Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A.

Just Listen

Election 2010 - Fearful Aggression Unleashed

Fearful aggression coming soon to a politician near you.

Posted Oct 23, 2010

Fearful aggression occurs when a dog (or for that matter any mammal) reacts to feeling threatened by growling, snarling and/or barking. At the point of fearful aggression a dog is already feeling vulnerable probably from a past memory of being hurt or injured by something else. The fearful aggression is used as a way to scare away whatever is perceived to now be threatening.

Humans also possess and act with fearful aggression when they feel threatened or in danger. The unconscious experience which many people will validate is that given that they already feel vulnerable from some prior trauma they believe they will not survive a second and now impending one.

One of the places you can observe fearful aggression in full display is in many of the politicians who are running for office during this election especially as they are feeling more desperate.

There is a nifty way to see fearful aggression for yourself. In the following pictures, take an index card or business card and block out the person’s mouth and look at their eyes and then block out their eyes and look at their mouth.

When we look at a whole face the eyes and mouths seem to balance each other, but when you look at either one or the other you can see the tentativeness, the anger, the fear and maybe even the paranoia.

More often than not the eyes when viewed alone will reveal the inner emotions while the mouth is your way of fending off or trying to convince the outside world of something that your eyes reveal you may not be feeling or even believe.

Interestingly, when you look at pictures of young children under the age of 7 you will often see that their eyes and mouths are in sync that when they are happy both look happy, when they are sad both look sad, and when they are scared both look scared. But after age 7 they begin to learn from their role models (you and me) and to deceive and that is when you begin to see their eyes and mouths start to be out of sync.

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