Don’t throw it away, recycle it! Use it for something you really want! Call out those wild forces inside of you and put them to work. Aggressiveness is part of your being, so don’t try to reject it, because it will only grow stronger. Recycle your aggressiveness.
Every aggressive action is in fact the result of a certain imbalance. This is why is wiser to assess your imbalances early and acknowledge them. Postponing your reactions to a restrictive situation will trigger aggressiveness, sooner or later.
But the good news is that aggressiveness is also a pure manifestation of power. If you can break a wall with your fist, that means you’re strong. Maybe stronger than you thought you were. The trick is to acknowledge that power and master it.
Aggressiveness is not something outside you, it’s always your inner energy that manifests. Just use it wisely.
We have many tiny areas inside our brains, but we do have two which are more clearly defined: one of them is called the limbic brain, and it sits on top of your spine (sometimes called also the “reptilian brain”) and the other one is called neocortex and it’s in the front of your skull.
Neocortex is newer, it was developed only in the later stages of the human evolution, whereas the limbic brain is very, very old. These two brains have different functions. Simply put, the limbic brain is responsible with survival and neocortex is responsible with subtler emotions like love and compassion.
Now, let’s take a small break and talk about this distinction. When I say what each brain does I’m not taking it literally. It’s not like love and compassion are hosted in the neocortex and fear and aggressiveness are hosted in the limbic brain. I use the term “being responsible” more like “are triggered by”. So, when I say “the limbic brain is responsible with the fight or flight situation”, I mostly say that the limbic brain is triggered when a dangerous situation arrives and it takes over. I don’t think consciousness is hosted by the brain, no more than I believe that the radio announcer is hosted in the transistor radio. We just rent these bodies. But all these bodies have some common functionality, and if you understand it, it will be easy to figure out why certain things are happening in certain situations.
So, back to our question: “why are we aggressive?”. Millions of year of experience taught us to protect ourselves. That’s how the limbic brain grew up. Every time we sense danger, the limbic brains gets triggered and it sends a very strong signal to the body. It’s a stress signal and it puts the body on the highest level of alert. This signal gives us only two choices: fight or flight. We have a few microseconds to choose. If we think we have no option other than fight (or if we think we can win by fighting) then we fight. If not, we run away to save our butts.
In this process, which was created as a procedure for survival, we foster aggressiveness. The “flight” part of the answer must be really tough. Because it’s directly linked to survival. We’re past negotiation here, we fight, we need to put down the other one, to kill the opponent, otherwise we will be killed.
So, aggressiveness is a survival tool. To some extent, it’s a very useful one, too.
But then we mix things up. We fail to correctly evaluate the environment. And, instead of using the neocortex to process the stimuli, we think with the limbic brain. We mistake a normal situation for a survival one. Instead of thinking rationally we respond by reflex, using our long time trained killer instincts.
And we do this because we link some of our values to our own survival. For many of us, a job would give us the necessary support to survive. In time, we create such a strong link between a specific job and our survival that all the threatening actions towards that job will trigger the limbic brain. We don’t leave time to neocortex to interfere and to evaluate.
Maybe the fact that our job will end is a good thing. Maybe we’re supposed to move forward. But because we linked it so deep to our survival, we won’t be able to see it. So, we will fight.
That’s the bad news.