Passive Aggression

By Gillian Fournier

A defense mechanism, which may or may not be fully conscious, characterized by failing to perform one’s duties in personal or work-related settings. This defense mechanism is a less obvious form of abuse. It is not immeadiately evident that you are a victim because the abuse in this case is hidden by typical actions that seem to be normal behavior (sometimes they can even seem to have loving intentions). This issue arises when someone can’t seem to find a way to manage their angry in a normal or healthy manner.

According to the website listed below the following behaviors could be deemed passive agressive: ambiguity (rarely making an effort to actually explain what they mean), forgetfulness, blaming, lack of anger, a fear of dependency, fear of intimacy, obstructionism, victimization, and procrastination.

Here is a definition of each and a more in-depth description of passive agression: http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/abusiverelationships/a/Pass_Agg.htm

Example: A medical office worker is shown how to score a simple , symptom inventory. She consistently makes careless errors and says she can’t help it.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Aug 2010