Some aggression you may see is rooted in insecurity. When one is insecure, when they feel that their lot is not secure, they are naturally in a state of defensiveness. They need to protect what they have. They feel they don’t have enough, so they can’t afford to lose what little they have that they need.
Naturally speaking, if you imagine an animal, like a chimpanzee for example, who has little food available to feed on, and they need it to survive, and someone else is coming to take their food, they will get aggressive to protect their food. In that scenario, their aggression is rooted in insecurity. They don’t feel that their needs are met, and they worry that they’ll lose what they have that meets their needs. So they become vigilant, maybe hypervigilant, and watchful of any possible intrusion on their space, any possible threat to their possessions which they need, or feel they need.
In real life, in our world today, that insecurity of a person could take any form. Maybe they don’t feel they have sufficient influence/control over their intimate relationships. Maybe they feel someone at work is taking their position. Maybe they feel they’re getting old and losing touch with their youth. Maybe they’re losing their health and they feel powerless to do something about it. Or a complex web of little things that slowly make them feel insecure without even noticing it. That insecurity makes them naturally defensive, maybe hypervigilant and anxious, and they become overly sensitive and easily triggered. If they get triggered, they start to lose control over themselves and their aggression comes out. They may feel this aggression is righteous, and they refuse to attend to themselves. They wouldn’t acknowledge that their behavior is aggressive. That maybe what they’re doing is unjust, and uncalled for, and maybe their anger is displaced.
This happens quite a lot I feel. I feel it’s very common. Most people who get angry aren’t appropriately angry. When anger is appropriate, people generally suppress it (not that one should suppress it), then it comes out in other ways unpredictably and uncontrollably and quite destructively. Most people who do something aggressive, they usually do so indirectly. Direct aggression is usually policed, so people’s aggression goes underground and becomes passive and indirect. In those cases, it is displaced and inappropriate. It’s not productive, not helpful. The reason it isn’t helpful and productive is not because it is aggression and anger, but because it is passive, indirect, unconscious, uncontrolled, not deliberate, displaced, and inappropriate. It just makes the other person feel attacked and hurt. And depending on how they handle their hurt, it may start a cycle of aggression that goes nowhere but around, is completely unpoliced, unproductive, and underground.
Personally, I feel the way to respond to this is by healing the hurt you feel when someone else behaves aggressively towards you. Do not return the aggression. Do not even tell them off. Keep it to yourself, and heal the hurt within yourself, completely independently of the world. You don’t have to hide it, but it’s better to heal it within yourself than to talk about it to everyone hoping it’ll make you feel better. It won’t. To prevent yourself from behaving unconsciously aggressively, heal the hurts within yourself you already have from the past, and work to secure your own needs. There is nothing wrong with doing what you need for yourself. And do not listen to anyone who makes you think it’s wrong. You watch yourself and make sure you don’t do bad things. Then go for what you need, and protect yourself from insecurity and the resentment and toxicity it breeds.