Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder: What Is It?


Understanding Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder

by Alane Kim/ThoughtCo

The term “passive-aggressive” is used to describe behavior that expresses defiance or hostility indirectly, rather than openly. These behaviors can include deliberately “forgetting” or procrastinating, complaining about a lack of appreciation, and a sullen demeanor.

  • The term “passive-aggressive” refers to behavior that expresses defiance or hostility indirectly, rather than openly.
  • The term “passive-aggressive” was first officially documented in a 1945 U.S. War Department bulletin.
  • Passive-aggressive personality disorder is no longer classified as a diagnosable disorder, but is still considered relevant in the field of psychology.

Origins and History

The first official documentation of passive-aggressive personality disorder was in a technical bulletin issued in 1945 by the U.S. War Department. In the bulletin, Colonel William Menninger described soldiers who refused to comply with orders. Instead of outwardly expressing their defiance, however, the soldiers behaved in a passively aggressive manner. For instance, according to the bulletin, they would pout, procrastinate, or otherwise behave stubbornly or inefficiently.

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  1. Lol u Americans r funny. How could it ever been considered a disorder when it’s just a pesky trait a child would develop from from having useless parents. Basically, cowardly n arrogant yet vindictful n spoiled never thought the definition of word hypocrisy.
    Basically explains the entire american !
    Yet u ppl dictating to the rest of the world. No wonder that World is in such shit as state.

  2. I find it more relevant during the maturation process of almost any social group. During that process, as certain people find it more difficult to be fit in or find dissatisfaction with dynamics or direction, this behavior becomes a formative element of the group.
    Things come to a head slowly largely through this process. Individuals who are good at it, have practiced mostly due to a lack of acceptance. Certainly, it is more apparent, and demonstrable among those further up a hierarchy of established institutions. If the US can be made aware of how pervasive it is in our modern maturation process, we can advance beyond the selfish teenager stage we are in.

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