I have a negative relationship with aggression. I don’t like it. I don’t find it productive in any meaningful way. It’s mean, forceful, divisive and just not in line with the way I believe life can be. Nobody wants to be harassed into doing or thinking something to avoid trouble with someone who is unrelenting in their views. Nobody wants to be made to feel wrong.

Until recently I’ve never examined my relationship with aggression. I know that I tend to try to avoid it, but I didn’t realize how much of my behaviour went towards trying to diffuse hostility in my day to day life. I will over-do and over-give, fawn and flatter, deflect onto another situation, distract with another object, diffuse with humour, avoid situations outright, commit but not commit to the convincer, walk away or mentally check-out entirely… So many exhausting coping mechanisms all to avoid inflammation of already tense situations.

I am committing myself to recognizing aggression when I see it. Sitting with it. Not necessarily changing anything yet, but being aware of it so that I can start to feel different ways forward. The energy-draining aspects of aggression are huge for me.

I always thought I was conflict-averse, but the reality is that I love conflict because it presents opportunities to problem solve and move forward. Growth comes from true and pure conflict. People versus a problem. Aggression seems to be people versus people. People versus people tends to involve ego-preservation and saving-face. There’s a winner and a loser.

We are capable of better. We don’t need to stoop to aggression and being right when we can face issues from a place of connection to ourselves and each other.

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