Aggression versus hostility. Why aggression is something to be embraced.

In our increasingly more egalitarian world, where political correctness is the order of the day, and the need to tip toe around someone’s feelings in order not to send them into a crisis triggered from their childhood, we are raising people to (1) not have the courage to speak up (2) to not be able to stand in robust debate, confrontation, and an aggressive stance.

To be clear, I am not saying do not be mindful, sensitive and kind towards others. Thinking of our affect on another is a very high skill to cultivate, and one few people take the time to cultivate.

But to fear being aggressive, to fear speaking our truth, to stay silent….is a sure a death as drowning in a sea of platitudes.

Aggression from ad- ‘towards’ + gradi ‘proceed, walk’.

Hostility from Latin hostilis, from hostis ‘stranger, enemy’.

I was born the warrior. It was me, hurtling down the corridor on all fours after my elder brother, before I had spoken a word to my parents in the typical manner of “mummy” or “daddy”, who was literally spitting after my brother and muttering…”bugger bugger bugger.”..

It was me, always the smallest in the class, you would find with my fists raised between the bully and the assaulted.

Aggression and I are a team. In partnership with assertiveness, outspokenness and fearlessness in the face of confrontation.

For me aggression has always been about moving towards something to seek resolution. To resolve. Fix, heal….

Of course it is not always the wisest choice of actions. Like an Italian lover, I am easy to fuse. But equally easy to then let go and return to love, carrying zero residue. And zero residue is always my aim, for all involved.

I am continually concerned by our cultural rejection of aggression, robustness, confrontation. We want instead to wrap everything in bright pink paper with hearts and kisses.

Given my birth right, part of my role is to be the instigator of aggression. As I grow up, my desire is that this is done with wisdom and care.

Any organisation/relationship that does not have spaces and places for robust, aggressive and confrontational conversation is most likely walking on very thin ice…the house of cards built on collusion, fear, and consensus.

I take a stand for wise and healthy aggression. Let’s move without fear towards resolution, knowing that there is always an answer, if we but stay in the tension of the question long enough.

 

 

Photo credit: Ken Douglas via Compfight

 

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