I am sure you’ve heard of the term “passive aggressive”. But I bet not many of us have actually looked it up, until the day we suspect we ought to.
According to what I’ve learned on-line and what I personally experienced, passive aggressive behavior is a form of emotional abuse. It’s so subtle that most of us are not even aware of it. People with this problem are masters of disguising their emotional abuse with other actions that appear to be loving and caring.
They are unable to voice their anger, so they repress it but then stick it to you underhandedly by:
(1) Ambiguity: they don’t say what they mean, or mean what they say. It’s their way to make you feel insecure and also to mask their own insecurities.
(2) Forgetting: they forget your birthday or anything important to you, as a means of punishment.
(3) Blaming: they have no faults. It’s always your faults because they are unable to look internally and examine their shortcomings.
(4) Being difficult and stubborn: it’s extremely important to them that you never get your way. They resent your demand and will make sure you don’t get what you want. They punish you by withholding favor. And they never follow through on agreements and promises.
(5) Being late: they believe deadlines are for others, but not for them. They do things at their own pace and don’t give a damn about what others think. They are chronically late for everything, work, dates, etc, in order to exert control. They often have issue with authorities.
(6) Victimization: they feel they are always misunderstood, unappreciated and treated unfairly. They wear their past misfortune like a badge and demand sympathy.
(7) Fear of Dependency: they resent the fact that they need you, so they try to control you.
(8) Objectifying: they see you as an object, instead of a person with needs and feelings. They care for you like their favorite hi-fi speakers.
The sad thing is, they truly want to connect with you emotionally, but they cannot form any serious long-term relationships due to their fear of emotional attachment. Their only hope is to find someone either very stupid or with low self-esteem, or preferably both.
As for me, I would rather being shouted at by my upset partner, than being manipulated into believing everything is my fault by a coward with lots of anger buried inside.