Personality Cafe banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
MOTM May 2014
Joined
·
7,026 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just curious to know what others think.


A few of my own random thoughts:
- I used to think that INTJs are generally not passive-aggressive at all - we tend to speak up and do our own thing either way

BUT

- on the other hand, a lot of INTJs have a pretty ironic/sarcastic kind of humor. One could argue that this type of humor can be (at least taken as) passive-aggressive.

- I'd venture a guess that most passive-aggressive people don't view themselves as such
 
Another PerC member told me a while back that she was undecided whether I was passive aggressive or not. It made me analyze my posts and I decided that I don't think that I am, but again - I am analyzing myself, so of course there is a huge bias. On the other hand, I think that passive-aggressive patterns can be clearly seen in the way a few INTJs use the thank button here on PerC. And, come to think of it, can the the last statement here be viewed as passive-aggressive?
- how do you define passive-aggressive?
Can overly diplomatic people be seen as passive-aggressive?
At what point can certain types of 'selective' forgetfulness (or selective hearing) be less about memory and more about passive-aggressive behavior? (Which is interesting, because many INTJs, myself included, can not handle when another person tells them what to do, even if it makes 100% logical sense. I most often get childishly motivated to do the opposite. :-/)

- is it a behavior that is more connected to the Enneagram than to MBTI, in your opinion?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
859 Posts
Passive-aggressive behavior is a way of being antagonistic without being confrontational. My MIL was a master at this. She utilized non-verbal communication and body language to say one thing while saying something else with her words. Why? Because words are objective and non-verbal communication and body language are not. So while you can't dispute someone's words ("You called me an asshole! Everyone heard it!"), you can dispute the others. How do you call someone out based on their tone of voice or body language? They can deny it, and there's not much that people can do to claim otherwise. As a society, at least in the US, we place significantly more value on the words themselves precisely because they can be recorded or written.

She would say things like, "I guess I'll stay here alone," when my wife would choose to hang out with friends. By itself, it's an innocuous statement. But when you knew her well enough, you knew the sentiment was basically "You don't love me. You want to hang out with your friends instead of me." But by choosing these words carefully, she always had an out. When confronted she could fall back on what she said, rather than how she said it. ("What? I just said I was going to stay home. Why are you getting angry with me? I don't deserve to be treated like this!")

I don't think any particular type is more prone to this. They all have selfish people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
I can't say it better than @PoppaX. Excellent example in layman's term.


For a long time I was bothered by my ability to pick up passive aggressive behavior in others. Sometimes I thought I was imagining it, picking bone where there's none. However, looking back I was right on the money 99% of the cases, even for ppl I didn't know well. The reason is in what Poppax pointed out; the spoken words don't match the tone and facial expression/body language.

Online posts, text, email are easily misunderstood because there's no way to get audio tone, expression, and body language. When it's purely text based, ppl may interpret it wrong. Many INTJs' replies were misunderstood because the bluntness/to the pointness seems...."passively aggressive". It isn't. INTJs' writing may be "aggressive" but being passively so isn't INTJ style.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Just curious to know what others think.


A few of my own random thoughts:
- I used to think that INTJs are generally not passive-aggressive at all - we tend to speak up and do our own thing either way

BUT

- on the other hand, a lot of INTJs have a pretty ironic/sarcastic kind of humor. One could argue that this type of humor can be (at least taken as) passive-aggressive.

- I'd venture a guess that most passive-aggressive people don't view themselves as such
 
Another PerC member told me a while back that she was undecided whether I was passive aggressive or not. It made me analyze my posts and I decided that I don't think that I am, but again - I am analyzing myself, so of course there is a huge bias. On the other hand, I think that passive-aggressive patterns can be clearly seen in the way a few INTJs use the thank button here on PerC. And, come to think of it, can the the last statement here be viewed as passive-aggressive?
- how do you define passive-aggressive?
Can overly diplomatic people be seen as passive-aggressive?
At what point can certain types of 'selective' forgetfulness (or selective hearing) be less about memory and more about passive-aggressive behavior? (Which is interesting, because many INTJs, myself included, can not handle when another person tells them what to do, even if it makes 100% logical sense. I most often get childishly motivated to do the opposite. :-/)

