May 29, 2016

Dear Narcissist Problems, "Dating Corporal Shithead"

Dear Narcissist Problems,

Curious if one who is diagnosed in past as passive/aggressive disorder now classified as personally disorder also may exhibit narcissistic tendencies? I have been dating a man/former Marine not involved in front line tactics. But in administrative position. Nothing against them as my Dad was also a Marine Vet, but they receive/conditioned with a very superior almost arrogant mentality. A lot of times when we have a disagreement he twists the situation /my words around blatantly like a pretzel and when I call him on it to defend what I said/meant he dismisses my explanation/feelings. Such as, "You always want to start an argument and bitch!" Most of the time it happens when we have been drinking. He doesn't drink/ smoke every day, but when he does it is binge drinking. When he is sober he needles me and is quick to point out what he considers are flaws. We don't live together, but have different routines. He goes to bed and rises early. If I stay over and happen to sleep until 8/8:30 he sometimes acts like I slept the day away. I tell him just because we have different routines doesn't mean I am not also productive. I have told him before l don't need a dad. And when I feel like he is "lining” me out that the code is my reply is, "Alright Gunny!" A figure of speech about a Marine drill sergeant. I also have said just because we do things differently doesn't mean one way is right and the other is wrong. We both have been divorced for quite a while and thus being independent for so long and each having our own routines/ways doesn't make it easy. But I feel that's when compromise comes into play. Sometimes he agrees and other times he just walks away and does other things. We go for a month or two and have a disagreement or I say something he doesn't like I get the silent treatment for a few days to a week.


“Dating Corporal Shithead”

Dear “Dating Corporal Shithead”,

I wonder if the better question would actually be can someone with narcissistic personality disorder have been accidentally diagnosed as passive aggressive.  We are referring to people who use gas lighting as a form of manipulation of our realities.  So it isn’t too much of a stretch to notice a lot of narcissists are also passive aggressive.  I’m assuming because of the plausible deniability of passive aggression.  It’s easy for passive aggressive to be left open to assumption.  It’s also easy for a narcissist to say “You are misinterpreting what I did or said because I didn’t mean it that way”, even when they know full well they meant it that way!  The silent treatment is actually one of the number one tactics a narcissist will use to put you in your place.  To show their disapproval of your behavior they will literally just ignore you or the topic until you submit to whatever their requested behavior or ideas were. 

In the fall of 2013, there was an article written about the passive aggressive conflict cycle written by Signe Whitson where she states “Persons who are passively aggressive can provoke angry responses in another while not overtly appearing to be aggressive themselves.”(Whitson 2013).  This is very important to understand as Narcissists are notorious crazy makers.  Signe then went on to identify the five stages of passive aggressive conflict while emphasizing the only way to avoid a conflict is to understand the passive aggressive conflict cycle.  The five stages are as follows; Stage 1: The Self-Concept & Irrational Beliefs of the Passive Aggressive Person which explains that a passive aggressive person has been raised to avoid displaying anger because doing so is dangerous.  I’m not going to go into too much detail on Stage one because from my perspective it is irrelevant because most people would refuse to put in the work to change their behavior in the first place.  In other words, it’s pointless to explore why he would feel that expressing anger is dangerous. 

Stage two is The Stressful Event where the passive aggressive becomes the victim because they are asked to do something.  This can be seen when he stated that "You always want to start an argument and bitch!”  He feels as though you are picking on him for bringing up valid points of his bad behavior or expressing things in the relationship that displeases you. 

Stage 3, and here comes a very relevant fact; The Passive Aggressive Person’s Feelings “The passive aggressive person has learned over the years to defend against his angry feelings by denying them and projecting them onto others.”(Whitson 2013).  I found stage three pretty interesting since Narcissists are also Notorious for projecting all their negative feelings and behaviors onto their victims.

 Now here is where you might want to take notes, Stage 4: The passive aggressive Person’s Behavior.  Here it is stated that “The behavior of most passive aggressive individuals is both purposeful and intentional.  What is more, the passive aggressive person derives genuine pleasure out of frustrating others to get someone else to act out his or her anger.  So essentially Corporal shithead is pushing your buttons on purpose with the sole purpose of watching you explode in anger or rage.  They do this by, “Denying feelings of anger, withdrawing and sulking (silent treatment), procrastinating, carrying out tasks inefficiently or unacceptably, and exacting hidden revenge.”(Whitson 2013). 

Finally, we come to Stage 5: The Reactions of Others.  In this stage the passive aggressive waits for the expected reaction and then claims victimhood of your anger or frustration.  It is important to see this behavior and be able to identify it so the next time your buttons start to be pushed when he is constantly keeping track of your daily schedule you are aware that he is seeking your negative reaction. 

Honestly, after reading this article it seems that passive aggressive behavior might actually go hand in hand with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Obviously I’m not a doctor but it’s all right there in black and white.  I hope this helps to answer some questions for you.  As to your situation I have my own question to ask; “How long do you want to be treated this way and deal with the drama?”  Good luck on your healing journey!


Narcissist Problems


Whitson, S. (2013). The Passive Aggressive Conflict Cycle. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 22(3), 24-27.

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