A friend of mine brought to my attention a couple of weeks ago, that she thought the passive aggressive man she’s involved with may be a sociopath. She came to this conclusion after reading an article on the subject.
According to clinical psychologist and former Harvard Medical School instructor Dr. Martha Stout, about 1 in every 25 people in America is a sociopath. Maybe not the murdering kind, but definitely the kind without social conscience. I have to admit after reading the article and doing the research, I myself can see similarities that could cause one to think this could be one of those over lapping, combo personality disorders. In many instances it looks like the Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder and the Sociopath Personality Disorder could very well go hand in hand.
Disclaimer: I am not in any way or any form a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or any kind of degreed therapist. This is just my personal observation based on my own research. I am not saying that every passive aggressive is a sociopath (although sometimes in my own mind I may think it. LOL).
The Passive Aggressive Personality is usually caused from an environmental dysfunction in childhood such as drug or alcohol addicted parents, or any type of environment where it wasn’t safe for them to express their anger and frustration. There appears to be evidence however that the upbringing of a sociopath has little or no effect on them. Like a passive aggressive elements of a sociopath’s personality first become evident at a very early age, but they appear to be due to biological or genetic factors. According to the book for medical diagnosis, one can not be diagnosed as a sociopath until the age of 15 or older, yet as stated above, there have probably been signs through out earlier childhood.
Now for some of the similarities. It is truly amazing at different points in the discussion concerning both personality disorders.It’s also pretty scary.
Let’s start with an easy one. Most of us know what makes a sociopath a sociopath is a lack of conscience. According to expert Robert Hare, author of the book “Without Conscience” the sociopath lacks guilt.
They often see themselves as victims, and lack remorse or the ability to empathize with others.
Passive aggressives also see themselves as victims. Everything that happens to them is someone else’s fault. They cannot feel remorse or empathy for others because they never believe the problem is them.
Lets try another one. According to the psychopathy checklist of H. Checkly and Robert Hare, a deep seated rage is at the core of the sociopath. They see others around them as targets and opportunities. With the passive aggressive, they too have a suppressed anger that they have never learned to or been allowed to express openly. This is what leads to the covert abuse and sabetoge of their victims (us).
This is getting kind of long, but lets go for number 3.
According to Martha Stout who wrote “The Sociopath Next Door”, most sociopaths would be described as “the most charming, charismatic, sexiest, or maybe the most interesting” person you ever met. Isn’t that a common reason we end up staying in a marriage or relationship with a passive aggressive for so long? Sure there are exceptions, but for the most part don’t they drive us crazy until we’re ready to walk and then they charm us back in for another period of time? In most cases didn’t we fall in love with them because they seemed so loving, so caring, until we married them or got involved? Doesn’t it really feel a lot of the time that it’s just a game to them? That’s how it is with a sociopath. It is a game. A game purely of manipulation.
There is more, and I may do a part 2 to this, but this is long enough for now. If you like, follow the link above to one of the articles regarding sociopaths and do some of your own comparisons. Then, if you would, come back and share your stories with us. Like I always say, we’re here to learn, get encouragement, and to help each other.
Filed under: causes, guilt, hidden feelings, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive boyfriend, passive aggressive spouse, personality disorders Tagged: | alcoholics, covert abuse, definition of passive aggressive, drug addiction, games passive aggressives play, hidden feelings, passive aggressive boyfriend, passive aggressive personality, passive aggressive spouse, personality disorders, sociopath and passive aggression