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Passive Aggressive Personality: 15 Signs to Recognize the Sourpuss

The passive aggressive personality falls in as a personality disorder. Characterized by negativity, sullenness, and blamelessness, they aren’t much fun.

passive aggressive personality

Let’s face it, we ALL can be passive aggressive – when you say something appearing passive, but the underlying tone is quite aggressive defines it. For most of us, it creeps up when we aren’t expecting it. But, for some, it becomes an entire way of life. For the passive aggressive personality, underlying hostility seethes.

What is an example of being passive aggressive? Imagine this, you ask your friend where they want to go for the night. They say “I don’t care, you choose.” Then you say “Let’s go to McGonaguls,” and their answer is “Oh, not that place.” The passive nature in them led them to say “I don’t care.” But, the follow-up negation of where you want to go is where the aggression lies. I don’t care—how stupid. See the dichotomy? [Read: 15 best ways to cut out the drama in conflict]

The 15 signs of passive aggressive personality

For the passive aggressive personality, it is a way of life. They pretend as if nothing bothers them and they don’t have a care in the world. But, if you make one misstep, say something they don’t agree with, or you don’t do what they secretly want, then you get slapped with hostility.

#1 You can’t deal with them. Dealing with someone with a passive aggressive personality is akin to banging your head against the wall. It serves no purpose. You receive nothing out of it but a headache and extreme frustration.

Doing everything but listening to what you say, they skirt the issue, throw out shit from the past, or completely change the subject, so that they don’t have to be accountable to anyone. [Read: 25 early warning signs of toxic people]

#2 They are uncomfortable to be around. People with passive aggressive personality disorder *yes, it is technically a personality disorder* are very uncomfortable to be around because they just exude hostility and anger without cause.

Since they tend to hold everything in and just let it sit and stew, you physically feel it when you are around them. It just doesn’t make you want to hang out. [Read: 10 scenarios when it’s okay to ghost a friend]

#3 You rarely see the hostility that lies beneath. Although you feel the underlying anger, you never really get to see it. What they say and the ways they behave, are very confusing.

They say everything is fine, but you feel as if you are standing next to a ticking time bomb. You don’t have to see an explosion to hear the countdown.

#4 Even though their behaviors aren’t productive, they repeat them. To the onlooker, their behaviors aren’t productive, and the passive aggressive personality never ends up getting what they want. They continue to do the same thing over and over.

What you don’t understand standing on the outside is how they get exactly what they want. They make you feel guilty, put everything on you, and walk away without a single care or responsibility in the world. What is nonproductive to those around them is extremely productive to the passive aggressive personality. [Read: How to get rid of a toxic friend]

#5 They avoid taking responsibility for anything. A passive aggressive personality blames everyone around them and never takes responsibility for anything. Even when it is clearly their fault, they aren’t above claiming “the devil made me do it.” It isn’t ever going to be their fault. They find somewhere to deposit all the blame. It makes no difference who the target is.

#6 They are usually extremely negative and pessimistic. The creator of Eeyore fashioned the character after someone passive aggressive. The world is always against them, nothing is ever going to work, and they will always be unhappy. So, if you know a passive aggressive personality, stop trying to please them. You’ll never achieve it.

#7 They complain constantly about being under appreciated. The passive aggressive personality is never fairly compensated. Not monetarily and not with praise. You literally just get done saying “thank you,” and they go on and on about how ungrateful you are.

In their world, they deserve all the appreciation. No amount is ever enough, and they let you know it. [Read: 10 ways to calmly deal with difficult people]

#8 They accuse people of misleading or deceiving them. The passive aggressive personality is always being dumped on, put down, and lied to. Conspiracy theorist to the highest, and they believe someone is always out to get them.

#9 They don’t just say “no.” They procrastinate until you give up. Procrastination is a passive aggressive personality’s best friend. They won’t ever come right out and say they won’t or don’t want to do something.

They say yes and either not show, or put you off until a time that you ask someone else for help. Once you do, they will be right in your face asking why you didn’t just wait for them. Because they were just about to help, of course. [Read: 10 tips for setting boundaries with difficult people]

#10 They criticize pathologically. There is nothing good or right in their world. If you live with one, you need a strong self-esteem. Nothing you ever do will be right or good enough. And nothing will ever be as good as they could do. Then again, you wouldn’t appreciate it anyway.

#11 They do everything “half-assed.” Since they really don’t want to do what they said they would, when they do follow through, they typically do things “half-assed.”

They do it so shitty that you know they were displeased at being asked. You certainly won’t ask them again. Or so that you will think that they just aren’t capable and won’t ask again. The same result, different modality.

#12 Whatever you say, they naysay just to disagree. Since the passive aggressive personality is sullen and miserable, everything you say is refutable and wrong. They take the devil’s advocate just to be on the opposite side to argue.

They don’t even believe in what they say sometimes, and you certainly won’t. It is like playing a stupid child’s game. [Read: Why is everyone so easily offended these days?]

#13 They are resolute in their own opinions and refuse to listen to anyone else’s. The passive aggressive personality refuses to hear your opinions or what you think. They know what they know, and they aren’t about to let anyone tell them differently.

So, keep your opinions to yourself or else. You aren’t going to change their mind, ever.

#14 They dislike authority. A passive aggressive personality really hates people who hold any authority. Makes no difference if it is the dean at school or the cop on the street. Authority is nothing but another means to knock them down a notch. [Read: 13 clues to know if someone has emotional maturity]

#15 There is always an object of resentment or somebody or thing that “did them wrong.” If you talk to a passive aggressive personality, they could have the most awesome life ever and a million dollars in the bank. But what they talk about instead is how their best friend in grammar school stole their lunch one day.

Always looking on the dark side, if they weren’t miserable, they would be miserable.

The passive aggressive personality is technically a disorder, but what isn’t when it comes to personalities?

A very difficult type of human being to deal with, they are sullen, negative, and exude uncomfortableness. And no matter what you do you can’t please them, you can’t pin anything on them, and you best not argue with them

[Read: How to deal with passive aggressive behavior calmly and with class]

Sounds fun to be around a passive aggressive personality, doesn’t it? If this describes someone you know, congratulations, you just figured it out. Guess what? It isn’t ever going to change, Eeyore is just who Eeyore is.

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Julie Keating
A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined in...
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