Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder

Sean Mactire’s book  Malicious Intent: A Writer’s Guide to How Murderers, Robbers, Rapists, and Other Criminal Think offers three factors in creating a great antagonist: the Four Basics (irresponsibility, self-indulgence, interpersonal intrusiveness, and social rule-breaking), a mental illness, and one or more characteristics from the list I posted on June 22, 2012. So far, I’ve covered four of the thirteen mental illnesses Mactire covers. Today is number five, the Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder (PAPD).

Mactire says, “With this disorder, people become dependent on partners in relationships, then shows hostility and resistance toward partners. At least five of the following factors must be evident:”

  • Dawdling
  • Sulks, is irritable or argumentative when asked to do something he or she doesn’t want to do
  • Procrastination
  • Purposefully inefficient
  • Conveniently forgetful
  • Unjustifiably protest that others are unreasonably demanding
  • Is critical or scornful of authority
  • Resents productive suggestions from others
  • Believes that he is doing a better job than others think he is doing

Please not that five or more of these need to be present to make up this disorder. My 11-year-old dawdles, but I’m not worried about his mental health. All humans get lazy sometimes (or many times), so keep that “five or more” rule in your head. 

For more information on this disorder, I went to It says, “It is a method of dealing with stress or frustration, but it results in the person attacking other people in indirect ways. This disorder can manifest itself as resentment, stubbornness, procrastination, sullenness, or intentional failure at doing requested tasks.”

Truth be told, I’m finding it hard to make this PAPD into a violent criminal. The “passive” part is what throws me. These people attack indirectly, but violent attacks are fairly direct actions. Maybe it’d work to apply this to a specific personality type. I’ll choose the ESFP, or “Performer,” since they’re highly emotional people (NOT a bad thing! Don’t be offended if you’re an ESFP). These people love to bring a sense of showtime to everything they do. They love to entertain, to arouse their senses, to engage in pleasurable activities. Morality isn’t so important to the Performer, but maximum joy is definitely a must. They trust their impulses, prize generosity, and radiate warmth and festivity. Now I’ll toss in the PAPD. With their intense desire to bring joy to everyone around them, a person suffering from PAPD will definitely have problems with anyone who disagrees with their lifestyle. Like Mom. Especially if Mom hates the hedonistic lifestyle of her ESFP daughter. Now I’ve set up a scenario where tension can flourish. The daughter will lash out passively, with procrastination, forgetfulness, etc, but somewhere along the way it will believably get violent.

If you’ve thought of a workable scenario for this disorder, let me know! I’d love to see what you come up with.

My next post will cover Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. See you then.


One thought on “Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder

  1. "Oh, gee, Mom, I didn’t pick up your heart pills? I guess I forgot." "Gosh, did I turn on the gas stove and forget to light it? I guess I was distracted or something." There are passive ways of creating violence… It just falls under a different approach.

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