What causes aggression in humans

Aggression: How does it arise and what helps?

What is aggression?

Aggressive actions are usually the result of anger or hostility. The willingness to be aggressive increases the more the anger or hostility is felt and the more clearly one can blame another person for it.

Aggressive behavior aims to damage a living being or an object. Damage must be understood very broadly. It can be done through:

  • Direct physical attack,
  • (repeated) psychological threat,
  • (deliberately) failure to provide assistance,
  • conscious injury through irony.

How does aggression arise?

If a person feels disturbed or handicapped in a situation that is important to them, be it through coercion, insult, excessive demands, injustice, violation of norms or unnecessary harassment, they can react irritably. One can feel impaired, damaged and extremely tense or overexcited, combined with a feeling of strength, a charge of energy. You have the feeling of bursting if you don't defend yourself against the trigger.

Repeatedly aggressive behavior often leads to social isolation. On the other hand, social isolation is often the cause of an increased willingness to be aggressive.

How does aggression show up?

Aggression manifests itself in different ways, which also complement each other:

  • open: Someone is screaming.
  • covered: Rumors or gossip are examples of this.
  • physically: This is shown by hitting or kicking.
  • directed inwards (autoaggression): Biting your nails or pulling your hair out are typical.
  • socially approved and accepted: Actions in self-defense fall into this category.
  • antisocialThat means: socially disapproved aggression for which punishment is demanded. These include murder and manslaughter or torture.

What helps against aggression?

Those who suffer from aggressive behavior often need help. The point is to find out what triggers the aggression - psychotherapy is one way of doing this. But in-depth discussions with parents, friends or teachers are also helpful in some cases.

These mechanisms help to reduce aggressive behavior in everyday life:

  • Learn problem-solving techniques that will help you gain control over aggression
  • Build confidence
  • Gaining control over yourself
  • Learn to deal with other people in a cooperative manner
  • Look for activities to let off steam - for example, sports like boxing

Sexuality and aggression

More or less pronounced social isolation is related to a lack of compassion for others. What is noticeable in people who do violence to others, mostly physically weaker ones, is the inability to empathize with the victim's suffering. This allows them to make excuses to themselves for repeated acts of violence, such as:

  • "It has to be punished, it didn't hurt me either" as a justification for the mistreatment of children;
  • "The child is not treated badly, I just show him my love" as a common explanation after sexual abuse;
  • "Basically, women want to be raped" or "Whenever women say no, they actually mean yes!" in the event of sexual harassment

This aggression, which affects the lives of other people and goes far beyond the normal level, requires treatment.

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