Three Ways to Challenge Your Aggressive Behaviors

Aggressive behavior is a style of expressing one’s feelings and needs in a way that violates the rights of others.

This pattern of behavior will often generate fear in others and alienate them from the aggressor. An individual with a pattern of aggressive behavior will blame others instead of taking accountability for their actions.

Aggression may show up in the following behaviors:

  1. Trying to dominate the other person (physically or mentally)
  2. Using humiliation, blame, and/or criticism to control the other person
  3. Being easily frustrated
  4. Having a low tolerance for the behavior of others
  5. Speaking in a loud, demeaning, and threatening tone
  6. Having intimidating body posture and eye contact
  7. Interrupting others when they’re speaking
  8. Using “you” statements instead of “I”

Ways to Challenge Your Aggressive Pattern

  • Recognize your aggressive behaviors – Aggressive emotional reactions include frustration, anger, hostility, feeling powerless, and feeling upset. Watch for physical reactions such as increased heart rate, increased breathing, dry mouth, shaking, and muscle tension. When these reactions are present, STOP and walk away.
  • Work on calming down – Once you’ve recognized your reactions and chosen to walk away, you can implement techniques for calming down. Take 10 deep breaths while exhaling slowly; go for a walk; listen to soothing music or write in a journal.
  • Think about what you need and want – Identify the source of your aggression: Is it due to frustration? Feeling attacked? Learned behavior? Therapy or anger management treatment may be needed.

Written by: GROW Staff

Article Updated: February 26, 2024