Passive anger can be expressed in the following ways:

Dispassion, such as giving someone the cold shoulder or a fake smile, looking unconcerned or “sitting on the fence” while others sort things out, dampening feelings with substance abuse, overreacting, oversleeping, not responding to another’s anger, frigidity, indulging in sexual practices that depress spontaneity and make objects of participants, giving inordinate amounts of time to machines, objects or intellectual pursuits, talking of frustrations but showing no feeling.

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Evasiveness, such as turning one’s back in a crisis, avoiding conflict, not arguing back, becoming phobic.

Defeatism, such as setting people up for failure, choosing unreliable people to depend on, being accident prone, underachieving, sexual impotence, expressing frustration at insignificant things but ignoring serious ones.

Obsessive behavior, such as needing to be inordinately clean and tidy, making a habit of constantly checking things, over-dieting or overeating, demanding that all jobs be done perfectly.

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Psychological manipulation, such as provoking people to aggression and then patronizing them, provoking aggression but staying on the sidelines, emotional blackmail, false tearfulness, feigning illness, sabotaging relationships, using sexual provocation, using a third party to convey negative feelings, withholding money or resources.

Secretive behavior, such as stockpiling resentments that are expressed behind people’s backs, giving the silent treatment or under-the-breath mutterings, avoiding eye contact, putting people down, gossiping, anonymous complaints, poison pen letters, stealing, and conning.

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Self-blame, such as apologizing too often, being overly critical, inviting criticism.

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