How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Vincent Nyabwari
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Re: How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by Vincent Nyabwari »

Very true if you see something is suitable for you always ask maybe it was meant and waited for you to ask
Chinazo Anozie
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Joined: October 17th, 2023, 1:44 am

Re: How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by Chinazo Anozie »

It's true. No can be expected to read your thoughts and figure out what you want. This leads to unrealistic expectations and even resentment when this happens. (Effective) communication is key.
Abbra Marsh
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Re: How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by Abbra Marsh »

This passage resonates with me as it stresses the need for clear and assertive communication, discouraging a passive approach to expressing one's needs. I appreciate the insight into the potential toxicity of enabling unassertive behavior and the reminder to act out of genuine, unconditional love without expecting gratitude. The notion that our choices determine what we truly want challenges the conventional concepts of blame, highlighting the importance of self-responsibility. Overall, it encourages a mindset of proactive decision-making and aligning actions with genuine desires.
Conshelle Dwright Williams
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Re: How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by Conshelle Dwright Williams »

The book emphasizes the importance of assertiveness in communication and self-responsibility. It uses the metaphor of a thirsty person to illustrate the point. If you're thirsty, it's your responsibility to ask for a glass of water rather than expecting others to read your mind and provide it. This metaphor extends to all aspects of life, implying that it's toxic, unfair, and unhealthy to blame others for not fulfilling your needs if you haven't clearly communicated them. The book also clarifies that assertiveness is not the same as aggression. In fact, aggression is often a result of unassertiveness. If you fail to express your needs and instead blame others for your dissatisfaction, you're likely to react aggressively or passively-aggressively. The book also warns against enabling others' unassertive behavior by trying to anticipate their needs and fulfill them without being asked. This can lead to resentment on both sides, as you may feel unappreciated when your efforts are not acknowledged, and the other party may feel frustrated that you're not meeting their actual needs. The book advocates for clear, direct communication and taking responsibility for one's own needs and desires.
Briton Opiyo
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Re: How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by Briton Opiyo »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: September 21st, 2022, 3:33 pm Topics: #Presence #SelfDiscipline #SpiritualFreedom #FreedomOfSpirit #FreeSpirit #SelfDetermination #SelfResponsibility #Assertiveness #Determination #Acceptance #NonViolence #NonAggression #InnerPeace



If you are thirsty and want to drink water, ask for a cup of water. Or grab a glass, and pour yourself a cup.

Don't sit around thirsty, blaming others for your misery, hating them for not reading your mind, for not somehow luckily giving you what you want without you assertively asking for it.

Unassertive communication comes in many forms but generally all are toxic, unfair, and unhealthy.

Assertiveness is not aggressiveness.

And aggression is generally a symptom of unassertiveness.

Whether it comes out as passive-aggressiveness or flat-out aggression, or even violence, if you sit there long enough thirsty, wrongfully blaming others for your own failure to take assertive self-responsibility, you will almost certainly ultimately lash out in one way or another.

And it's easy to overlook how we enable this unhealthy toxic behavior in others, to be an enabler. You can run around exhausting yourself giving people water they didn't ask for, many of whom probably aren't even thirsty and secretly have other desires regarding which they resent you because you didn't mind-read it out of their heads. Many of those that you would bend over backwards attempting to please will resent you for giving them useless water that they don't want and didn't ask for. By enabling their toxic unassertiveness, you will often also thereby make the same mistake they did. You'll expect gratitude that you won't get. In fact, you'll almost certainly often eventually get the exact opposite of gratitude, because most of us, including myself, are not nearly as good at mind-reading as we typically think. And frankly your enabling will do the exact opposite of helping them. Instead of quenching their thirst with water, you will drown them with your toxic enabling of their toxic unassertiveness. Don't force yourself to say "no" to people asking for something because you are too busy shoving it down throat of someone who didn't ask for it.

If you are truly giving out of unconditional love, it isn't done with the condition or expectation of gratitude, or any future-oriented condition or expectation. It is done because it makes you feel good in the present when it is done. It's done because it's what you want and what you choose to do. Love is not sacrificing your own happiness for someone else; love is being happy to sacrifice. In that beautiful but rare case, you become like the nurturing love-filled little child who gives her toy doll imaginary tea, and rocks the doll to bed at night, with no expectation of rewards for yourself outside the present, no expectation that the doll will give you gratitude now or ever. No expectation that the doll will return the favor. I'm not saying love people in all their complex conscious glory only as much as you love lifeless dolls, but I am saying love people at least as much as you love dolls because sadly many of us don't seem to.

If you don't get the gratitude you are looking for, it would be your fault much more than theirs, insofar as fault or blame have any real meaning, insofar as anyone is to blame or at fault at all for anything.

Indeed, as my upcoming book, "In It Together", will explain much better than a single little forum could (and even a relatively long forum post is short compared to a book that I literally spent years working on), when we fully understand and accept what I am getting at with this post and line of reasoning, there is no real meaning in blame or fault. When it comes to our choices, we each get exactly what we want, meaning what we choose.

The irony of self-responsibility and spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) is that really it is there whether you accept it or not. You are always responsible for yourself. You are always in complete and total control of your choices, even if we use the illusion of 'shoulds' and 'oughts' to distract ourselves from our own present cans and cannots, and our present dos and do nots, meaning our choices in the present.

We can sit around claiming we want to drink the water that is available to drink while not drinking it and resentfully blaming others for not magically reading our minds and shoving it down our throat for us, while saying, "they should be doing such and such instead of what they are actually doing".

Yes, we can sit around claiming we want it, while blabbering silently in our own heads about imaginary 'shoulds' and 'oughts', words that are at best meaningless. "We should be doing this; they should be doing that…"

Yes, we can claim we want it.

But actions speak infinitely louder than words.




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they-will-be-right.jpg
Unassertiveness can create internal frustration, leading to suppressed emotions. This pent-up energy may manifest as aggression, as individuals struggle to express themselves authentically. The illusion of 'shoulds' and 'oughts' adds pressure, intensifying the internal conflict between personal desires and perceived societal expectations. This can contribute to a cycle of passive behavior followed by bursts of aggression as individuals grapple with the conflict between their true feelings and societal norms.
Macreen Ouko
Premium Member
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Joined: January 25th, 2024, 5:14 pm

Re: How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

Post by Macreen Ouko »

Unassertiveness often involves suppressing one's true feelings or needs to avoid conflict or disapproval. This suppression can build up internal tension, creating a sense of frustration and powerlessness. When these emotions aren't expressed openly, they may find alternative outlets, sometimes in the form of passive-aggressive behavior or even outright aggression.

The illusion of 'shoulds' and 'oughts' adds another layer to this dynamic. Societal expectations, cultural norms, or personal beliefs can create a set of rigid standards that individuals feel obligated to meet. When one's authentic desires or boundaries clash with these expectations, it can intensify the internal conflict.

In an attempt to adhere to these perceived obligations, individuals may engage in passive-aggressive acts as a way of expressing their suppressed feelings indirectly. This can further contribute to a cycle of frustration and resentment, impacting both personal well-being and interpersonal relationships. Addressing these underlying issues through assertiveness and open communication becomes crucial in breaking this cycle and fostering healthier interactions.
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