There was a time in our history as people when it was OK to be blatantly and directly aggressive. I’m not taking fistfights in the street — though that was an accepted part of life, too — I mean things as simple as people disagreeing with one another and being vocal about it.
Now, everything is more buddy-buddy. People seem to be afraid of being direct in these times. The songs young rap fans hail as “disses” now wouldn’t have even been respected 15 years ago. You had to be direct and clear then — now just any subliminal line passes for fightin’ words.
Thing is, the same aggression humans had 15 and 100 years ago still exists in the same levels. But because we are, as a people, adverse to direct confrontation, everything goes through the filter of passive-aggression. People allude to their problems with others I read of meeting them head-on. Someone will do small, mildly annoying things instead of coming out and saying that there’s an issue between themselves and another person. That builds up until there finally is a blow up — and the passive aggressor claims innocence. This makes everything even more confusing for us all.
I don’t think I have a solution for mankind, but I do know from experience that that direct form of aggression — looking a person in the eyes and letting them know what the situation is, with no dancing around it — works. You get a person’s attention immediately, since what you’re doing is so far from the accepted norm of today. You also get a real and unfiltered reaction (at least at that instant) because you’ve put a person on their heels, caught by surprise. That alone, that 2 seconds of non-fakeness, makes it worth it.