Positive Aggression: Does It Exist?

There are many views on the existence of positive aggression. Some say that it’s real, others say it’s a myth. But before diving into it, let’s talk a bit about anger and aggression in general.

Anger is a natural part of human existence. As a basic emotion, it is how we feel to protect ourselves from things that threaten us. However, while feeling anger is normal, acting out of anger can be a problem if it’s uncontrolled.

Aggression can be an emotional reaction to a threat: anger, fear, frustration, or even boredom. It can also negatively affect the person feeling angry and other people around them.

Aggression can also be a physical action that is not intended as a physical threat: swatting at a mosquito, kicking a bag of rocks, or slamming a door.

A major cause of aggression is internalizing negative emotions. These can be anxiety, depression, and stress, which are then associated with hurtful aggressive behavior at various times.

So, can you use your aggression in a controlled manner for a positive outcome?

Positive Aggression

What Is Positive Aggression

Positive Aggression is the act of being assertive and setting boundaries in life. We often associate it with self-care, self-love, self-respect, and empowerment. It is never about being offensive to others.

Positive aggression is important because it can help people understand that it’s not about being offensive or hostile, but standing up for oneself to say “no” or “I want”.

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Everyone has the right to be assertive, to voice their own opinion, and to challenge the status quo. It is a natural human behavior. That is the exact space where positive aggression comes into play.

“Women tend to engage in more indirect forms of aggression (e.g., spreading rumors) than other types of aggression. In laboratory studies, women are less aggressive than men, but provocation attenuates this difference. In the real world, women are just as likely to aggress against their romantic partners as men are, but men cause more serious physical and psychological harm. Women are susceptible to alcohol-related aggression, but this type of aggression may be limited to women high in trait aggression. Fear of being harmed is a robust inhibitor of direct aggression in women.”

Aggression in Women: Behavior, Brain and Hormones

How To Create An Effective Positive Aggression Message

Most people have a negative perception of aggressive messages because they feel threatened or attacked. Negative aggression is being unfriendly and unhelpful, while positive aggression is being friendly and helpful.

To create an effective positive aggression message, you need to do two things:

  1. Make sure that the recipient feels that their needs are being met not just through the words but through the actions of the sender.
  2. The message should be from a position of nonviolent strength, not from a position of anxious weakness.

Tips for Expressing Positive Aggression

There are several ways to be more aggressive without being so. Here’s a list of tips for expressing positive aggression:

  • Express your opinion.
  • Be decisive with firmness.
  • Don’t back down from a fight.
  • Lead the way on projects or activities they have assigned you to.
  • Take control of the situation and steer it where you want it to go.

Methods of Engaging With Positive Aggression With Someone

A person who is behaving in a manner that is aggressive but not violent, like teasing or sarcasm.

The best way to engage with someone who is being positive aggressive is to respond in the same way. A person can also choose to stop the behavior by telling them they are hurting their feelings.

5 Ways to Incorporate Positive Aggression in Your Daily Life

Positive aggression is a concept that suggests that the best way to get what you want is to be aggressive, but in a positive manner.

The following are 5 ways to incorporate positive aggression into your daily life:

1. Be proactive.

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Do not wait for things to happen, take charge of your life and be the one who makes it happen. You are your own best friend or worst enemy.

2. Be confident.

Just because you are not perfect does not mean you should stop trying. With the help of AI, you will find it is easier to be confident in your abilities.

3. Say “no” when it is appropriate.

Do not feel guilty about just saying no when needed, because sometimes it is necessary, and you should listen to your instinct. Learn how to say “No.”

4. Take risks.

If you take no risks, then you will learn nothing new or achieve anything great.

5. Understand that there are no mistakes, only lessons.

You are constantly learning and growing, so you never have to be afraid of making mistakes.

How to Use Positive Aggression in Workplace Communication

Positive aggressiveness comes from a place of confidence and love.

Positive Aggression is the natural result of high self-confidence, self-respect, and feeling worthy. It is also the result of knowing exactly what you want and having the courage to go after it without apology. It’s not just expecting what we want or need, it’s doing everything we can to get it!

When we speak from a place of positive aggression, we don’t come across as pushy or aggressive—we come across as assertive and confident. We exhibit strength and power in our tone and mannerisms, but never in any kind of violent way.

There are many ways to communicate your point of view to your colleagues. Positive aggression is one of them. It is the act of using conversation to get what you want while still maintaining respect and politeness.

How To Achieve your Goals By Applying Positive Aggression

Achieving your goals in life is not an effortless task. It requires a lot of patience and dedication. However, it also requires the right attitude and state of mind. We cannot let our insecurities or doubts impede achieving our goals.

The key to getting over this obstacle is understanding the importance of positive aggression. This is a term that talks about continuously striving for your goal with determination and without fear, while maintaining a healthy self-image.

Final Words

Here’s how you can cultivate a positive and proactive attitude through these five steps: 1) Be mindful of the present moment, 2) Create your ideal future self, 3) Approach things with a positive mindset, 4) Think outside the box, and 5) Perform activities that stimulate your creativity.

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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy—a medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes on mental health, happiness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism)

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