Is Your Passive Aggressive A Narcissist?

Like the fact that all of us at one time or another has probably done something passive aggressively as a defense mechanism to not do something we don’t want to do, or avoid conflict, etc. we each have a little bit of narcissistic behavior in us, which is considered to be healthy. It’s when either of these are taken to the extreme that we start to consider the fact that someone may have a personality disorder.

One of my readers (friend) recently has been doing a lot of research regarding her passive aggressive boyfriend, and mentioned the fact that she thought he was also a Narcissist. At first, my perception being that the two are extreme opposites, I thought that could hardly be the case. I decided to research the possibility myself to see if I indeed had the right idea of what a Narcissist even was. While it’s true that many have a grandiose picture of themselves due to overinflated egos, there is such a thing as a passive aggressive narcissist. I thought it would be interesting to compare the similarities between the two just to see how close they are and to see if I am living with one or both.


Cause- Usually defects in the quality of psychological nurturing provided, usually by the mother. Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents. Cause- may stem from a specific childhood stimulus (e.g., alcohol/drug addicted parents) in an environment where it was not safe to express

frustration or anger. (Lack in quality nurturing by either parent)

Severe emotional abuse in childhood Severe emotional abuse in childhood
Excessive praise for good behaviors or excessive criticism for poor behaviors in childhood Excessive criticism for poor behaviors in childhood
If a child does not receive sufficient recognition for their talents during about ages 3–7 they

will never mature and continue to be in the narcissistic early development stage.

If a child is never allowed to express himself, he will find other ways to take out his/her frustrations and anger, never learning appropriate coping skills.
difficult for such individuals to

work cooperatively with others or to maintain long-term professional achievements.

difficult for such individuals to

work cooperatively with others or to maintain long-term professional achievements.

adversely affect interpersonal relationships adversely affect interpersonal relationships

As you can see there are many strong similarities. According to Jeffrey Young, who coined the phrase “schema therapy” for a person to be diagnosed as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) they must meet 5 or more of the following symptoms:

Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents,

expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

* Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

* Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

* Requires excessive admiration

* Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

* Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

* Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

* Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

According to the book “Living With The Passive Aggressive Man” there are 11 traits possible:

* Ambiguity or speaking cryptically: a means of engendering a feeling of insecurity in others

* Chronically being late and forgetting things: another way to exert control or to punish.

* Fear of competition

* Fear of dependency

* Fear of intimacy as a means to act out anger: The passive aggressive often cannot trust.

Because of this, they guard themselves against becoming intimately attached to someone.

* Making chaotic situations

* Making excuses for non-performance in work teams

* Obstructionism

* Procrastination

* Sulking

* Victimization response: instead of recognizing one’s own weaknesses, tendency to blame others for own failures.

People who are overly narcissistic commonly feel rejected, humiliated and threatened when criticised. To protect themselves from these dangers, they often react with disdain, rage, and/or defiance to any slight criticism, real or imagined. Does that not also sound like the passive aggressives we all know and try to love?

Last but not least, to the extent that people are pathologically narcissistic, they can be controlling, blaming, self-absorbed, intolerant of others’ views, unaware of others’ needs and of the effects of their behavior on others, and insistent that others see them as they wish to be seen.

It’s easy to see how these 2 personality disorders could be overlapping in one individual. So now what kind of strategy do you use? Is he/she a passive aggressive narcissist? Dealing with the passive aggressive was hard enough. LOL.