“Whenever you’re aggressive, you’re at the edge of mistakes.” – Mario Andretti
In life, people who are confident and go-getters tend to be well-received. A certain kind of positive and healthy motivation is expected, the kind that gets things done in a timely manner and motivates others to work at a desired pace with a positive outcome. However, sometimes that positive motivation can turn negative, unhealthy and toxic aggression.
There’s a way to sort out those whose attitude in life, in the workplace, and with friends tips the scales from self-motivation and goal-orientation into harassment and toxicity. Aggression is reserved for negative interactions. Someone who is aggressive with not have positive interactions while acting on that emotion.
Aggression is often against someone or something, and is not a healthy motivator. Being able to spot an aggressive person means that you will be able to navigate interactions with them, and maybe even spin a negative and aggressive situation into a more positive outcome.
5 Hidden Behaviors Aggressive People Display Before Revealing Themselves
Aggressive people will be the type who can’t help but gossip. Stirring the pot and turning their friends, family or co-workers against one another with gossip can be one of the hallmark signs of an aggressive person. The goal of gossiping is to spread discontent, and to be able to spin and control a situation by telling half-truths or outright fabrications.
They will often try and get other people to engage in gossiping with them, so they can continue to justify their toxic behavior to themselves. If you find yourself in a situation where someone is encouraging you to gossip, refuse to engage. Change the subject, and keep doing so until they lose interest. Encourage the people around you not to gossip as well.
People who tend to be aggressive also tend to be constant complainers. They never have anything good to say about a situation, and will always find something to complain about. People who tend to complain about everything also tend to be angry about those things as well. Anger goes hand-in-hand with aggression.
Aggressive people who complain will often try and get others to go along with them, and encourage other people to agree with their negative outlook. When faced with a constant complainer, turn the conversation around to all of the good things that are happening. Sometimes people need to complain, but allowing them to complain will only feed into their toxic behavior.
This behavior often goes hand-in-hand with gossiping. An aggressive person may pick out someone they don’t like and use gossip and other aggressive behaviors to turn friends, family or co-workers against one specific person. They will encourage others to act just as aggressively as them, effectively “mobbing” the person they have chosen to single out.
People who exhibit this particular toxic behavior will justify it to themselves and others, by continuing to spread gossip about the person or people they have singled out. If you find yourself in a situation where you are being encouraged to mob another person, be the first to stand up and point out that this behavior is toxic and unacceptable.
Aggressive people will often sabotage others. They will deliberate cause harm to other. They may justify this toxic behavior to themselves by saying that the other person had it coming. Or, they may simply not want others to have what they don’t.
They may go so far as to sabotage a co-worker’s project, or they may sabotage relationships between people by using the gossiping or mobbing techniques. If you, or someone else, are the target, point out that you are aware of what the aggressive person doing. Sometimes, that is all it takes to ruin their fun.
Aggressive people often view the world and interactions with other people in black and white terms. They will see everyone as either “winners” or “losers”, with a desire for themselves to be one of the “winners”.
Even when there is nothing material for them to gain, aggressive people will treat many of their social interactions with people as if they need to come out on top. Refuse to engage with this type of thinking when faced with an aggressive person who seems to be treating your conversations like a competition.
If you find yourself interacting with someone who exhibits a few or all of these toxic behaviors, you may be dealing with an aggressive person. Once you are able to spot these types of behaviors, you will be better equipped to turn the situation around and keep the peace between yourself, as well as everyone else. Refusing to engage with an aggressive person’s brand of manipulation is the first step in being better prepared to resist their negativity.