Connect with us


Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder – Demystified



What is Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder?

Passive-aggressive Personality disorder or Passive-aggressive behavior is a long-term chronic condition in which the affected person expresses hostility. The hostility can be expressed in different ways such as sullenness, stubbornness, procrastination, resentment, hostile jokes, or deliberate/repeated failure to complete tasks allotted to them.

It is also termed as a “pervasive pattern of negative attitudes and passive resistance to demands for adequate performance in social and occupational situations”, for research purposes. A detailed report regarding Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder can be found in the following link,

People who suffer from this chronic condition will seem to comply with the needs or desires of others in an active manner, but will actually be resisting them in a passive way. This contradiction makes such people hostile and angry during such processes and they will require professional help and attention.

Causes of Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder

  • The actual cause of Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder is unknown. Reports have shown that various genetic and environmental factors can contribute to the disorder.
  • Most of the factors that contribute to Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder are usually involved in other personality disorders too.
  • Researchers believe that a part of our brain is responsible for the way we act in social circles. If there are biological changes to this part of the brain, it can seriously affect the way we behave socially and can lead to personality issues.


People who are suffering from Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder tend to resent responsibility and this can be seen only through the way they behave. Such people will not openly express their feelings and will put the onus on inefficiency, forgetfulness, or procrastination to cover up their disorder. It is therefore important to watch such people carefully as to identify if they are showing any of the following common symptoms associated with Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder.

  • Procrastination
  • Shying away or having fear of Authority
  • Trying to avoid responsibility by citing forgetfulness as a reason
  • Always putting the blame on others
  • Always countering the suggestions of other people
  • Acting sullen
  • Always complaining
  • Show signs of unexpressed hostility or anger
  • Trying to be inefficient on purpose
  • Showing resentment

In some cases, people with Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder may show enthusiasm or appear to agree to the wishes of other people. However, they may perform the requested action in a way it is useless or too late to be helpful. They may also sabotage the process to express their anger.


The best treatment for Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder is counseling. Through counseling, it may be possible to identify the disorder and necessary steps or actions can be taken to help change the behavior. The counseling process is usually an extremely delicate process, as people who have this disorder do not like to be given orders to suggestions.

Most therapists and counselors tend to look into the childhood of such people to identify situations or events that may have triggered the insecurity, anxiety, or fear shown by the person today. As the counseling required or Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder is different from other behavioral disorders, it will require a unique approach.

Therefore, it is important to identify good counselors with experience of handling people with the disorder, to get better results.