- is it a behavior that is more connected to the Enneagram than to MBTI, in your opinion?
I don't think it's characteristic of INTJs, at least not (somewhat) healthy ones. As you said, we make sarcastic and/or cynical comments, but in my experience it is used as humor, or it is utilized when a straightforward conversation is going nowhere, and we need/want to make a point. In terms of cognitive functions, that seem more like Fe-based behavior to me, because it relies on the ability to identify other people's emotional weak spots, and project deliberate emotional cues that would elicit a desirable reaction in them(e.g, guilt). That doesn't mean no INTJ is capable of this, I just don't think it's a natural extension of our cognitive functions, but rather something that would perhaps manifest in an unhealthy INTJ that:
a) seeks control of others due to his/her insecurities.
b) doesn't know how to address his/her own emotional needs, and therefore (passively) lashes out at others.
c) a result of untreated mental illness that damages relationships with others.
 

·
Registered
INTJ 5w4 Sx/Sp
Joined
·
2,387 Posts
I can be quite ambiguous when it comes to being serious or humorous, sometimes I mix both. But indirectness is something I can't stand for. I understand why it might seem like something is passive-aggresive though, as I often need time to process things if I get angry and if you don't give me the space I'll make space instead. I never try to be mean on purpose, I just feel like fleeing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,533 Posts
I think many times they don't deal with their subconscious or whatever you want to call it (ie the contradiction between statements and behavior) and this can lead to hostility to those who contradict their opinions/perspectives in subtle ways. At least this is what I experience when I emulate intj.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,992 Posts
random points:

1. i have noticed the definition has widened a lot since i first came across the idea. but i grew up amongst catholics and vorster-era south africans and i accept no wishy-washy amateurs or imitators in this artform. passive aggressive to me has the very specific and limited meaning that the person is being 'aggressive' by showing you how totally your fault their own feelings are <-- this is the passive part here. mere indirectness or mealy-mouthedness or anything else doesn't cut it for me. so in point form:
- the person has to be exuding from every pore their own hearts-depths conviction that you actually care how they feel
- to such an extent that you will be affected by it and you will have no defence.
- they have to want you to feel bad
- because they have to really believe that you ought to be punished for causing their feelz.

2. i don't grok this reference to p.a. thanking. i think it's the second time in a couple of days that i've come across it, so maybe something's been going on that i know nothing about. but i've thanked plenty of people for no other reason than that i was glad someone was willing to say it and i respected them for having had the guts or the presence of mind to do it. in other words there's passive-supportive as well as p.a., and if you don't know the thanker's motive then i really can't see how a determination could ever be made.

3. as for 'are we like that?' i wouldn't think so either, just because we're usually too much on our dignity to descend to such childishness - if for no other reason than that. but with that said, i do think there are some intj traits that i have, which could lead me in a direction that either is kind of p.a. or could be experienced in that way by other people. depending on which definition they're using of course. i haven't quite made up my own mind about it.

- i think in very concrete, practical terms.
- my mind goes naturally to the end result/consequence of x or y
- i usually find it so much easier to show someone something than try to explain it to them
- all of these things intensify when i'm under stress
- in practical terms and the right circumstances i think this does tend to play out as [suggestion/idea from them] [flat statement of hideous outcome from me]

i tend to skip steps, basically, in expressing to someone why i think x or y would be a real bad idea. or just why i don't want it to happen, myself. i don't think i do it on the emotional front, but i really do have to watch myself for it on purely practical things, such as some of the interactions at work.

