Aggressive behaviour can be good for you? I know I was taken aback when that idea was presented to me in my trauma training. The conditioned part of me that thinks nice girls don't shout, started to feel nervous as I was told all humans need to release anger in order for the energy that's created in the stress response to be released.
I then became quite confused as my initial counselling training came in where we were taught that to become centred, healed beings we need to love it all.
Now I know you can only love it all if you have been through the necessary steps of healthy aggression. And the key word here is healthy. Aggression that is vindictive or set out to harm another human is rooted in fear and unresolved trauma. Healthy aggression is about defending yourself when experiencing adverse events. That could be verbally or physically. If someone is harming your body you need to trust your instincts to lash out and defend yourself. This will help you process the event in the future and get that nervous system back in harmony.
How many times have you heard someone say, 'why didn't I fight back'? The most likely explanation is that we have been conditioned from a very young age not to fight back. Now I'm not saying we should let children run amok and beat the living daylights out of each other. As parents and caregivers it's our job to help regulate emotions and help children understand that it's ok to be angry but it's not ok to hit someone just because they've not done what you asked.
What I am saying is we want our children to know that if an adult is hurting them then it's ok to say no and it's ok to fight back.
When you go through the process of healthy aggression your body can complete the stress reaction. This in turn helps process's the memories of that event so it doesn't become traumatic.
With clients who have been through traumatic events there are specialised ways to process the event. Please seek professional support if you are troubled by disturbing memories and thoughts.