In a dynamic world, it is difficult to imagine a lack of human relationships. Every time he or she goes to work, to the mall, or public spaces, the individual meets hundreds of strangers, each of whom interacts with him or her in some way. It may be a passive interaction, in which people passing by do not contact the individual in any way but are impressed by their appearance or demeanor. On the other hand, the interaction can be active, where individuals come into contact with each other: a chance encounter in a crowd, a quick conversation, or an open conflict. In any of these cases, the individual may naturally experience emotional states such as aggression or envy.
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From a sociological perspective, feelings of aggression directly respond to negative personal experiences, regardless of the context. Feeling hit by an encounter with a stranger, a failure in school, or a breakdown in relationships become negative experiences that generate aggression. Having been disappointed in the outcome, the individual naturally shifts angry and hates the environment, which can be seen as aggressive behavior. However, negative experiences are also an essential part of an individual’s socialization. Through aggression, the individual learns more deeply the comprehensiveness of his or her personality and evaluates his or her position in society.
For this reason, aggression should not be suppressed and latent, as shown by Hatanaka (2021), but it is crucial to manage aggressive states and not allow them to be realized on other people. Notably, aggression can also become an indicator of an individual’s cultural upbringing, as it is well known that some cultures prove more aggressive than others (Kleinfeld, 2018). Thus, aggression as such is not strictly a negative emotion but is capable of causing harm to others, so the individual must be able to manage this state.
Another manifestation of emotional intelligence that is often viewed as unfavorable is envy. Envy as an emotional response can have several causes, which usually boil down to feelings of low self-esteem, insecurity and anxiety, and lack of developed emotional intelligence. As it can be seen, manifestations of this feeling have a strict connection with the development of an individual’s personality since envy is most characteristic of those people who feel they are not good enough in comparison with others.
Thus, envy makes it possible to find out what precisely an individual lacks and where he or she loses out compared to others. Envy is a serious motivator, as this feeling only occurs when an individual takes action to close the gap between him or herself and the objects of envy (Xiang & Yuan, 2020). As a result, feelings of envy are a response to personality imperfections, and working through this emotion allows the individual to develop.
Both aggression and envy have practical relevance and often apply in real life. When an individual passively observes other, more successful people — whether in person or through social media — they tend to envy their success. Usually, the attributes of material wealth such as a big house, a modern car, or expensive phone and clothes cause the individual to desire the same values, but their absence generates envy. It is through this envy that the individual is socialized as they learn about aspects of their personality.
On the other hand, people tend to experience aggression when disappointed: even in the example of watching other people, an individual can become aggressive when he or she realizes that no matter how hard he or she works, he or she will never achieve such riches. It is a feeling of deep frustration and despair that not only fixes one’s socioeconomic status at the moment but also sets one on a path toward development.
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Hatanaka, C. (2021). The suppression and avoidance of aggression among the young generation in contemporary society: Stress-avoidance response in the picture-frustration study. Psychologia, B012, 1-14.
Kleinfeld, R. (2018). Why are some societies so violent, and can they be made safe? CEIP. Web.
Xiang, Y., & Yuan, R. (2020). Why do people with high dispositional gratitude tend to experience high life satisfaction? A broaden-and-build theory perspective. Journal of Happiness Studies, 22, 1-14.