What Is a Passive-Aggressive Personality?

What Is a Passive-Aggressive Personality?

A passive-aggressive personality can involve hinting at insults without actually saying them. But is it just a trait or a type of personality disorder?

Being passive-aggressive suggests that you’re using indirect or nonconfrontational means to convey your feelings of negativity.

Instead of yelling and waving your hands, for example, you might make sarcastic comments, give backhanded compliments, or deliberately take extra time on projects to “get back at” someone.

Passive aggression is a behavioral expression of hostility, and it can be both a personality trait and part of a broader personality disorder.

What is a passive-aggressive personality?

Most people experience passive-aggressive traits once in a while. Snapping at your boss with a snide comment, for example, may be your way of begrudgingly taking on an assignment you didn’t want.

A passive-aggressive personality, however, is one where negative feelings are regularly expressed through patterns of indirect, often hostile behaviors.

Always meeting conflict with procrastination, for example, can be a behavioral pattern seen in a passive-aggressive personality.

What are the causes?

There are many reasons why you may not be comfortable directly communicating negative emotions.

“Passive-aggressive behavior may arise when the person utilizing it feels they cannot communicate their needs and feelings directly, or when someone wants to avoid taking responsibility for the impact of their words and actions,” explains Ileana Arganda-Stevens, a licensed marriage and family therapist from Sacramento, California.

Bognar says this need to bottle up emotions is often a learned behavior from childhood, when you realize at an early age your needs won’t be met by asking in a straightforward way.

“A passive-aggressive person learns at an early age that the most reliable way for them to get what they want and need is through manipulation, and they do this often through the use of guilt and/or shame,” he says.

What are the characteristics of a passive-aggressive person?

Characteristics of passive-aggressive personality can include patterns of:

  • passive resistance to social and occupational task completion
  • complaining
  • feeling misunderstood or unappreciated
  • frequent arguing
  • acting sullen or grumpy
  • bitterness and scorn toward authority
  • resentfulness toward the success of others
  • envy
  • excessive vocalization and complaining about personal misfortune
  • indecision
  • low self-confidence
  • pessimism
  • catastrophizing
  • stubbornness
  • procrastination
  • feigned forgetfulness
  • blame shifting



Agoraphobia is a fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult or that help wouldn’t be available if things go wrong.

Many people assume agoraphobia is simply a fear of open spaces, but it’s actually a more complex condition.

Someone with agoraphobia may be scared of:

  • travelling on public transport
  • visiting a shopping centre
  • leaving home

If someone with agoraphobia finds themselves in a stressful situation, they’ll usually experience the symptoms of a panic attack, such as:

  • rapid heartbeat
  • rapid breathing (hyperventilating)
  • feeling hot and sweaty
  • feeling sick

They’ll avoid situations that cause anxiety and may only leave the house with a friend or partner. They’ll order groceries online rather than going to the supermarket. This change in behaviour is known as avoidance.

Read more about the symptoms of agoraphobia.

What causes agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia can develop as a complication of panic disorder, an anxiety disorder involving panic attacks and moments of intense fear. It can arise by associating panic attacks with the places or situations where they occurred and then avoiding them.

Not all people with agoraphobia have a history of panic attacks. In these cases, their fear may be related to issues like a fear of crime, terrorism, illness or being in an accident.

Read more about the possible causes of agoraphobia.    more

Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features

Some people who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder will experience episodes of psychosis during mania or depression. These episodes cause hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking, and a lack of awareness of reality. While in extreme situations hospitalization may be necessary, most bipolar patients with psychotic features can manage these episodes with ongoing, professional treatment.

Bipolar disorder can trigger psychotic symptoms, which may include hallucinations or delusions during mania, depression, or both.

Psychosis can be distressing, but it can also be managed, treated, and even prevented with the right medications and therapy with experienced mental health professionals.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar and related disorders are mood disorders characterized by episodes of mania and depression. Manic episodes cause a feeling of euphoria, unusually high energy and activity levels, and irritability. Depressive episodes cause sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, loss of interest in activities, and other symptoms of depression.

Depending on the type of the condition, a person with bipolar disorder may cycle through both of these moods or may experience depression with a less extreme type of mania called hypomania. A low-grade but long-term type of bipolar disorder is called cyclothymia. Bipolar I, the disorder that triggers both depression and mania, may also cause symptoms of psychosis.

Psychosis Is a Specifier for Bipolar Disorder

When a medical or mental health professional is diagnosing bipolar disorder they may use specifiers. These are added details that describe an individual’s experience and symptoms. Specifiers include atypical features, like significant weight gain or sleeping too much, and psychotic features. If someone is diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic features it means he or she meets the diagnostic criteria for bipolar but also has symptoms of psychosis.

What Is Psychosis?

