Aggressive versus Passive behaviour

*All characters in this post are fictional and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.

There were two brothers - Shant and Krodhi. Shant was the passive one while Krodhi was aggressive. Shant was the kind who would quickly drive away to avoid confrontation with someone after an incident on the road even if it was not his mistake. Krodhi would get out of the car and almost come to blows even if it was his mistake. You get the picture.

They both once went to a bank for some work. The bank officer had given them an appointment and assured that they wouldn't have to wait. They reached a few minutes before the time and walked in. The officer who made the promise wasn't there. The other folks, while in the loop, had not made sure there was no waiting. So they had to wait for the bank staff to get the papers in order. Krodhi started getting fidgety. Shant patiently waited. 

After about ten minutes, Krodhi lost his cool. He called the relationship manager and blasted him for not being there and not ensuring a hassle-free experience. He also lambasted the other staff at the bank. Shant tried to pacify Krodhi but to not avail.

The anger worked, though. Within minutes everyone fell in line. The papers were readied. In the next fifteen minutes, they were out of there, after getting apologies from the bank officers.

There are several maxims that talk about the reward for aggressive behaviour. "The squeaky wheel gets the grease" or "The baby that cries the loudest gets the most attention". Most of us have probably experienced this at some point in our lives. Companies all over tend to solve problems of customers who shout and create a scene than those that are milder about their troubles.

So, shouldn't we all aspire to be like Krodhi, in the fictional example above? That way, all our problems would be solved faster.

Wait. Not so soon.

While the problems might get solved sooner, it might be worth examining the impact of the aggression on the individual who is being aggressive. Several studies have shown aggression as a predictor of disease such as Diabetes, Hypertension and strokes. This quote from the article linked is striking:

"So a more tolerant personality type may achieve less in life but has a better health advantage and less prone to acquiring hypertension and stroke."

While you may need to wait longer at banks to get your work done, at least your health is not impacted. I guess a lot of this behaviour is encoded in our DNA and may be difficult to change. But there are ways to minimise this like meditation and journalling. If you want to, that is. If you are happy with this, it is up to you.


Parth Wankhede said…
Agree that aggressiveness on a regular basis is detrimental and at times may even be counter-productive. Guess it is Brother Wisdom who needs to be listened to at all times! Both aggressive and passive behaviors have a place, provided one is wise enough to read the situation correctly and act accordingly.