Emotional aggression is expressing intense negative emotions, such as anger, in an aggressive manner. Emotional aggression is different from physical aggression because it does not involve physical contact, but it is not less harmful to the people who receive it. It can also be directed towards oneself, such as self-harm or suicidal ideation.
Various factors, such as past traumas, unresolved emotions, mental health conditions, and stress, can cause emotional aggression. It can also be learned behavior learned from parents or others. It is important to address and find ways to manage emotional aggression, as it can harm you and the people around you.
Emotional, affective, or impulsive aggression refers to aggression that occurs with only a small amount of forethought or intent and that is determined primarily by impulsive emotions. Unlike the instrumental aggression, emotional aggression is unplanned and occurs under the influence of emotions. It might feel uncontrollable or seem to come from nowhere. Instrumental or cognitive aggression, on the other hand, is intended and planned. We will focus on emotional aggression, its impacts and ways to prevent yourself from the emotional aggression, via emotional experiences listed on emotions.market.
Causes of emotional aggression
Emotional aggression can happen as a natural response to stress, fear, or a sense of losing self-control. You may feel aggression when you feel pain frustration, or mistreatment. Emotions like anger and shame are triggers of emotional aggression, but as such, it's caused by poor emotional regulation and excess of negative emotions. Emotional suppression, so popular way to regulate emotions, is also part of the problem.
Types of emotional aggression
Emotional aggression can be of different types. Physical aggression is aggression that involves harming others physically—for instance hitting, kicking, stabbing, or shooting them. A person may divert it to smashing plates, slamming the door, hitting, and kicking something. Nonphysical aggression involves no physical harm. Nonphysical aggression includes verbal aggression (swearing, and name calling, shouting, screaming,) and relational or social aggression, which is defined as intentionally harming another person’s social relationships, for instance by gossiping about another person, excluding others from our friendship, or giving others the “silent treatment” (Crick & Grotpeter, 1995).
Problems caused by emotional aggression
Emotional aggression, unfortunately, can cause many problems, including loosing valuable relationships, having career impact, causing harm to others and themselves and etc. Emotional aggressive person is pushing others away, by creating a toxic environment. This, consequently, leads to loneliness and many other issues, that could have been avoided, if a person would not have been in an emotional overwhelm or emotional exhaustion.
5 Signs That Your Emotional Aggression Is Affecting Your Life And Your Relationships
Constant Verbal Outbursts Or Yelling
Constant verbal outbursts or yelling can signify that emotional aggression is affecting your life in several ways. First, it may indicate that you have difficulty controlling your emotions, particularly when it comes to anger. When you lose your temper and yell frequently, it can be a sign that you're struggling to cope with stress or other emotional triggers healthily.
Additionally, when verbal outbursts or yelling becomes a regular part of your interactions with others, it can harm your relationships. People may be hesitant to be around or communicate with you, leading to people pulling away from you. This can lead to isolation, loneliness, and feeling disconnected from others.
While they are different, physical aggression might be a sign of emotional aggression. Physical aggression refers to behaviors such as pushing, hitting, or throwing objects when you're angry, and it's a clear indication that you cannot healthily control your emotions.
Physical aggression can create fear, trauma, and even physical harm to the people around you, leading to isolation, rejection, and loss of opportunities. Furthermore, physical aggression can also lead to negative self-esteem, as you may feel guilty, ashamed, or even criminalized by your actions.
When used in a harmful or exploitative way, manipulation can affect your life and personal relationships. People who engage in manipulation often do so to gain power or control over others. They may use tactics, such as deception, withholding information, or playing on others' emotions, to achieve their goals.
If you constantly feel like you are manipulating someone in your life, or if you feel like they are constantly walking on eggshells to avoid upsetting you, it may be a sign that your behavior is affecting your well-being. Manipulation can affect one's mental health, leading to low self-esteem and lack of trust in oneself and others.
Passive-aggressive behavior often involves avoiding confrontation and instead expressing feelings through subtle means, such as sarcasm, procrastination, or giving the silent treatment. It can be challenging to confront passive-aggressive behavior because it often lacks a clear cause and can be hard to prove.
When you find yourself frequently on the receiving end of passive-aggressive behavior, it may make you feel frustrated, confused, and demotivated. It's important to understand what is clearly and isn't acceptable behavior from those around you, set boundaries, and make it clear that you won't tolerate passive-aggressive behavior.
Blaming others means placing responsibility for your own problems or negative feelings on others rather than taking responsibility for them yourself. When you frequently blame others for your problems, it can create a toxic and unhealthy relationship dynamic. This can lead to a lack of trust, constant conflicts, and feelings of resentment and alienation.
Blaming others also makes it difficult for you to learn from your mistakes and make positive changes in your life, as you are not taking ownership of your actions. Recognizing when you find yourself excessively blaming others and trying to change this behavior is essential. This can be done by taking responsibility for your actions and learning to communicate your needs and feelings effectively.
Solutions to emotional aggression
Impulsive aggression and anger management can be managed, prevented, and controlled. Professionals help patients via Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Psychodynamic therapy. However, people with low to moderate levels or emotional aggression, can find help elsewhere. Learn how humour and laughter can reduce the emotional aggression of a person. This includes enriching life with positive emotions, releasing trapped emotions and talking about causes of aggression. A person needs to release their trapped emotions in a right way, so that their emotional balance improves, yet it does not have detrimental consequences on the life and relationships of a person. Emotional experiences at emotions.market offer wide range of opportunities for emotional release.
Understanding the signs of emotional aggression is vital to identifying and addressing it when it occurs in your own life or those around you. It is important to address emotional aggression, whether through a direct conversation with the person involved, seeking guidance from a therapist, or setting boundaries to protect oneself.
You should also practice self-care and find healthy ways to cope with stress and negative feelings that may arise from dealing with emotional aggression. At Emotions Market, you can find help and educate yourself and others on emotions management to better understand and manage our emotions and those of others. Learn Why do we get angry, 5 Ways to Suppress your Anger and 5 Causes of Emotional Aggression.