Psychosis is a state of mind and a set of symptoms characterized by losing contact with reality. It is not a condition in and of itself but rather a group of symptoms that can be triggered by certain mental illnesses, like bipolar disorder, and by medical conditions, brain injuries, substance misuse, and some medications. Someone with bipolar disorder may experience psychotic symptoms during a manic or a depressive episode. The specific symptoms and their character or content vary by individual.

Symptoms of Bipolar Psychosis

Exactly what one person will experience when having psychotic symptoms during an episode of mania or depression varies. However, in general psychotic symptoms can be grouped into a few categories:

  • Hallucinations. A hallucination is something that is sensed—heard, seen, felt, tasted, or smelled—that seems real but that is not real. Hallucinations may include seeing things that aren’t there or hearing non-existent voices.
  • Delusions. A delusion is a false belief that persists in spite of evidence. Delusions can be paranoid, grandiose, persecutory, jealous, or a mixture of types.
  • Confused thinking. Psychosis can cause disordered, racing, and irrational thoughts. To an observer this person may talk very fast, jump from one topic to another, and not make a lot of sense.
  • Poor self-awareness. In the middle of a psychotic episode a person will not be aware that his or her beliefs or hallucinations are false. This can trigger fear and significant distress.

Psychosis in bipolar disorder tends to match a person’s current mood. So, for instance, during mania a person may have grandiose delusions, believing he or she is more talented and capable of doing something, or even famous and rich. During a depressive mood those delusions will take a downturn, and may include things like the paranoid belief that someone is out to get them.   more

Split (2017) – Hedwig’s Dance Scene

Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all of the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey, Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him — as well as everyone around him — as the walls between his compartments shatter.


Dissociative identity disorder (DID) [formally known as multiple personality disorder]

DID Fact Sheet

What Is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)?

Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously referred to as multiple personality disorder, is a dissociative disorder involving a disturbance of identity in which two or more separate and distinct personality states (or identities) control an individual’s behavior at different times. When under the control of one identity, a person is usually unable to remember some of the events that occurred while other personalities were in control. The different identities, referred to as alters, may exhibit differences in speech, mannerisms, attitudes, thoughts and gender orientation. The alters may even present physical differences, such as allergies, right-or-left handedness or the need for eyeglass prescriptions. These differences between alters are often quite striking.

A person living with DID may have as few as two alters or as many as 100. The average number is about 10. Often alters are stable over time, continuing to play specific roles in the person’s life for years. Some alters may harbor aggressive tendencies, directed toward individuals in the person’s environment or toward other alters within the person.

At the time a person living with DID first seeks professional help, he or she is usually not aware of their condition. A very common complaint in people affected by DID is episodes of amnesia, or time loss. These individuals may be unable to remember events in all or part of a proceeding time period. They may repeatedly encounter unfamiliar people who claim to know them, find themselves somewhere without knowing how they got there or find items that they don’t remember purchasing among their possessions.

What Are The Symptoms Of DID?

Often people living with DID are depressed or even suicidal and self-mutilation is common in this group. Approximately one-third of individuals affected complain of auditory or visual hallucinations.

While the causes are unknown, statistics show that DID occurs in 0.01 to 1 percent of the general population. DID is a serious mental illness that occurs across all ethnic groups and all income levels. It affects women nine times more than men.

In addition to experiencing separate identities, individuals living with DID may also experience many other symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:


Pornscars – “Good Old Ed Gein” Official Music Video

Song Lyrics: “Good Old Ed Gein”

He used to babysit my kids sometimes
and don’t you know they all turned out fine
and I never spoke bad about his mother
because we all know what happened to his brother

He decided to decorate his home
all he needed was fresh skin and some bones
he stumbled in a trance stumbled in a daze
what do you know, he robbed a couple of graves

He pulled me to the side and he said maybe
I think I want to be a lady
he loved to dress up, loved to pretend
he made costumes from human flesh

The Macabre Story Of Ed Gein, The Serial Killer Who Used Human Body Parts To Make Furniture

For years, Ed Gein holed up inside his dilapidated home in Plainfield, Wisconsin as he carefully skinned and dismembered his victims in order to fashion everything from a chair to a bodysuit.

Most people have seen classic horror films like Psycho (1960), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991). But what many may not know is that the terrifying villains in these three movies were all based on one real-life killer: Ed Gein, the so-called “Butcher of Plainfield.”

Ed Gein

Bettmann/Getty ImagesEd Gein, the so-called “Butcher of Plainfield.”

When police entered his Plainfield, Wisconsin home in November 1957, following the disappearance of a local woman, they walked straight into a house of horrors. Not only did they find the woman they were looking for — dead, decapitated, and hung from her ankles — but they also found a number of shocking, grisly objects crafted by Ed Gein.

Police found skulls, human organs, and gruesome pieces of furniture like lampshades made of human faces and chairs upholstered with human skin. Gein’s goal, as he later explained to police, was to create a skin suit to quasi-resurrect his dead mother with whom he’d been obsessed for years.   more

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