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  1. #1
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Default Passive and Covert Aggression (and the abhorrence of it)

    What does it mean?

    I loathe passive or covert agressions in my interactions. I am not sure why or what it means exactly, but it is one of the fastest ways to piss me off when around others. Seeing it as a spineless, cowardly and manipulative way to affect or control others, I can not comprehend why someone would resort to these tactics. I seem to have more patience with it in professional settings, oddly. This is because I realize that someone may not personally want to cooperate but be forced to through work expectations. With friends and family however, I am compelled to call it out. Compelled to let the other person know that I see through the bullshit and refuse to go along with the game. I do this even when it rocks the boat or disrupts harmony, often at others irritation and confusion. I wonder what it means...

    I also wish to better understand why people do this. Why is it so difficult to be upfront and honest with ones thoughts and feelings? When people use these tactics are they aware of how obvious they are? Does a passive-aggressive know they are this way? What exactly are they hoping to achieve?

    Just to clarify, I realize passive-aggression and covert-aggression are two different things. Much of my frusteration is actually aimed at covert aggressives, which by definition has a far more sinister agenda. However, I still have great difficulty understanding passive aggressives.

    Does this highly irritate you as well? If so, what do you think that means?
    If you are someone that falls back on PA or CA, why do you think you do this?
    Help Huxley have more tolerance for this shit.. =)
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  2. #2
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    It irritates me as well. But, somehow I think I would respect somebody covertly aggresive more than passive agressive. At least the first is actually trying to get something done. Somtimes the system requires it.

    I have nothing but loathing for passive agressiveness.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Good point on coverts.

    I also wonder if certain mbti types or etypes are prone to this defence mechanism, and if certain types are especially disturbed by it...
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  4. #4
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    I've started to have a pretty strong reaction of revulsion to passive-aggression. I think that's because I've had to deal with a small number of truly toxic individuals who made liberal use of it.

    I tend to think a lot of people who are passive aggressive aren't really doing it in a calculating manner. It's just their modus operandi. They get good results from those who are easier to manipulate. Which has sometimes included me, unfortunately, but I'm getting better.

    I've worked in customer service and though I don't have a lot of customer service in my current job there is an element of it. Honestly...I can barely stop myself from being blatantly rude, sometimes, to people who guilt-trip me and such. I just find it sickening.

    I don't think generally I've had tendencies towards PA but I occasionally can be woe-is-me. Ie. whiny. It's more because I feel sorry for myself, though, than because I expect people to do things for me or flock around me because of it. And I think I'm less whiny than I've sometimes been in the past.

    Type-wise I think INFx types are traditionally supposed to be more prone to this, but not too sure about that.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member flameskull95's Avatar
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    I think both suck as much as each other. Covert is mistrusting to the core, passive is just annoyingly hurtful upfront.
    I'm a INFP - The sociopath

    I think I'm either a 4w5, 4w3, 6w5 or 9w1. Most possibly 4w5.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Ism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    With friends and family however, I am compelled to call it out. Compelled to let the other person know that I see through the bullshit and refuse to go along with the game. I do this even when it rocks the boat or disrupts harmony, often at others irritation and confusion. I wonder what it means...
    You sound like my ENTP boyfriend, lol. I think it just means you're one of those nice, pleasant, wonderful people who actually know how to confront the issue upfront. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I tend to think a lot of people who are passive aggressive aren't really doing it in a calculating manner. It's just their modus operandi. They get good results from those who are easier to manipulate. Which has sometimes included me, unfortunately, but I'm getting better.

    Type-wise I think INFx types are traditionally supposed to be more prone to this, but not too sure about that.
    Yep, same here. I don't like being passive aggressive, and generally try and be as assertive as possible, but it can be easy for people to be passive-aggressive towards me. Especially if I'm not in the mood to work out their BS, or if I just mistakenly took their words for something they actually mean. It gets stupid when all you have to do is just be assertive and talk about the situation upfront, without any magically fantasized agenda.

    As far as type goes, I think it depends. But it's definitely prevalent among the non-confrontational types, since it's easier than directly offending/confronting someone. I'd say Fs and ITs.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Could you describe more specifically what you are referring to? The phrase "passive-aggressive" seems completely subjective. For instance, I think people would have been more likely to classify me as passive aggressive some years ago, but the truth is that I find the world mostly invading and can't really do much about it (introverted perhaps). So I try to deal with it the best I can and sometimes I can't hold in my emotions about it when I don't know how to deal with it or don't do it well. It's more of a temporary, unconscious thing. It's not planned and I'm not avoiding problems, but becoming frustrated with having to deal with them unsuccessfully. In a way, it's like a last effort to get someone/something to give the needs of my existence validity/voice. From your perspective, if you knew me then, you might actually believe I was causing problems by avoiding them and even planning things out this way, but it's just not true.

    /2 cents

  8. #8
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    People probably do it because it works. I mean, it clearly does work, otherwise all of you wouldn't be so bothered by it.

    I have been passive aggressive in the past, but only when I feel completely cornered and smothered by someone, either because they have already shown that they cannot talk things out rationally and so it would be pointless to try, or because they are just someone that I cannot risk pissing off directly for whatever reason but I also can't just lay down and take their abuse.

  9. #9
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    People probably do it because it works. I mean, it clearly does work, otherwise all of you wouldn't be so bothered by it.

    I have been passive aggressive in the past, but only when I feel completely cornered and smothered by someone, either because they have already shown that they cannot talk things out rationally and so it would be pointless to try, or because they are just someone that I cannot risk pissing off directly for whatever reason but I also can't just lay down and take their abuse.
    That's another behaviour that I don't understand. Doing things for the sole purpose of irritating somebody else. I can understand resorting to a type of passive resistance when there is no other choice, but often when I see it happening, there are other options. Clearer, more effective options. Or, the person exercising PA is simply resentful that they have to do what they have agreed to do, for example, their job.

  10. #10
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    That's another behaviour that I don't understand. Doing things for the sole purpose of irritating somebody else. I can understand resorting to a type of passive resistance when there is no other choice, but often when I see it happening, there are other options. Clearer, more effective options. Or, the person exercising PA is simply resentful that they have to do what they have agreed to do, for example, their job.
    Some people are just real life trolls, I guess. Only reason I can think of.

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