looks like. So now you know what passive aggressive looks like and I hope that that really helps you in order to be able to understand if your narcissist is displaying also signs of this as well. Thank you very much, and we will talk again next time about a different personality disorder. I'm going to try and introduce a couple others just so that you can get a better feel for how they fit within the narcissism traits. Thanks for listening to understanding today's narcissist with...

Christine Hammond brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom. For more information, visit grow with Christine dotcom.

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