Aggression can be defined as “offensive action and hostility”. In most circles, aggression is socially unacceptable and yet it still arises in many forms.
Embracing rather than judging aggressiveness can help us to let go of resentments we may have from the past. The more we judge something the more it tends to generate negativity and “control” us.
If we can understand and accept aggressiveness, we have a better chance of finding inner peace. At La Crisalida we believe a balanced perspective helps us to find more balance and fulfillment in life.
This article is targeted at those who have difficulty controlling their aggression and those who want to figure out how to handle it better when on the receiving end.
Why do people become aggressive?
Some of the key triggers of aggressive behaviour include:
- someone else is already being aggressive towards us
- someone else looking down on us
- someone else acting overly weak or submissive
- someone not respecting our values or boundaries
- someone pushing or forcing their values onto us
Aggression can also be a deliberate strategy to put others on the back foot. Here are some additional observations on aggression:
- Aggression can be offensive or defensive. It can also be immediate and reactive (uncontrolled) or planned and proactive (controlled).
- People are more likely to use uncontrolled aggression when they are under stress and struggling emotionally. Managing emotions and mindset is key to being able to manage this uncontrolled aggression.
- When someone supports our values, we can be open and welcoming. However, when someone challenges our values, we can become aggressive to protect what is important to us. Understanding what is important to us and others can help us to better understand all human behaviour.
Embracing rather than judging aggressiveness
When someone attacks your values or criticises you aggressively, it takes a robustness of character to be able to respond without becoming emotional. If we judge aggressiveness as a negative thing, we are more likely to get emotional about it.
To manage any emotional reaction to aggressiveness we need to get a balanced perspective. To do this, it is wise to ask the question: What are the benefits of being attacked or criticised aggressively? Here are a few possible learnings or positive aspects of being on the end of aggression:
- Take it as feedback from life that we need to become more aware of other people’s boundaries and become a better communicator.
- If we are emotionally affected by someone’s aggression, we could also see it as a signal that we need to develop more self-respect or toughen up.
- We could need to develop the skills necessary to defend ourselves if attacked by someone else (physically or verbally)
- If we do experience destructive aggression from others there are hidden benefits including the opportunity to rebuild, rethink, restudy, retrain, and come back stronger.
- Aggression may also encourage you to develop a skill to avoid similar situations happening again.
- It has been shown biologically that the maximum growth for an organism comes at the border of challenge and support. It makes sense that when we experience aggression, we can use it for our longer-term growth.
- Embracing aggression is also consistent with growing our own level of personal power and influence in the world. At times we may need to allow others to become aggressive so they can get noticed.
Overcoming resentment to those who show aggression
We can also help ourselves to overcome any resentment or negativity towards aggression by looking at the downsides of being submissive to others.
Here are some of the possible downsides of submissive to others:
- It is more difficult to enforce your own independence and healthy boundaries
- You are less likely to be influential or be able to make a difference in the world
- You are more likely to become frustrated and not listened to by others
- You are likely to suffer from low self-esteem and a lack of fulfillment
The next time you experience aggression or become aggressive yourself, I encourage you to release any judgement and embrace how the moment of aggression could even be serving you.
Online Coaching at La Crisalida Retreats
Mindset is a core component of the La Crisalida programme as it helps to determine how balanced we can be emotionally.
La Crisalida offers two types of online coaching. Firstly, with our Life and Success coaching sessions, you decide on the right goals and action steps to overcome your fears, to set you up for success in any area of your life. Your life and success coach becomes your cheering squad, confidant and holds you accountable.
Secondly, in a one-off transformational coaching session, you will work hard to discover what inspires you and how to clear the emotional baggage stopping you living a life of your dreams. Through proven tools and techniques and with the help of a highly trained and experienced coach with Transformational Coaching you will feel lighter, calmer, more congruent and clear about your future.
You can find out more about online transformational coaching or Life and Success coaching here.
About the author
- John is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. He is a life and success coach, Transformational Coach and a master trainer in NLP. He leads our life makeover programme as well as overseeing the retreats.