Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit

Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
While Dr. Friedman is no longer with us, there are still many helpful resources on his site. Articles and resource links have been relocated to the top. His family hopes you might find them helpful. But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.


Articles by Dr. Friedman
Video and Audio Clips
Annotated Resource Links
Psychology Professionals

Dr. Will’s Perspective on Practicing Psychology:

Dr. Friedman's Practice
Dr. Friedman's Approach
Therapeutic Purposes
Credentials | Experience
Brochures | Interview
Events and Workshops

Website Disclaimer


Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)

Categorized by Process | Topic

From His Book | Meditations For Life | The Flow of Money, Business and Innovation | Transpersonal/Mind-Body | Approaches, Worldview and Will-isms

Skills For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | Feeling, Thought, Communication & Action

Strategies/Distinctions For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free

Awakening Stories/Metaphors For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | The Way It Is

Holiday Family Gatherings | Cartoons, Jokes and Humor | Poems and Quotes | Song Lyrics, Wit and Wisdom

Tools/Skills for Life: Feeling, Thought, Communication and Action

An Inventory of Passive-Aggressive Behaviors

List by Gary Hankins, Ph.D. with Carol Hankins.
Rest © 2011 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.

Passive-aggressive behavior is a strange, yet thoroughly understandable, hybrid in which one settles for back handed influence at the expense of good-willed, present time living. While passivity is allowing others treat you any way they want and aggressiveness is physically and verbally bullying others to obtain what you want, the hybrid bullies others but in a hidden, passive and indirect fashion. Putting your spouse, friend or co-worker through "the silent treatment" in order to punish or retaliate, having them feel hurt as you did, is a classic example.

Passive-aggressive behaviors, a form of manipulation, are most prominent in our society. These are easily noticed in the bastions of government, civil service, military, academia and corporations, not to mention small businesses and families. My suspicions are that such behavior stems from very early in childhood, usually around ages two to three, and is further acted out in adolescent years when many of us became angry when we were not allowed to have our complaints, protests and "no's" respected. Ultimately, passive-aggressive behaviors are dishonest means to honestly have a voice, debate issues and be respected in making our own choices, whether successful or not.

It is well worth becoming aware of such behavior in order to release it and replace it with a healthy alternative of assertiveness. Being assertive simply is standing up for your rights, feelings, thoughts and behavior in such a way that you don't do injury to yourself or another.

Here is a list of 36 typical passive-aggressive expressions of anger from Gary Hankins, Ph.D. and Carol Hankins (Prescriptions for Anger, 1993, pages 30-32). As a diagnostic, write your initials, your partner's and your parent's beside each that fits in terms of thought, words and behavior. Total them for each. I leave to you to determine to what degree passive-aggressive behaviors are present, from minimally present, to moderately present, and all the way to "World-class."

DATE: _____________________
Person's Name Initials:
___=_____________T=___/       /_____=_____________T=___
___=_____________T=___/       /_____=_____________T=___
_______READING (hiding behind a newspaper, book, computer, etc.)
_______JOKING (hiding intentionally hurtful remarks with humor and ridicule)
_______BEING TIRED (feigning tiredness in order to avoid having to interact with someone)
_______USING THE SILENT TREATMENT (Retaliating in a quiet way, hoping the other person will feel hurt as you feel hurt)
_______ACTING CONFUSED (pretending you don't understand something, or are confused by it)
_______BEING HABITUALLY LATE (lacking awareness or concern for other people's needs and schedules)
_______BEING EASILY DISTRACTED (acting as though anything and everything is more interesting or important than what the other person is trying to say to you)
_______PUTTING YOURSELF DOWN (trying to win from a "one-down" position, by soliciting pity)
_______DAWDLING (purposefully reacting with unnecessary slowness)
_______AGREEING WITH EVERYTHING (making passive comments, such as, "Sure…whatever")
_______BEING PASSIVELY RESISTANT (maintaining a concealed, stubborn insistence upon having your own way)
_______CRYING (seeking sympathy or trying to induce guilt, in order to get even or control the situation)
_______NOT HEARING (pretending you didn't hear what was said)
_______ARGUING (insisting on having your own way by refusing to cooperate, compromise, or concede)
_______BEING SARCASTIC OR PESSIMISTIC (Discrediting the other person's ideas or efforts by acting helpless or cynical)
_______LAUGHING (discounting others' feelings by laughing them off)
_______POUTING (seeking sympathy to induce guilt)
_______FORGETTING ("conveniently forgetting to do what you agreed to do)
_______QUESTIONING (subtly expressing disdain for someone by arguing or being oppositional)
_______STATING YOU'RE NOT ANGRY ("innocently" denying you're angry, when in fact you are)
_______GIVING A "DOUBLE MESSAGE" (Stating one thing while demonstrating the opposite)
_______PROCRASTINATING (putting it off on purpose)
_______DOING THINGS FAR BETTER THAN THEY NEED TO BE DONE (trying to make others feel inadequate)
_______MAKING MISTAKES ("accidentally" doing something wrong on purpose)
_______BEING INEFFICENT (purposefully avoiding certain tasks)
_______UNDER- OR OVER-EATING (using eating as an expression of retaliation and anger)
_______GETTING SICK (Seeking sympathy; willing yourself ill out of feelings of bitterness, frustration, helplessness, and anger)
_______BEING CLUMSY ("accidentally" breaking something on purpose)
_______WALKING AWAY (Passively withdrawing)
_______GOSSIPING (spreading malicious rumors about other people)
_______LYING (stating untruths or holding back certain facts, with the intent of hurting someone's character)
_______OVERINVOLVEMENT (overextending yourself as a way of avoiding someone, or not having time to respond to his or her needs)


George Demont Otis     SF Bay from the Presidio

© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.

Home | Dedication/Orientation | Articles by Dr. Friedman | Video and Audio Clips | Annotated Resource Links | Psychology Professionals

Dr. Will’s Perspective on Practicing Psychology: Dr. Friedman's Practice | Dr. Friedman's Approach | Therapeutic Purposes | Credentials | Experience | Brochures | Interview | Events and Workshops | Website Disclaimer | Contact