Passive-aggressive behavior

Passive-aggressive behavior is characterized by indirect resistance to the demands of others and an avoidance of direct confrontation.[1]

Personality disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders revision IV (DSM-IV) describes passive-aggressive personality disorder as a "pervasive pattern of negativistic attitudes and passive resistance to demands for adequate performance in social and occupational situations."

Passive-aggressiveness may not be necessarily a personality disorder. Personality disorder includes deviation in affectivity, cognition, control over impulses and need for gratification, ways of perceiving and thinking, and inflexible, maladaptive, or otherwise dysfunctional behaviour. There must be personal distress attributable to such behaviour. Deviation must be stable and of long duration.