The Cycles Of The Passive Aggressive Man: 5 Various Stages

Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by Team CrazyJackz

You’ve been with a man for a while and think that things are going well. But suddenly, out of the blue, he does something that confuses you. He says or does something passive-aggressive, and it throws you off. You don’t know how to react and wonder what’s happening behind the scenes.

Well, you’re not alone. This happens a lot in relationships with passive-aggressive men. To be more precise, your man is struggling with his feelings and doesn’t know how to express them healthily. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

So today, in this article, we’ll discuss in-depth about the cycles of the passive aggressive man and how you can break his passive-aggressive cycle.

The Different cycles of the Passive-aggressive Man:

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You may not know it, but you’ve probably encountered a passive-aggressive man before. He’s the guy who always undermines your efforts, plays games, and makes you feel like you’re walking on eggshells.

There are several cycles that a passive-aggressive man goes through. There’s the attack cycle, where he attacks and tries to control you. Then there’s the withdrawal cycle, where he withdraws and stops cooperating. In the appeasement cycle, he tries to make peace and mend fences. And finally, there’s the adjustment cycle, where he gives in to your demands and complies with your wishes.

Thus, if you can correctly identify your passive-aggressive man’s phase, you can better handle the situation. For example, if he’s in the attack cycle, you need to stand up to him and make it clear that you’ll not put up with his behavior. If he’s in the withdrawal stage, you should give him some space and let him calm down.

So today, we’ll discuss the complete Passive aggressive man’s conflict cycle (as mentioned in thus describing the 5 stages that occur in the life of a passive-aggressive man.

Cycles of the Passive Aggressive man: 5 Stages of Passive Aggressive man’s Conflict cycle

Stage 1: Irrational beliefs of a passive-aggressive man

So, you’ve been with this man for a while, and things are going well. Then, out of nowhere, he completely shuts down. He becomes distant, doesn’t return phone calls, and withdraws from the relationship. You’re not sure what happened, but you know something is wrong. This is the hallmark of a passive-aggressive man in phase 1 of his cycle.

In this phase, he denies his feelings and will do anything to avoid confrontation. He may even start lying or making excuses to avoid obligations.

At this stage, the key to getting through to him is to be patient and understanding. Let him know you’re there for him, but don’t push him too hard, or he’ll close off even more.

Stage 2: The stressful phase

When the passive-aggressive man enters the second phase, things become more stressful for him and those around him. This is the phase when he begins to build walls and defend himself. He becomes more irritable and moodier, and begins to withdraw from his environment.

The problem is that this behavior can confuse his loved ones, as they may not understand what’s happening. They may even feel and blame themselves that they’re doing something wrong.

Stage 3: The personal feelings of the passive-aggressive man

In the third stage, the passive-aggressive man’s personal feelings come out. He may begin to react to things that make him feel inferior or powerless.

For example, he may become argumentative, sullen, or withdrawn. This is often his way of retaliating and trying to regain some of his lost power and control. Remember that he’s not doing this on purpose and isn’t trying to be difficult. He’s struggling with his feelings and doesn’t know how to express them healthily.

Stage 4: Behavior of the passive-aggressive man

In stage 4, the behavior of the passive-aggressive man begins to take hold. In this stage, he becomes more and more withdrawn and less communicative.

He may show signs of depression, such as disinterest in everything, hopelessness, and changes in appetite or sleep patterns. He may begin to act passive-aggressively, such as becoming irritable and argumentative or sabotaging your efforts. Furthermore, he may also avoid confrontation and try to manipulate you into doing things his way.

Stage 5: Reaction of the others to the passive-aggressive man

When the passive-aggressive man enters Step 5, he begins to react to the responses of others. He becomes very defensive and may even lash out. This is usually when family and friends start to see the passive-aggressive man’s true colors and realize that this isn’t just a stage he’s going through.

In this phase, the passive-aggressive man feels attacked and will do anything to defend himself. This may mean blaming others for the problem, making excuses, or even denying that anything is wrong.

Breaking the passive-aggressive cycle: How can you break this cycle of the passive-aggressive man?

So, you’ve discovered that you’re in a relationship with a passive-aggressive man. Furthermore, you understood the various stages/phases of the passive-aggressive man’s cycles. Now what?

So, the next step is to break the cycle. Yes, that means you need to take action and take control of the situation instead of waiting for him to change. It won’t be easy, but it’s worth it. You just need to be very careful and attentive.

Here are a few tips on how to break the passive-aggressive man’s abuse and conflict cycle:

  1. Communicate effectively. This is especially important if he’s been passive-aggressive in the past. Talk to him openly and honestly, and make it clear that you won’t put up with it any longer.
  2. Secondly, if he asks you to do something for him, do it as soon as possible, even if it means ignoring him for a few days or weeks. This way, he knows he can’t drag you into a relationship by asking you repeatedly to do something that seems reasonable but isn’t actually worth it.
  3. Set boundaries. Don’t make him the center of your universe. Tell him what you’re willing to tolerate and aren’t. If he crosses a line, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.
  4. Don’t fuel the fire. If he becomes passive-aggressive, don’t react, but remain calm and rational. This is because overreacting will only make him more upset and in any way won’t bring a solution. So, don’t take his comments personally. Remember that he’s just trying to get under your skin and doesn’t care about you.
  5. Be patient. It may take time for him to change his behavior, so be patient and give him the space he needs to adjust. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your relationship with a passive-aggressive man change overnight.

The impact of the Passive Aggressive man’s Behavior Cycle on victims

When it comes to the passive-aggressive man, you’re probably wondering what impact his behavior/conflict cycle has on victims. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so simple. Every small act of a passive-aggressive man like – blaming others for the problem, making excuses, or even denying that anything is wrong, will all have a huge impact on the victims.

Passive-aggressive men can be incredibly manipulative. And their manipulation often takes the form of gaslighting – making the victim doubt their reality and feel like they are going crazy. They do this to gain control over you and manipulate you.

Moreover, a Passive-aggressive man typically makes promises he never intends to keep, or pays just enough attention that leaves you hoping that things will get better (But they never will). Thus, when a victim is stuck in the cycle of abuse with a passive-aggressive man, it’s hard to get out of it.


Now that you understood the cycles of the passive-aggressive man, you can try not to get caught up in them. The best way to do this is to communicate with him directly and honestly. If he acts passive-aggressive, address it with him. This will probably put him on the defensive, but it’s the only way you can break the cycle.

Passive-aggressive behavior is often a way for the person to avoid conflict. This isn’t necessarily about you. Keeping that in mind, it’ll be easier for you to let things go if he’s passive-aggressive. After all, it would help if you didn’t support his behavior. If you let him, he’ll never learn to deal with his conflicts healthily.

If you’re in a relationship with a passive-aggressive man, these tips can help you deal with his cycles. Remember, communication is key. The more honest and direct you can be, the better your chances of breaking the cycle.

Riya Mishra