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24 Signs of a Passive Aggressive Person

These are some of the characteristics of a passive aggressive individual:

He/she doesn’t give you what you want.

He/she gives you what, when you don’t need it! Then he/she expects you to appreciate his/her consideration.

It makes him/her angry when you aren’t sufficiently grateful!

Nothing is ever his/her fault.

Even when it is his/her fault, it’s your fault first!

He/she is exempt from having to do anything he/she doesn’t want to do.

He/she feels entitled to do what he/she wants.That should be justification enough.

He/she “forgets” a lot, and it’s your fault for not reminding him/her, “You should have known I’d forget!”

He/she makes excuses for not doing what he/she never had any intention of doing in the first place.

He/she makes promises that he/she has no intention of keeping.

He/she does shameful things without feeling ashamed.

He/she uses your fears against you.

He/she accuses you of doing what he/she does.

He/she does not see how he/she contributes to your distress, or his/her own.

He/she wears you down until you give in just to end the argument.

He/she takes advantage of your vulnerabilities.

You try to make him/her understand what he/she is doing to you, but he/she doesn’t get it. (If he /she did, he/she would have to change.)

Not only doesn’t he/she get it, but it is your fault that he/she doesn’t! Your explanation wasn’t “good enough” for him/her.  The failure is yours, not his/her.

He/she uses sarcasm and then says, “Can’t you take a joke?” (

He/she breaks your heart and makes you miserable, but he/she is the victim of your “rotten moods.”

He/she does not learn from experience.  He/she makes the same mistake over and over.

He/she knows what you expect and he/she defeats you by not doing it: “I forgot.”

He/she sets you up to trust him/her. (“Trust me on this, honey.”) and then betrays your trust.

He/she punishes you passively by not doing, forgetting, delaying, overdoing, rationalizing, exaggerating and so on.  These punishments leave no visible scars.

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24 Signs of a Passive Aggressive Person

Aaron Karmin

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APA Reference
Karmin, A. (2016). 24 Signs of a Passive Aggressive Person. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 11 Nov 2016
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