Avoiding - Commitments - Issues -Responsibility -Decisions

Self Sabotage - Passive Aggressive - Deceiving Self & Others

Time-Keeping -Missing Deadlines -Appointments -Stick to Plan

Unreliable time-keeping, missing appointments or failing to stick to plans are common enough - and may be modified quite easily with the right treatment.

But where individuals also avoid responsibility, are imprecise or evasive about making commitments - often miss deadlines or otherwise let others down there may be insecure boundaries and a disorganised sense of the responsible self.

The resulting patterns take two main forms. They may be active as part of an oppositional passive-aggressive pattern - which at different times may be conscious or unconscious;  or they may be more passive in form - where an individual has a lack of focus with regard to their own needs, wants and purposes but responds chaotically to life pressures and to the demands of others. This is often accompanied by feelings of inadequacy.

Both types may seek to engage in self concealment through people pleasing - avoiding difficult issues and uncomfortable truths - following the line of least resistance. They  often make bargains or arrangements - with half-formed conviction or momentary sincerity - but with either no real intention or insufficient opportunity or energy to keep their word - and letting people down.

These patterns are either self-rejecting - or - untrusting and rejecting of others. To varying degrees the individual is either emotionally vulnerable or unavailable, overly self-conscious and self punishing or over-controlled and self-monitoring. Both patterns self-sabotage and are disconnected from their ‘real core’. The chaotic cause themselves serial distress and confusion.  The passive-aggressive visit frustration, inconvenience and distress directly on others.

( Where the individual has no conscience about the effect on others but takes pleasure in deliberately manipulative behaviours the pattern more likely characterises personality disorder - an entirely different matter. )

Typical childhood problems cause the difficulties - like overly-strict or punitive or intrusive parenting and over-controlled childhoods - or being otherwise invalidated or exposed to parental chaos, disrespect or insensitivity.  This results in low self-esteem and damaged identity. Those with these patterns usually feel desperately frustrated or humiliated by their self-defeating derelictions.

Some patterns may be relatively minor in operation and effect - and can be changed fairly readily. Where they seriously undermine happiness and well-being they require very carefully structured work and commitment to change.

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 Copyright ©Keith Bibby - Clapham January 2011                                                 << Back