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Centerpointe Research

Aggression

Do You Think About What You Do

Defence mechanisms

Defence mechanisms (Photo credit: kevin dooley)

Or do you just do it?  Is your intuition leading you in the right direction?  Or are you often finding that your intentions are misunderstood?  You don’t always create the right impression.  You can’t make the other person react the way you want them to react and/or make them react the way other people have reacted in the past for you.

You need to be alert and sensitive as to how the other person you are dealing with is accepting your contribution.  The sooner that you pick up on the fact that this particular action of yours is not going over well or being taken in the way that it has been taken by others in the past the sooner you can set things right.

Often people blame the other person for not taking it well and don’t consider their own contribution to the problem.  This leads to the use of various defense mechanisms by the person who does not recognize that acknowledging the other person’s reaction is better than denying it, rationalizing it away, or forcing the other person to accept their interpretation of it.

This often happens in abusive situations where the aim of the person is to control the other person’s behavior.  Passive aggression and mental abuse often accompany this type of behavior.  This person, rather than admitting that he or she did something wrong as far as the other person was concerned, continues to reinforce the idea that they were just teasing, were misunderstood, or didn’t mean what he or she said.

 

 

 

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Psychopaths

English: Lansing Correctional Facility

English: Lansing Correctional Facility (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prison 2
Prison 2 (Photo credit: planetschwa)

Having almost no or almost no conscience, psychopaths can commit violent crimes often without an ounce of guilt.  They have a high recidivism rate.  Committing the same crimes over and over again until he (or she) is permanently locked up and cut off from society.

As far as mental illnesses go, psychopathy is expensive to treat as incarceration is expensive and is mostly useful as a form of  protection for society and really is not a form of treatment.  They may continue to be violent in prison and may acquire a longer prison term because of this.  Also they usually need to be kept in  expensive high security prisons.  Even when taken out of society, they remain dangerous to others, both other inmates and correctional facility staff.

Because psychopaths having no built in governors on their aggressive drives, talk therapy does not seem to work with them.  Also they could care less about the feelings of others.  It would seem that if some form of treatment could be found that would inhibit their aggressive behavior, it would of a great benefit to society and perhaps even hopefully to psychopaths themselves.

Focusing on rewarding good behavior in adolescents who seem to be destined to be psychopaths with privileges seems to be more effective than punishing bad behavior which often causes an increase in bad behavior..  The theory behind this is partly based on the neuroplasticity of the brain.  Please see this article, (Mis)guided Light by Jenny Price in “On Wisconsin” (Vol. 113, No. 3), the alumni magazine of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

 

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Assertiveness versus Aggressiveness

How can you get a point across and not attack the person to whom you are directing the statement?  If you believe that a person has a right to their own opinion (at least in most cases especially the ones that don’t involve life or death issues), you can accept what they say and their right to say it and then give your point of view on the subject.  For example, I might say, ” I can see how you might feel that what I did was unfair but I felt….”  Most arguments are an attempt to “win” over another person to your point of view or your way of doing things.    You usually can’t change another person’s mind by threatening them.  If it is a “winner – loser” type of argument and only one person holds the power to decide the outcome, the other person may concede but they often won’t be convinced.  It can lead to passive aggression.  See previous post, “Got Ya.”  For example, when I am discussing differences of opinion with another person, I only hope that they will listen to me and I will listen to them with an open mind and each of us will learn something new whether it changes either of our minds or not.

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Got Ya!

Have you ever felt that there was something slightly wrong with something someone did for you?  It could be a form of passive aggression which is a way of indirectly expressing something or doing something the other person wouldn’t like without being held accountable.  They might even say about the behavior that they were only trying to help you.  Yet you sense that their motives are less than pure.  You wind up unhappy in the relationship and when you call them on it, they act misunderstood and sometimes even offended.

Once when I was in a relationship that was falling apart, my partner was still handling the bill payments for both of us and obligated me for a repair contract on an appliance that I was taking with me, but which I felt that I didn’t need and which would cost money that I couldn’t afford to spare when paying my bills on my own without my partner’s income  He didn’t ask me what I wanted in this situation and I found out about it indirectly when I was looking at some paperwork.  I confronted him about this. Of course, he felt that he was only doing me a favor.  What I found overall in the relationship was that his tendency to frequently resort to passive aggressive behavior was one of the reasons I left the relationship.  There are other forms of passive aggressive behavior and the one most given as an example is agreeing to do something and then messing it up,  My partner agreed to do the bill paying; but I was not happy with the way he was doing it.

 

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