What is Aggression?

What is Aggression?

Weapons are used for mass destructions to harm others, and weapons are used to harm oneself. Aggression can be attributed as something as dangerous as any other weapon which is used to harm others. Imagine situations getting ugly in the past because of aggression and the amount in which it might have impacted your relations as well as your energy and mental health. There are so many ways in which people experience and express it. There is no universal way of showing aggression. Each one of us has different way of expressing it and degree to which it can be vented. For eg. one can argue, one can yell, there are people who can throw or break things due to aggression, some can hit another person, some might cry or some might not even show it. When it is extreme situation, there can be life threatening possibilities as well. What aggression really is? American Psychological Association defines anger as a behaviour aimed at harming others physically or psychologically. Aggression can be of different types depending on the degree, feelings and the way in which it is directed. Also it can be intentional or unintentional. One considerable fact is that the impressions it leaves remain for a considerable amount of time.

Aggression has been a part of our social history and there has been some extreme effects that it has left on the people referring to different times in the history. Aggression has seemed to impact people both physically and mentally. The amount of damage caused is based on the behavioural action which can differ from person to person. Aggression can be towards an individual or towards a group of people. If we try to understand the root cause of aggression in humans, then there can be various factors and people can be aggressive because of many different reasons. Aggression can be in subtle form as well which is usually not harmful in nature rather it creates discomfort to the person experiencing it. It can be interesting at the same time and intriguing that not all people have the same degree of aggression. Also that why some people display aggression in a very extreme way that they lose control over themselves? What are the causes of aggression? Why is it different in each and every individual? Why people have multiple expressions for it? Most importantly how it can be reduced or managed in a positive way?

There have been various theories that support various factors. One of the factors is the biological factor. Few people hold a belief that anger is an instinct, it is one of the bases of human nature. Sigmund Freud believed that aggression arises from the dominant death wish also known as Thanatos which is there in each and every individual. Freud believed this instinct to be self-destructive and it can be directed inwards or outwards. Later this idea was rejected as the idea believed that the major factor of aggression is biological which is not the only factor. Biological predispositions are definitely a cause but that cannot be accounted solely responsible for anger. People have different personalities and they all have different experiences which makes them forming an attitude towards something. Even the way in which we deal with a particular situation is also distinct. Some people are comparatively more prone to reacting in certain situations whereas some have a calm approach. A very good example of this can be a fight on road that could have occurred because of any reason. There are 2 people involved; now there might be a situation that one was trying to deal with things politely while the other person was going all over the place screaming and complicating the situation. Why one was polite while other behaved so angrily? For the other person, talking politely was a rational approach or simply because that person was in a good mood. Whereas, for the other person it can be a momentary reaction which was more like a venting out episode resulting from any previous situation or incident. It is clearly evident that mood can also be a factor which could lead to aggression. One of the most important factors can be frustration. This is probably the factor that influences aggression the most. Frustration holds the capacity to breed aggression. It can be a process that has been continuing for a long period of time or it can be an instant burst resulting from frustration. Frustration in itself has diverse range of factors. Another noticeable factor is provocation leading to anger and it can be expressed in different forms like being sarcastic, making unnecessary comments, or directly speaking about things which the person is sensitive about. In such a provocative situation one is most likely to react because of the act of provocation, the person responds with anger. It is a situation that makes people reciprocate the same emotion which tend to make it aggressive. Even if the person tries to stay calm, that might make him feel frustrated and then he or she might explode. Some people might react in a more aggressive way because they feel vulnerable and at the same time it might be a possibility that their experiences might have instilled all that anger in them. No matter what each and every individual has a point beyond which the person cannot take things, when that threshold is reached the person then feels out of control and feels the need to vent out because even that can be discomforting for them. Not venting out can also create disturbances in mental health and make individuals susceptible to become someone who is constantly being exposed to aggression or someone who will develop the probability of reacting in extremely aggressive manner. Teasing and bullying has also been two considerable factors leading to an aggressive response which occurs mostly in school environment. These have been linked with adolescent age group and children.

The question arises that how can one control the anger in various situations? For some it can be easy but for some people it can take some time to get a control over it and relax. There is nothing that cannot be conquered with some efforts, patience and hard work. The very first step that can really help is to think. Think about the situation or anything that evokes aggression. After that when you have identified it, try to evaluate it by rationally thinking that what are you being so angry in those situations? What emotions do you experience in that situation? Most importantly what will you get from being that aggressive? Also try to think about all the energy and negative emotions that you go through after that. It is very important to think and evaluate this question and see if it is all worth or is it helping the situation in any way?  It is natural that there can be situations in which anyone would be reacting in an aggressive manner, but again regulating oneself and asking ‘How much is too much?’ is really important because that can make you see a picture from multiple perspectives and you can see that the aggression level can be controlled. Making yourself aware about things or the situations that make you angry can lead you in making a choice of consciously avoiding those things or situations. It can benefit in some or the other ways. Also there are so many ways in which aggression can be dealt with and reduced. It is important for you to see and identify the need of reducing and seeing the positive changes in can bring in your life.

About the Author

fariyal asad
Student.

Hi! I am a graduate psychology student. I've completed my graduation from Ambedkar University Delhi. I am a psychology en

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