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Narcissists and Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Personality Disorder

Uploaded 10/22/2010, approx. 3 minute read

I am Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

The negativistic, passive-aggressive personality disorder is not yet recognized by the committee that is cobbling together the diagnostic and statistical manual. The disorder makes its appearance in Appendix B of the DSM, titled Criteria Sets and Access, provided for further study.

Some people are perennial pessimists. They have what you may call negative energy. They have negativistic attitudes. Such people say, good things don't last, or it doesn't pay to be good, or the future is behind me.

Not only do these people disparage the efforts of others, but they make it a point to resist demands to perform in workplace and social settings. They make it a point to frustrate people's expectations and requests, however reasonable and minimal they may be.

Such persons regard every requirement and assigned task as impositions. They reject authority. They resent authority figures, such as bosses, teachers, or parent-like spouses.

They feel constantly shackled and enslaved by commitment. They oppose relationships that bind them in any manner.

Passive aggressiveness wears a multitude of guises. Procrastination, malingering, perfectionism, forgetfulness, neglect, truancy, intentional inefficiency, stubbornness, and outright sabotage.

This repeated and advertant misconduct has far-reaching effects and consequences.

Consider the negativist in the workplace. He or she invests time and efforts in obstructing their own chores and in undermining workplace relationships and the functioning of others.

But these self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors wreak havoc throughout the workshop or the office.

People diagnosed with a negativistic passive-aggressive personality disorder resemble narcissists in some important respects.

Despite the obstructive role they play, passive-aggressives feel unappreciated, underpaid, cheated, discriminated against, and misunderstood. Passive-aggressives chronically complain, whine, carve, and criticize. They blame their failures and defeats on others. They pose as martyrs and victims of a corrupt, inefficient, and heartless system.

In other words, they have alloplastic defenses and an external focus and locus of control.

Passive-aggressives sulkand they give the silent treatment in reaction to real or imagined slights. They suffer from ideas of reference. They believe that they are the part of derision, contempt, and condemnation. And they are mildly paranoid. They entertain these notions that the world is out to get them.

And this explains, of course, their personal misfortune.

In the words of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, passive-aggressives may be sullen, irritable, impatient, argumentative, cynical, skeptical, and contrarian. They are also hostile, explosive, lack impulse control, and sometimes they are reckless.

Inevitably, passive-aggressives are envious of the fortunate, successful, famous, their superiors, those in favor, and the happy. They vent this venomous jealousy openly and defiantly whenever given the opportunity.

But deep at heart, passive-aggressives are craven. When reprimanded or confronted, they immediately revert to begging forgiveness, kowtowing, maudlin protestations. They turn on their charmand they promise to behave and perform better in the future.

Of course, to no avail.

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