Learning from extreme manifestations of everyday phenomenon
is not "far fetched" but a good way to cross-reference.
I read some of the thoughts of James Gilligan, and the pattern of my own conflict and aggression started to make much more sense. He has published a series of books on violence where he draws upon his long career in the American prison system. He is currently the director of mental health for the Massachusetts prison system.
He said that in the current world stakes are high. What is meant by this is that we've left the "safety" and predictability of a caste society far behind and we are now responsible for our own destinies, for better or worse and even though we don't always have the means to do so. One's social status and standing determines how much access one is given to consumption and different social circles. We think that the "height one climbs on the social ladder" is the result of one's personal abilities and thus if you are "high up on the scale" you must be a great person and vice versa. We thus either get a life of value or a life made of shit-cakes "according to our own personal abilities" (quoted because it is not always so), and we communicate our value to our surroundings through external marks of success and judge others via these same external characteristics. With males especially status is important due to evolutionary reasons (in layman's terms because of how women and men choose partners for sex and reproduction).
Everyone is the "main character" of their own lives, everyone needs to feel like they matter and no one likes to define themselves as worthless scum. When we then face situations where we "hopelessly or helplessly" end up appearing inferior, we react. More so if our life is something where most, if not all, opportunities are one's that we didn't have access to. Conflict and aggression then becomes an attempt to reclaim one's own sense of social standing -- to rectify humiliation or feeling threatened.
I have plenty of opportunities so I cannot say in any way that the world has forced my back against the wall, but I see that I still live out the same pattern to some degree. The fear of humiliation and loss of status is within me, and situations where I feel powerless are especially potential in triggering reactions within me. This means that when I feel humiliated or threatened (for example fear that I loose status), I go to conflict/aggression to rectify the humiliation/threat -- it is an attempt to restore the perceived control that I have over how I am perceived by others (and thus over my own self-value). Yet if my self-value is dependent on how I perceive others to see me, I am not giving it to myself -- meaning that my self-value is not real, but only existent when I keep the feedback necessary to keep my uncertainties at bay. This is the core of the issue.
I commit myself to explore the moments where I feel humiliated and/or threatened to see, realize and understand what is the consequence for the threat/humiliation that I try to avoid and how I try to rectify these situations. In this, I commit myself to face the image that I try to play out to others to "save face", as well as the world-view to which this image apparently fits in. I also commit myself to challenge these perceptions practically by seeking new ways to act when I feel threatened or humiliated, starting from simply stopping the experience and breathing through the situation.
Also, and more importantly, I commit myself to explore the word "self-worth" trying to find out what is the living application of it = how do I live the word "self-worth"? In this, I commit myself to face the way I've made myself dependent on people, events and circumstances and embark of the journey to cut each tie until I stand self-directed and as myself regardless of people, events or circumstances. I commit myself to do this within the realization that cutting a tie of dependency does not mean that I deprive myself of something, but that I am NO LONGER DEPENDENT ON IT!
Can't wait to see what opens up!