Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Can someone explain the psychology behind the behavior of someone who sends conflicting messages, either verbally or physically, then get upset with other people because the other people act confused?

Asked by Dutchess_III (38013points) September 22nd, 2010

Is this a passive-aggressive behavior? What would cause someone to act like this? Is it a set up so they can have an excuse to get mad?

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8 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

Either they really don’t understand that they’re being confusing, maybe due to a low level of autism, or something similar, so they don’t understand basic social cues, or yes, it’s a classic passive-aggressive attention getting behavior. Run away. Run away now.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

They’re either manipulative, have low emotional intelligence or don’t care about those they’re playing with.

KhiaKarma's avatar

I have worked with several people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and it’s: “I love you, I hate you. Come here, no go away. I picture one outstretched hand, palm out as if to say stop and the other hand, beconing to come closer. Dunno if this is what you meant, but it’s what came to mind….

YARNLADY's avatar

You are asking Fluther to classify a behavior that even professional psychologists have trouble pinning down. I don’t see how it is useful to come up with a name assigned to a behavior/psychological disorder before you can deal with it.

Does this person act this way all the time, or are there some circumstances when it does not occur? Maybe you could duplicate those times and see if that works.

Cruiser's avatar

I think you are on the right track. Hard to say for sure…but when they are beating around the bush I have found they don’t have the guts to say what they really want to say! I would not worry about it!

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s not necessarily anyone I know personally. It’s, like, people who are in line at a convenience store, and make a point of standing so far away from the person in front of them that it looks like they aren’t even in line. They don’t move up with the line, that kind of thing. And then get pissy if someone assumes they aren’t in line and that person GETS in line at a normal distance from the person in front.

A cuople of times a day I walk to a convenience store across the street from my work. If there isn’t much traffic, I make no attempt to stop traffic by making it obvious, from my body language (stepping out from the curb, whatever,) that I’m going to cross the street now. I stand still and wait. Some folks go ahead and stop anyway, but most don’t because I haven’t sent the message.

Well, yesterday I was doing just that, standing still waiting for the two or three cars to go on by. Some guy started to slow down, but was still going to fast for me to feel comfortable about stepping out in front of him so I just waited…then he took his foot off the brake so the car quit slowing down, then he touched the brakes again and it started to slow down, then he sped up a little…..he just flat couldn’t seem to decide if he was going to stop or not, and considering that car had a few pounds on me, I wasn’t going to decide the issue! But, then, he suddenly floored it in exasperation! His “car language” was wishy washy and all over the place. I see a lot of people give conflicting messages like that, with their car, with their own body language…...it’s frustrating!

Discobitch's avatar

Female hormones.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Discobitch It seems to be an equally male and female trait. Actually, in the end, I think it’s just extreme indecision, which confuses everyone around them. But they don’t get that. They think everyone around them are the idiots because nobody is doing what they’re “supposed” to be doing.

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