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Understand and react to aggression

The word “aggression” comes from the latin aggredior, which means “go to.” The aggressiveness is an impulse that contributes to the survival of the species. It pushes us to protect us from the dangers and to mobilize to achieve our goals. Because it is natural, aggression is therefore a good or an evil. This is the way to express and manage which will be constructive (limits expressed in a socially acceptable manner) or destructive (physical or verbal abuse)

In the colloquial use of the word “aggression” replaces sometimes the word ‘anger’ (whereas it pre-exists in anger), sometimes to the violent assault, while this instinctive impulse can translate into respectful behavior. Moreover, the perception of which is aggressive and violent is subjective and linked to personal experience and standards (social, family, organizational, societal,…): what is “aggressive” and violent for one, is not necessarily for the other. The techniques discussed here are to use when I see, when I saw subjectively my behaviours or those of others as aggressive…

It is triggered by a stimulus in the here and now, by a sudden or gradual voltage buildup or a natural tendency to dominate his entourage, aggressiveness can be detected through the physical sensations and body language reflecting anger: heart rate, temperature and pressure increase, growth of muscle tone (especially in the arm), clenching of the jaw and fists, breathing stronger, frowning, half-closed eyes, posture and arms forwards, mounted sound tone, nostrils dilated, gestural jerky, abrupt and brittle, signs of domination… The goal is to show impressive for the fight, as in the animal world, there is always a risk of dying following a struggle. Beyond these sensory and body information, aggressive impulses result in insurance to be right, the certainty that the other is wrong (“what a Dick!”) and the desire to take over. Empathy of ‘aggressive’ people is limited, as well as prehistoric men who, to survive, felt no empathy for the animals they killed (for food), or with other humans that they hunted of their territory (to protect their clan)

By choosing a favourable moment to discuss a neutral place (or the territory of another or mine), and speaking with my interlocutor privately (outside any Viewer), I warn already partially symmetric climbing. If I fear the aggressive disapproval of my counterpart, I can also talk to him by mail, by phone or by mail. At the time of the Exchange, it is useful to stay as calm as possible, by snapping me into the ground; by performing a few abdominal breaths; in discharging my tensions on an object safe; by practicing the visualization or the mental repetition of soothing phrases; putting myself in the position of the sphinx (poker face and forearms on the table, the office, or thighs); using the technique of cold fish (count 5 in my head before I respond to the aggressor); …

In case of aggression, it is inadvisable to touch or approach the interlocutor, even with the laudable intention of calm him down gently. Instead, it is possible to:

Create a space for better thinking, left back, to step aside, to get up…

 Put a barrier between the conflicting parties (a table, the car, a door,…)

Move away slowly, without turning their backs and staying in the room

Open a door or move closer to an open door. Leave in case of danger

A strong and open position helps to calm the game: get ¾ (him face to face increases heart rate); If possible sit (it is harder to get seated); keep a gesture and a calm voice; show signs of listening and partially reproduce the anger (Frowning, mouth, slight shrug of tone,…), in order to empathize with the feelings of the interlocutor. look the other person in the eye (or on the front if I’m uncomfortable) when he speaks, and look the other way on the sides when I answer him; speak in short, with a quiet voice (the angry people are unable to deal mentally with a fast flow of words); …

Validate the aggressiveness: confirm what is true and right for me. welcome the way in which the other living things; short answer (“Phew!”, “Ah yes.”, “well well…”) “), noting the nasty comments for better come back later; reformulate most of the words (the words quoted by raising the tone or repetition); …

Question anger: General clarification (technique of “Yes, and…?”); negative inquiry (“I told you… Do you have anything else to tell me? ») ; questioning of the clear message (fact, emotion and concrete wish); …

Refuse aggression: rejection of forms; disagreement on the merits; refers to the framework (legislation, procedures, rules); stop the discussion (even her post-poser); … Unnerve: ignore consciously; change the subject; Save time; practice the technique of fog or the quilt; show humor (dramatization, evidence by the absurd, self-deprecating, ironic,…); show an attitude shifted; crop by giving a positive meaning to what is alleged against me; …

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