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What qualifies as a passive aggressive man?

Passive aggressive men have the knack of making life that bit harder for the people around them. They can be those men that play typical roles in your life like:

  • Your mean boss
  • That nasty professor who is always pleased to fail his students
  • Your ex-boyfriend
  • Your present boyfriend
  • Or the worst he could be your husband

A relationship with someone who has this kind of personality is doomed to be difficult unless one is prepared to face and deal with the challenges that come along with people who are passive aggressive.

The Official Definition

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), passive aggressive men are indicated by four or more of the following signs:

  1. Refuses to accept routine social and occupational tasks;
  2. Thinks most people misunderstand or do not appreciate them;
  3. Sullen disposition and always argumentative;
  4. Questions and criticizes authority without reason;
  5. Envious and shows resentment to those who are better than them;
  6. Exaggerates complaints of personal misfortunes persistently;
  7. Shifting character of hostile defiance and penitence.  
  8. Shuns confrontation
  9. Fails to do responsibilities or do them haphazardly
  10. Procrastinates and is indecisive
  11. Agrees, then complain or argues about tasks
  12. Dislikes other’s useful suggestions

If you are tied with someone with any of these personalities, whether a boss, a colleague, a family member or a significant other, you can master some techniques to shield yourself from them.

How should you handle people like this?

Being around these kinds of men can be emotionally frustrating. Here are some tips to keep your sanity intact:

  1. Avoid getting into a power struggle: Passive aggressive men have mastered this power struggle for most of their lives and you will most likely not stand a chance of winning against them. If you try to antagonize them, you will just end up frustrated while they think they now have you under their spell.

  2. Do not let them get under your skin: Passive aggressive men know how to make others irritated and frustrated. Once their subtle tendencies affect you, they will feel a sense of accomplishment while you lose any edge you have over them.

  3. Turn the tables on them: Once you find yourself struggling with passive aggressive men, calmly describe the behavior they are demonstrating. Rationalize how they are acting in that certain situation. Lay out the inconsistencies in their behavior or their argument. They may point out that you are only stating your opinion but this will put them on the defensive side which will most likely make them back down.

  4. Let them express ways to improve the situation: Passive aggressive men are characterized by being indecisive and avoiding responsibilities. Asking them for advice will likely make them avoid the opportunity to suggest their ideas and may make them drop off the argument altogether.

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