ETA: where i'm finding i really have to watch it is the situations where i frankly do feel like my back's to the wall. the problem with situations like that is my emotional state tends to creep into my voice, and i have found that my [flat statement of awful outcome] can sound horribly p.a. even to me because the stress means that when i think i've found a strong way of making my point it does tend to show as triumph.

them: 'we've decide we're going to do this'
me: 'hah! well, here's how that's going to end up affecting my life!'
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,255 Posts
- I'd venture a guess that most passive-aggressive people don't view themselves as such
how do you define passive-aggressive?
Can overly diplomatic people be seen as passive-aggressive?
- is it a behavior that is more connected to the Enneagram than to MBTI, in your opinion?
Hmm....I generally see people as passive aggressive when there is an obvious intent to make the other person feel uncomfortable with the behaviour/remark. So on the one hand sarcastic sense of humour can just be funny, or it can be a dig at someone in particular in the guise of humour. It's contextual. Sarcasm isn't always passive aggression and the reverse is true as well.

I known someone who's an INFP, she has this ironic, sarcastic sense of humour. But it always seems obvious to me when she's being playful and funny and when she is taking a backhanded stab at someone. Most of the passive aggression I meet with at work isn't humour related. It's generally these things....

- Taking longer than necessary and often longer than is reasonable to perform a task.
- Doing something you've been asked to do but doing it so badly that the requestor has to intervene and do it themselves.
- Pretending to forget something when you've omitted it on purpose.
- Making a remark to the effect that someone is being unreasonable when they are merely asking you to do something that is clearly your responsibility.
- Apologising and putting someone at ease with words that are technically correct but done with a tone and in a manner that clearly communicates you aren't at all sorry and they should not feel at ease.
- Asking a question in a manner that makes an inference the other person is wrong in some way according to your definition or norms.

For me passive aggression has a clear intent to manipulate the other person by making them frustrated or uncomfortable. That's what makes it aggression. If there is no real intent to seek discomfort in another then it is likely to just be humour. I rarely see diplomatic, or careful with their words people as aggressors. If anything I see them as people who like to skirt topics as a way to avoid confrontation. In order for that to come off as passive aggression they would really have to ham it up to the point of it no longer looking like diplomacy.

I think passive aggression is completely unrelated to either MBTI or Enneagram. Any type of either systems can engage in it. It has more to do with that person's mental state and their maturity level. It's the cowards way of resolving issues or releasing tension.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,376 Posts
I'm not passive-aggressive at all. :rolleyes:

Had to make that joke, sorry.

Oh wait, I just said sorry - is that passive-aggressive in this context? Or am I being sarcastic still? I can't tell.

Better call a doctor. I think I need my head examined now.

-----

Kidding aside, I don't know that we're more or less passive-aggressive on average. I wouldn't call diplomacy passive-aggression myself. I see diplomacy more as trying to avoid conflict altogether and have good relations, whereas passive-aggression (imo) usually wants conflict on some level, but is afraid of approaching it directly.

But I'm sure one can be passive-aggressive under the guise of being diplomatic.

"It's ok, we're all friends here. I know you're all suffering from stupid person disease, but we can get through this." (Ok, maybe that's not the most subtle example ever.)

Snark and sarcasm are potentially passive-aggressive, but I don't think it's a definitive requirement. Sometimes I'm snarky because I want to make a point without going through an elaborate speech (the snark is quicker). Or because I'm being playful.

I can be passive-aggressively sarcastic, I'm sure. But it's not all one thing or another.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,255 Posts
I think what people mean by PA thanking of posts is a kind of Fe piling on, when two posters are going at each other and bystanders don't want to get into the fight but instead infer their position through one of the combatants posts as if to lend it a weight it wouldn't have on it's own by agreeing with it. I don't think that's PA aggression though. I think of it as a kind of efficiency. Why slow down a debate by making a similar post? You might as well just agree with what's been written and have your sentiments known. Unless you have a new point to make there really isn't a lot of sense in just posting 'I agree, blah, blah...' or similar.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
23,706 Posts
Passive aggressiveness is all about the underlying anger. I think it's more of saying you will when you won't (and you know you won't) with underlying resentment. It's different than just being a snarky prick by a long shot. There is a difference between actively being difficult rather than someone being difficult out of a reaction.

Personally I don't deal with passive aggressiveness too well and I don't think any type is more prone.
 

·
MOTM May 2014
Joined
·
7,026 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@InSolitude, I think that your list of examples are great. Spot on.

