Passive Aggressive Men
How to Recognize Passive Aggressive Men
Dealing with passive aggressive men can be a challenge. Trying to have a fulfilling, healthy relationship with this kind of man is highly frustrating at best.
Do you think the man in your life has passive aggressive behavior disorder? In order to find out, you need to know how to recognize it, where it comes from, and whether you can do anything to change it.
Signs He’s a Passive Aggressive Person
- He is perpetually late to events that are important to you. In contrast, he seems to be able to make it to events that he values with time to spare.
- He uses ambiguous language, makes cryptic remarks, and says things that seem to have underlying meaning. When confronted, he will deny doing so.
- His opinions are subject to change depending on whom he is arguing with.
- He is very forgetful – especially when it comes to birthdays and anniversaries.
- He is a procrastinator. He operates on his own timetable and is almost always finishing important projects at the last second, usually at the expense of quality.
- He contradicts himself regularly – and denies it every time.
- He blames others for his own shortcomings. It is always someone else’s fault – the mailman, the president, his boss, the guy that rang him up at the grocery store, the list is endless. To passive aggressive men, the entire world is full of inept and unintelligent people, and they all seem to be conspiring to make his life miserable.
- He seems not to get angry. Instead of expressing his anger honestly, it comes out in more insidious ways. When confronted about this, he – you guessed it – denies it.
- You feel like he pushes your buttons or starts fights intentionally and then retreats when you get upset, acting as if you are totally out of line.
- He is very timid and won’t assert himself by day, but has no problem getting rough in the bedroom.
- He expects you to know what he is thinking without his having to tell you - and to act accordingly.
- He gives backhanded compliments, and you often aren’t sure if he’s really just kidding when he teases you.
- He sulks, pouts, and mopes but will never come out and say that he’s unhappy with something.
- He does many things half-heartedly and without much enthusiasm. There’s always some reason for him to be unhappy.
How Passive Aggressive Disorder Develops
Passive Aggressive men become that way because of what they learn in childhood. The behavior is either modeled after a passive aggressive parent or is a coping mechanism developed in a home where healthy expression of feelings – especially anger – was hindered. Somewhere during their development, a passive aggressive person has been taught that the honest expression of feelings is bad.
Since emotions like anger, fear, and disappointment aren’t released in normal ways, they build up and must somehow be purged. The frustrating and confusing passive aggressive behaviors are simply the releasing of those pent-up emotions.
Dealing With Passive Aggressive Men
If you’re still reading this, it’s likely that you know what it’s like to have a relationship with a man who is passive aggressive. So, is it worth the trouble to try and help him change? Well, that depends. If the behavior is not extremely severe or deeply ingrained, there is much hope for recovery.
The first step in correcting the behavior is recognizing it. One of the hardest things a passive aggressive person can do is to examine himself and to take responsibility for his behavior. If this can be accomplished, anything is possible. Therapy can be highly effective at helping to treat passive aggressive men.
As the partner of a recovering passive aggressive, you will need to have a lot of patience and understanding. If you and your partner care deeply for one another, and he is truly willing to put in the work it will take to correct his behavior, you can eventually have a mutually beneficial relationship.
Remember: staying in a relationship with passive aggressive men is always a bad idea if they are unwilling to change or are unable to recognize that they have a problem.