We will experience the most significant benefit of aggression when the behaviour is used for what it is intended. Overcoming an imminent and legitimate threat to our safety, or the safety of someone we care about. I’m referring to threats to our personal safety here, not to our ego. Beyond that, as social creatures, aggressive behaviour has few benefits.

What is aggression?

Aggression is any behaviour intended to cause harm to another person, who has an interest in avoiding such harm.

Aggression is not simply a high energy, focused and determined series of choices and actions. Unless of course the focus is on causing someone harm.

Are there other benefits to being aggressive?

If you’re being attacked, it’s important to be able to defend yourself and either overcome or escape from your attacker. In this case, we count on our primal “fight, flight or freeze” instincts to take over our rational thought processes and allow us to engage the threat more quickly.

However, there are many ways in which we can perceive threats, and many of them would be better served by thinking about the seriousness and fundamentals of the threat rationally, and then choosing the best response.

Taking an aggressive approach to handling everything we believe is a threat is likely to lead to more, not fewer problems down the road. Aggression is typically not a socially acceptable behaviour, and can land you in hot water at work, with the law and in your relationships. Even for those with questionable morals and ethics, who use aggression to get what they want, will eventually pay a price for their behaviour.

So, keep yourself safe, but remember the golden rule. Aggression has its place, but it’s a small place with very few good uses.


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