Another example (tying back one of my points in OP):
One of my friends was frustrated with her mom because her mom would never get her friends' names right. She would always either forget or mispronounce. There were no issues with any other names. My mom had the exact same experince with my grandma growing up.
Interestingly enough, both of their mothers were narcissists and the way my friend/mom explained to me how this selective memory was passive-aggressive was very similar: it was the mother's way to send a message that their daughter's choice of friends was not a good one and/or that what was important in the daughter's their life was not important enough to remember.

It's a typical example of why the surrounding can be baffled in regards to a person's seemingly overly sensitive interpretation of a innocent flaw (poor memory for names in this case), but in reality, if it's part of a much larger pattern, iof course it leads to frustration. If the mother remembers all other names w/o problems, then it is likely a slight of some kind. Imo, at that point it's just a form of bullying.

______________________________________________________________________

Another thought was seeded by a PerC member a while back. The person mentioned that they had started to believe that their spouse's behavior was p-a rather than just extremely selectively forgetful.

This was the thing that really made me think about INTJs and p-a behavior, because I see this a lot in my INTJ husband. I don't think that the requests I make are at all unreasonable, they are pretty darned basic & logical to me (throw your trash away, rinse out the kitchen rag after you've used it, don't walk into the house with muddy boots, type crap. Basically, take care of your own mess.).
I've always assumed that he was either spoiled (stay at home mom who did everything for the kids growing up), extremely introverted (does not seem to be present a whole lot in the real world), or seriously don't see why he should take care of his own mess (cultural?).
At the same time, he is very engaged and competent at work, so that's were the selective part plays in.

The last year I've started to wonder if this behavior is not a bit more purposeful than I'd always thought. (I'm starting to lean towards yes.) Since he's an INTJ, I was curious to get other people's aspects as well. My baseline for 'normal' and acceptance for 'odd' can be pretty off sometimes.
Plus, I wanted to check my own behavior too, I guess.
 

·
Registered
ILI
Joined
·
5,652 Posts
Hmm..... If we define passive-aggressive as a way to assert negative sentiments without being confrontational about it . . .

I would probably say that no, I'm almost never passive-aggressive.

Because when I make snide remarks, I don't back down from them when they're challenged like a passive-aggressive person would.


If someone said to me: "don't make that face at me. What's that for?" I would let them know exactly why I did it. Actually, one could even argue I use my body language to get other people to initiate the confrontations for me (because I hate doing the initiating of confrontations, but once we're in the confrontation, it's way way easier to speak my mind).

So . . . I don't think I would qualify as passive-aggressive. Maybe moreso just a coward :)


I will admit, though, that I feel bad about making other people initiate the confrontations because often they will say to me afterward "oh, why didn't you just tell me? I didn't know you felt that way!"

And then I will feel bad for beating around the bush making them initiate things.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
16,000 Posts
You are onto something Swede. INTJ is the most aggressive type on this forum, and the internet in general. Striking difference between an NTP.

From my experience, INTJ is the type most likely to be bullied and not fit in irl as well, I think the two are related.
 

·
Registered
Introverted intuitive type
Joined
·
5,561 Posts
There is a difference between actively being difficult rather than someone being difficult out of a reaction.

Personally I don't deal with passive aggressiveness too well and I don't think any type is more prone.
This.
 

·
Registered
ILI
Joined
·
5,652 Posts
This was the thing that really made me think about INTJs and p-a behavior, because I see this a lot in my INTJ husband. I don't think that the requests I make are at all unreasonable, they are pretty darned basic & logical to me (throw your trash away, rinse out the kitchen rag after you've used it, don't walk into the house with muddy boots, type crap. Basically, take care of your own mess.).
I've always assumed that he was either spoiled (stay at home mom who did everything for the kids growing up), extremely introverted (does not seem to be present a whole lot in the real world), or seriously don't see why he should take care of his own mess (cultural?).
At the same time, he is very engaged and competent at work, so that's were the selective part plays in.

