A visit to Lagos Nigeria in West Africa, one of the most populous city and black nation in the continent and the world, you will wonder why so many people are being eaten up by aggression when on the road driving or plying a public bus. The level of aggression is so high on the road because of the gridlock of traffic that is being associated with bad road network.
Most of this road users probably left home happily to their various destinations but couldn’t hold onto their cool all because of the impatient that the next person standing besides him exhibit.
Over the years, several questions have been asked as to why there is so much aggressive behavior. What possibly could be the motives behind this potentially dangerous and deadly act? Or does it mean that there is a social force that is dictating the level of aggression in a person?
Talking about motives, someone cannot just get aggressive without the aid of an external force or a being.
Newton law says that to every action, there is always an equal and opposite reaction.”
To this effect, an aggressor would have ignited the atmosphere which lives a thought or feeling of anger, hatred on the aggrieved person. Upon pondering on the event, adrenalin rises, tantrum fills the air and aggression sets out.
Recently I also have to deal with aggression, when my family was subjected to a crises and stress that was caused by my father’s accident that affected his left humerus, left femur and tibia. Unknowingly to me within this period, I became so aggressive to my family, fiancée, and even people around me at every little snap. It cost me time and concentration to get off this shade of darkness.
Aggression is an intentional or unintentional act or behavior that is aimed at causing either physical or psychological pain.
Aggression according to Benjamin, L.T. Hopkins, J.R., Nation, J. R., says it is the act of delivering an aversive stimulus to an unwilling victim.
Aggression can be categorized into destructive and persuasive.
Is the type of aggression that is normally associated with human violence? It is an attempt to hit or strike at anyone due to anger, hatred which has resulted into a feeling of pain, discomfort, uneasy and restlessness.
Destructive aggression can be exercised by adult and even children. In most cases, destructive aggression may not lead to an attack on the next person but might be in the form of bottled transferred aggression. At this point, the individual might not be ready for a fight but will go along way to frustrate whosoever is standing on his way.
In destructive aggression, contagious pattern is very common because one event can lead to a chain of events that will result in a destructive behavior that is directed towards a suspect or an innocent victim.
Imagine you are in a public gathering and a much more senior colleague who is wealthy and much muscular embarrassed you over a younger lady. Right now, you will be angry, thinking of living the gathering and may snap at anybody that comes your way, transferring anger.
Anyone who has been indulging in this kind of aggression could have found it to be more rewarding and then uses it to gain attention and recognition. This type of aggression is called persuasive aggression because it helps to enhance the desired results. Children are fond in carrying out persuasive aggression in order to get whatever they want from their parent. This act is in no wise different from tantrums. Imagine when a child cries, murmurs, or even throw away things like toys all because he wants to gain the attention of his parent? After a while, his parent will be forced to attend to their child needs.
Once the child succeeds, he sees this as a pattern of achieving anything he wants from his parent or any adult that comes his way.
Persuasive aggression is not associated with violence but rather on how one can achieve his goals.
Though aggression is innate, it will always take two to make it visible and there must be a reason why I decided to be aggressive.
Psychologists have agreed that there are several things that could be responsible for aggression. Despite the unison amongst psychologist, the fundamental questions on why some persons behave aggressively while others do not; have not been thoroughly given an answer to.
Researches have it that aggression is more likely to occur when a person is unable to feel the hurt that he or his victims feels after an attack.
Aggression is believed to be caused by the following reasons
Imagine you left home for a business meeting that is scheduled for 9am and quickly boarded a taxi to your destination. Ten minutes into the journey, the acceleration of the taxi gradually reduces and the driver brings the car to a halt. He tries to put on the ignition again but the car refuses to start. He walks out of the car, opens the burnet trying to fix the problem while you eagerly stare at him. Some minutes later, he comes into the car, puts on the ignition as the car starts to accelerate gradually while you huffs. Minutes into the journey, the car stops again while you unknowingly raises your voice saying “Sir what is wrong with you car I am running late for a business meeting”? I am very sorry sir! Let me help you get another taxi, so that you don’t run late for your business meeting. This shows that the driver is friendly and you will definitely want to listen and even sympathize with him. But what if the driver says, why are you shouting at me and how am I supposed to know that my car will break down? This kind of statement will definitely arouse temper from the passenger, which might result into words exchange or even a fight.
Situations like this leads to frustration which is an easy access to aggression.
We have all experienced some level of frustration from time to time in our social life, business, religion etc. it is not possible for us to go through a whole week or even a day without experiencing one form of frustration or the other.
Researchers have also shown that when we experience frustration, the tendency of developing aggression can increase.
Gender and Aggression
Carol Gillain says that the most consistent gender difference is that boys are more aggressive, and more active than girls. It is also believed that both biological and environmental factors have been known to account for gender differences in aggression.
Biological factors include heredity and hormones, while environmental factors include cultural expectations, adults and peer models, and social agents who reward aggression in boys and punish aggression in girls.
Aggression can also be produced by social provocation or the mere presence of an aggressive response, such as gun or weapon.
Aggression can be reduced
This can be done in a number of ways, so when you find yourself dealing with aggressive people, just follow these tips.
Talk about it
Most often, when we are angry, frustrated or in difficult situation, there is bottled aggression within us. This aggression can be softening if only we can discuss the issue with someone else. For example if this aggressive person is a romantic partner, a friend or family member, it is best you discuss the issue of contention with the person. When the table of discussion is open, then an agreement will definitely be reached in order to avert future aggressive behavior.
Punish any act of aggressive behavior
In order to discourage persuasive aggression where most people uses it as a reward system to gain their individual or group goals, then punishment should be encouraged.
The most important thing to do when dealing with an aggressive person is to totally remain calm.
“Silence they say is best answer for a fool.” Being quiet doesn’t mean that you are scared or do not know what to say but rather it gives you the strength to think of better option on dealing with the aggressive person standing next to you.
Be sincere with yourself
When we are under stress, the tendency for you to be aggressive is very high. But you can comfortably checkmate it, if we involve family members, friends and even loved ones. Give them the opportunity to always call you to order when you start to exhibit aggression.
Since aggression sometimes comes with violence, it will be wise to stay off any confrontational and hostile person to save your life. If in a public space and you don’t feel comfortable it is best to leave, seek help if necessary. Contact law enforcement agency if the need arises.
Understand the root of the problem
Before dealing with an aggressive person or even trying to cure yourself from aggression, you must understand what actually caused it. When you’ve gotten knowledge about why you always get aggressive, you are a step better.
Know your right
If you are well educated about your right, you will know when an aggressive person is over-stepping his boundaries and how to deal with him. In a case where you have to react or put up a violence attitude towards the aggressor, you might as well not be able to fight for your fundamental human right.
If you are in the midst of aggressive people, the least you can do is to educate them on why they need to manage their emotions in order not to hurt themselves and loved ones. We all react or behave according to the level of our understanding. A wise counsel will do a lot well.
Stay away from violent environment
If you expose yourself to too much of violence, the tendency to take after violence is sure. Stay away from people or anything that have the shape of violence.
Always stay in the midst of happy people
Happiness will always breed happiness. Make it a responsibility to always stay in the midst of happy people and do not forget to make yourself happy.