‘I Experience Fear around People who Express Strong, Aggressive Views about Others. What is your response?’
Edited email and Response to a Concern Around Fear and Aggression
I feel fear of being judged by others.
I experience this fear around people who express strong, aggressive views about others.
On an intellectual level, I don’t consider it worth paying much attention to such views. I contract when confronted with such situations. I worry about any judgements they have about me.
I can tell myself it doesn’t matter what other people think. I know they put down others as a way of expressing their fear.
I was wondering whether you have any other ideas on meeting judgemental, aggressive views with clarity and fearlessness.
A Response to the Concern
Thank you for your message.
A general observation based on countless Zoom meetings and emails – fear/blame/strong views/aggression has increased in the past two years. Covid/regular lockdowns have affected the psyche of many.
The impact of Covid/health/environmental disasters/wars increases widespread insecurity. Personal insecurity can also increase fear and reaction. These issues include health, family, work, finances, unresolved problems, addiction and personal conflict and more.
Insecurity can build up fear.
Fear builds up strong views
Strong views build up Blame
Blame builds up aggression.
Aggression builds up violence.
Violence builds up wars.
It is much the same sequence throughout the history of humanity. Such important themes to explore in the field of human existence end up mostly confined to networks within:
National and International Law
Non-Violent Politics etc.
Here are proposals on voices around you
Do not privatise your fear around aggression or anything else. The privatised self will hinder the windows of the soul from opening.
Your email shows you can open the window. The fear is not about you but about the dynamics in communication. You speak up. You share. You reflect. You write.
You make every conversation count – take the opportunity to witness the judgemental mind and aggressive views. A conversation with a partner, friends, family, online meetings, groups and a casual chat in the coffee shop have much potential to find clarity and fearlessness.
You never know the moment when a person switches into a judgemental/aggressive mood.
You prepare yourself for every conversation – an upright posture, a calm state of mind, a willingness to listen, mindful breathing and slow measured responses to what you hear.
You might experience sensations in the body in the face of aggressive statements. Sensations do not confirm fear. They confirm sensations. Clarity shows itself in your calm question. Questions show fearlessness. Arguing back shows a mild form of aggression.
You might ask the person(s) opposite you
Do strong views block the mind from other views?
Do you always like to sound aggressive when expressing strong views?
Can you express a strong view yet able to listen to other views?
How do you respond when you hear strong views and aggression aimed at you?
Do you think we should face aggression or make a new time to meet without aggression?
Some people spend a lot of time and money with a psychologist looking into their personal history around fear and aggression. It may be helpful with long term benefits in communication or a waste of time and money. Keep the windows open to wise ways of handling communication.
After you have had a conversation in the physical world, Zoom or phone, reflect on it – regardless of ease or dis-ease in the communication.
Did you start the conversation prepared?
Did you stay steady without?
What did you share?
What was the deepest point(s) in the communication?
What did you learn to support your capacity to evolve?
There is no substitute for clarity and fearlessness.
I trust this is helpful.