The last year I've started to wonder if this behavior is not a bit more purposeful than I'd always thought. (I'm starting to lean towards yes.) Since he's an INTJ, I was curious to get other people's aspects as well. My baseline for 'normal' and acceptance for 'odd' can be pretty off sometimes.
Plus, I wanted to check my own behavior too, I guess.
I don't want to put words in the mouth of your husband, but I run into similar situations with my mother (who is in your shoes and I'm in your husband's) where she will want me to do things that I don't value, such as [this is the part where I fail to come up with a specific example].

And usually I take her commands (to me it is total nagging) as
1. so annoying
2. a way to get me to do something that she is perfectly capable of doing herself that I don't want to do

Big difference here, though, is that I'm not married to my mom. So I feel zero need or obligation to compromise anything about myself to get along with her. If I don't like her, I'll just leave. Easy.


What often happens is that my mother will tell me to do something without specifying a deadline, and I will acknowledge that she told me to do that, but then I will not have done it by the time she asks me "so, have you done xyz?"

And I say "no, I haven't." and I think she can interpret this as passive aggression.

To me, it's very much "No, I haven't done that yet, but I will do it when it needs to be done. It doesn't need to be done right now, so calm your tits."

(I don't speak to her this way--this goes on in my brain)

Whats important for me is that
1. I understand why something is important to the person telling me what to do
2. I know specifically when that person expects me to accomplish said task
3. I know why the eff that person is telling me to do it instead of doing it themselves

^If I don't have these things clearly in mind, I will likely just resent whoever tries to tell me what to do. (very much like: "how dare you think that you have the authority over me to tell me what to do" :laughing: (I know, I'm awful)).

In my mother's case, she often tells me none of the above. The third one is often obvious, the first one is sometimes obvious, and the second one is never obvious.

So naturally we run into issues. It's a communication issue more than anything, though. If your husband is like me, I doubt he really is trying to upset you. It's probably more that he doesn't value whatever it is that you told him to do and he's failing to see why he should feel obligated to do it.

So, if I were in his shoes, I would want to know those three things ^
 

·
MOTM May 2014
Joined
·
7,026 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You are onto something Swede. INTJ is the most aggressive type on this forum, and the internet in general. Striking difference between an NTP.

From my experience, INTJ is the type most likely to be bullied and not fit in irl as well, I think the two are related.
But I suspect that many of the aggressive INTJs are mistyped, tbh. Sure, young INTJs often come across as angry because they are not seldom frustrated with their surroundings, so I agree with you there.

That said, older INTJs who are aggressive combined with lacking logical ability and the inability/unwillingness to be subjective & empathetic I believe are more often mistyped. They read the INTJs profile, misinterpret it it and think that INTJs are cold and mean and don't give a shit about anything but themselves.

Sure, there are probably INTJs that are like that, but I think that most of us aren't. Basically, I think that these individuals use their percieved interpretation of INTJ as an excuse to behave in certain ways.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
16,000 Posts
But I suspect that many of the aggressive INTJs are mistyped, tbh. Sure, young INTJs often come across as angry because they are not seldom frustrated with their surroundings, so I agree with you there.

That said, older INTJs who are aggressive combined with lacking logical ability and the inability/unwillingness to be subjective & empathetic I believe are more often mistyped. They read the INTJs profile, misinterpret it it and think that INTJs are cold and mean and don't give a shit about anything but themselves.

Sure, there are probably INTJs that are like that, but I think that most of us aren't. Basically, I think that these individuals use their percieved interpretation of INTJ as an excuse to behave in certain ways.
Well said. If you are over 25-30, and still can't interact with people/be civil, that is on you.

I posted a thread on another forum. Large forum, bigger than this one. Almost entirely male. Like 90%. Vast majority under 40 probably. The vast majority of these people really had no preconceived notions of type. I was actually surprised so many were interested in even taking the test. Anyway, INTJ was by far the most common type. By far. lol. INxx were overrepresented in general, but it was clearly an INTJ dominated forum. Very rough forum too. It is sometimes hard to adjust from that atmosphere to here.

INTJ are responsible for 95% of Youtube comments too. j/k
 
  • Like
Reactions: Swede
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top