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Spite and Envy: Passive-Aggressive Narcissists


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Spite and Envy: Passive-Aggressive Narcissists

By Sam Vaknin
Author of "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited"

Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Personality Disorder is not yet recognized by the DSM Committee. It makes its appearances in Appendix B of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, titled "Criteria Sets and Axes Provided for Further Study."

Some people are perennial pessimists and have "negative energy" and negativistic attitudes ("good things don't last", "it doesn't pay to be good", "the future is behind me"). Not only do they disparage the efforts of others, but they make it a point to resist demands to perform in workplace and social settings and to frustrate people's expectations and requests, however reasonable and minimal they may be. Such persons regard every requirement and assigned task as impositions, reject authority, resent authority figures (boss, teacher, parent-like spouse), feel shackled and enslaved by commitment, and oppose relationships that bind them in any manner.


Whether these attitudes and behaviors are acquired/learned or the outcome of heredity is still an open question. Often, 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 main 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. Consider the Negativist in the workplace: he or she invests time and efforts in obstructing their own chores and in undermining relationships. But, these self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors wreak havoc throughout the workshop or the office.

People diagnosed with the Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Personality Disorder resemble narcissists in some important respects. Despite the obstructive role they play, passive-aggressives 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 system (in other words, they have alloplastic defenses and an external locus of control).

Passive-aggressives sulk and give the "silent treatment" in reaction to real or imagined slights. They suffer from ideas 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 personal misfortune). In the words of the DSM: "They may be sullen, irritable, impatient, argumentative, cynical, skeptical and contrary." They are also hostile, explosive, lack impulse control, and, sometimes, reckless.

Inevitably, passive-aggressives are envious of the fortunate, the successful, the 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, they immediately revert to begging forgiveness, kowtowing, maudlin protestations, turning on their charm, and promising to behave and perform better in the future.

Read Notes from the therapy of a Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Patient

Passive-aggressive Bureaucracies

Collectives - especially bureaucracies, such as for-profit universities, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), the army, and government - tend to behave passive-aggressively and to frustrate their constituencies. This misconduct is often aimed at releasing tensions and stress that the individuals comprising these organizations accumulate in their daily contact with members of the public.

Additionally, as Kafka astutely observed, such misbehavior fosters dependence in the clients of these establishments and cements a relationship of superior (i.e., the obstructionist group) versus inferior (the demanding and deserving individual, who is reduced to begging and supplicating).

Passive-aggressiveness has a lot in common with pathological narcissism: the destructive envy, the recurrent attempts to buttress grandiose fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience, the lack of impulse control, the deficient ability to empathize, and the sense of entitlement, often incommensurate with its real-life achievements.

No wonder, therefore, that negativistic, narcissistic, and borderline organizations share similar traits and identical psychological defenses: most notably denial (mainly of the existence of problems and complaints), and projection (blaming the group's failures and dysfunction on its clients).

In such a state of mind, it is easy to confuse means (making money, hiring staff, constructing or renting facilities, and so on) with ends (providing loans, educating students, assisting the poor, fighting wars, etc.). Means become ends and ends become means.

Consequently, the original goals of the organization are now considered to be nothing 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 another office tower and the disbursement of yet another annual bonus to its members. As Parkinson noted, the collective perpetuates its existence, regardless of whether it has any role left and how well it functions.


As the constituencies of these collectives - most forcefully, its clients - protest and exert pressure in an attempt to restore them to their erstwhile state, the collectives develop a paranoid state of mind, a siege mentality, replete with persecutory delusions and aggressive behavior. This anxiety is an introjection of guilt. Deep inside, these organizations know that they have strayed from the right path. They anticipate attacks and rebukes and are rendered defensive and suspicious by the inevitable, impending onslaught.

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Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy

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Dec/11/2014, 11:20 am Link to this post  
 
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Re: Spite and Envy: Passive-Aggressive Narcissists


I've suffered quite a bit with passive-aggressive behavior in the past, as described in this article. I've pulled shenanigans, acted out, withdrawn, etc. I've gotten much healthier over the years and do much better now.

As far as the collectives go, I would offer as a good example of an organization having taken the wrong path and knowing it full well is the police departments in America. Never before have we seen such brutality from the police and their unions as they protect their turf from the very citizens who provide it for them. It's completely out of control and getting worse by the day. Talk about narcissists, yikes, the police are the epitome of narcissism.

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Blackfish, bluefish, fastfish, loosefish!
Jan/21/2015, 10:36 am Link to this post  
 
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Re: Spite and Envy: Passive-Aggressive Narcissists


I deal with this on a daily basis. Like living in the fun house at an amusement park. You never know what face is gonna come flying at you. When you have a truth on them that they can't hide they back down and become like repentant little [sign in to see URL] on you hand and foot for the [sign in to see URL] you stupid questions like "should i cook with or without the garlic? what do you think?" Trying to make any kind of conversation after they just put you through three days of the silent treatment. I know my narc is deathly afraid of my [sign in to see URL] sound of me laughing with my children makes him [sign in to see URL] i sing along with a song he'll turn it up extremely loud or say "your daughter could sing that". When someone else compliments me a look of contempt comes over his face. when i say something halfway intelligent He'll respond by saying " of course she knows that she hangs out with me". Gotta have it. Hog it all.

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Jan/26/2015, 8:41 am Link to this post  
 
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Re: Spite and Envy: Passive-Aggressive Narcissists


And yes. No longer to protect and serve. Them cops sure do love them tasers don't they? The police around here scare me to death, especially the younger [sign in to see URL] like robots.

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Jan/26/2015, 8:46 am Link to this post  
 
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Re: Spite and Envy: Passive-Aggressive Narcissists


Yes, especially the younger cops. They are clearly out to do some damage, get a few kills under their belt, ruin some lives, steal some property. They love it. They have this sense of being able to do whatever they damn well please. And the courts these days are letting them get away with it.

The violence of the police are one of the clear signals the age of the narcissist and the psychopath is on the rise.

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Jan/28/2015, 5:09 am Link to this post  
 
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Re: Spite and Envy: Passive-Aggressive Narcissists


Omg. Could you imagine being married to a narc psycho cop? The police have been to my house numerous times. And they shift blame on me. Mysonogists

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Jan/29/2015, 5:27 pm Link to this post  
 
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Re: Spite and Envy: Passive-Aggressive Narcissists


Your situation is unusual. They usually always side with the female.

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Jan/29/2015, 6:20 pm Link to this post  
 
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Re: Spite and Envy: Passive-Aggressive Narcissists


Nope. The attitude I get is "what are you doing to make him so angry?" They take him to his mother's house. Not to jail

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Jan/29/2015, 7:10 pm Link to this post  
 


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