By Sam Vaknin
Author of "Malignant Self-appreciate: Narcissism Revisited"Negativistic
(Passive-Aggressive) Personality Disorder is not however recognized by the DSM Committee. It tends to make its appearances in Appendix B of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, titled "Criteria Sets and Axes Supplied for Further Study."
Some folks are perennial pessimists and have "negative energy" and negativistic attitudes ("excellent things never last", "it does not pay to be great", "the future is behind me"). Not only do they disparage the efforts of other individuals, but they make it a point to resist demands to execute in workplace and social settings and to frustrate people's expectations and requests, on the other hand affordable and minimal they may well be. Such persons regard each and every requirement and assigned task as impositions, reject authority, resent authority figures (boss, teacher, parent-like spouse), really feel shackled and enslaved by commitment, and oppose relationships that bind them in any manner.
Whether these attitudes and behaviors are acquired/discovered or the outcome of heredity is still an open query. Frequently, passive-aggression is the only weapon of the weak and the meek, besieged as they are by frustration, helplessness, envy and spite, the organizing principles of their emotional landscape and the engines and key motivating forces of their lives.
Passive-aggressiveness wears a multitude of guises: procrastination, malingering, perfectionism, forgetfulness, neglect, truancy, intentional inefficiency, stubbornness, and outright sabotage. This repeated and advertent misconduct has far reaching effects. Think about the Negativist in the workplace: he or she invests time and efforts in obstructing their personal chores and in undermining relationships. But, these self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors wreak havoc all through the workshop or the workplace.
People diagnosed with the Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Character Disorder resemble narcissists in some crucial respects. In spite of the obstructive role they play, passive-aggressives really feel unappreciated, underpaid, cheated, and misunderstood. They chronically complain, whine, carp, and criticize. They blame their failures and defeats on others, posing as martyrs and victims of a corrupt, inefficient, and heartless method (in other words, they have alloplastic defenses and an external locus of manage).
Passive-aggressives sulk and give the "silent remedy" in reaction to true or imagined slights. They endure from concepts of reference (believe that they are the butt of derision, contempt, and condemnation) and are mildly paranoid (the world is out to get them, which explains their private misfortune). In the words of the DSM: "They could be sullen, irritable, impatient, argumentative, cynical, skeptical and contrary." They are also hostile, explosive, lack impulse handle, and, from time to time, reckless.
Inevitably, passive-aggressives are envious of the fortunate, the effective, the well-known, their superiors, these in favor, and the content. They vent this venomous jealousy openly and defiantly anytime offered the chance. But, deep at heart, passive-aggressives are craven.
When reprimanded, they immediately revert to begging forgiveness, kowtowing, maudlin protestations, turning on their charm, and promising to behave and perform superior in the future.
Study Notes from the therapy of a Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Patient
Collectives - especially bureaucracies, such as for-profit universities, overall health maintenance organizations (HMOs), the army, and government - have a tendency to behave passive-aggressively and to frustrate their constituencies. This misconduct is often aimed at releasing tensions and anxiety that the people comprising these organizations accumulate in their every day make contact with with members of the public.
Additionally, as Kafka astutely observed, such misbehavior fosters dependence in the customers of these establishments and cements a relationship of superior (i.e., the obstructionist group) versus inferior (the demanding and deserving person, who is reduced to begging and supplicating).
Passive-aggressiveness has a lot in widespread with pathological narcissism: the destructive envy, the recurrent attempts to buttress grandiose fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience, the lack of impulse control, the deficient potential to empathize, and the sense of entitlement, typically incommensurate with its true-life achievements.
No wonder, consequently, that negativistic, narcissistic, and borderline organizations share similar traits and identical psychological defenses: most notably denial (mainly of the existence of troubles and complaints), and projection (blaming the group's failures and dysfunction on its customers).
In such a state of mind, it is effortless to confuse suggests (generating cash, hiring staff, constructing or renting facilities, and so on) with ends (providing loans, educating students, assisting the poor, fighting wars, etc.). Signifies turn out to be ends and ends turn out to be means.
Consequently, the original targets of the organization
) are now regarded to be practically nothing far more than obstacles on the way to realizing new aims: borrowers, students, or the poor are nuisances to be summarily dispensed with as the board of directors considers the erection of yet one more workplace tower and the disbursement of but a different annual bonus to its members. As Parkinson noted, the collective perpetuates its existence, regardless of regardless of whether it has any part left and how effectively it functions.
As the constituencies of these collectives - most forcefully, its clients - protest and exert stress in an attempt to restore them to their erstwhile state, the collectives develop a paranoid state of thoughts, a siege mentality, replete with persecutory delusions and aggressive behavior. This anxiousness is an introjection of guilt. Deep inside, these organizations know that they have strayed from the appropriate path. They anticipate attacks and rebukes and are rendered defensive and suspicious by the inevitable, impending onslaught.