Today, I would like to discuss the passive-aggressive nature of covert narcissists and how and why they resort to this type of behavior. Passive aggression is not limited to narcissists but is a tactic that can be used by anyone. When covert narcissists feel under attack or slighted in some way, they use indirect ways to express their anger or irritation. These behaviors can be manifested both inside and outside of their safe zone. However, when dealing with outsiders, the passive-aggressive route is usually best as the narcissist would prefer it if the other person does not suspect their malice but instead views them as harmless. This is one of the reasons why covert narcissists are so dangerous, as they hold onto grudges forever while pretending that they don’t. They are always looking for opportunities to take revenge on any perceived offense, and they turn to passive-aggressive behaviors such as silent treatments, inaction, ghosting, back-handed compliments, procrastination, and more.
I have made an article that provides some clear examples of narcissist’s passive-aggressive behaviors. However, what you will realize is that they prefer to look for sneaky ways to punish people. They foolishly choose to hold onto negativity rather than to honestly talk things out or let go. Instead of saying what is on their mind, they would be tense, silent, or abrupt with you. If you approach them directly to find out if anything is wrong, they would insist that they are okay or that there are no issues or hard feelings. Even if you do pinpoint and tell them exactly what may have caused the change in them, they would deny it or say that it was so long ago or that they’ve already forgotten about it or just don’t care about it, when actually, that is the very reason why they have this negative attitude towards you. All you will get are excuses, as they usually do not want to admit that they are still holding onto a past offense.
When you confront a narcissist about these passive-aggressive behaviors, it alerts them to how they are being perceived, and they are likely to adjust so that you won’t be able to use it against them. Their goal to punish you hasn’t changed, just their tactics. They would make an effort to warm up to you and convince you that they are okay with you, but they are not. Narcissists are cowards; they would prefer to plot, scheme, and slander someone than just to go to them and let them know that they have offended them. They would prefer to tell everyone else about the perceived offense instead of the very person that caused the offense. Anything that would allow them to play the victim and make someone else look bad will always be the course of action for them to choose.
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