Is it acceptable for someone to use provocation to explain away their aggression?
The answer to this question can change our lives, I think.
For most of my life I thought that “I got what I deserved” and if I was being provocative and someone got aggressive towards me, I couldn’t complain. On one occasion I even apologised to my ex for being provocative, when she gave me an almighty whack to the head, when we were at a bar. Unbeknownst to me, by doing this and not getting her apology also, I continued this myth. After this incident, it meant that if she also provoked me, I had the right to smack her, which I did.
This was a huge mistake on both our parts, I think, as the aggression in our relationship escalated with me taking an active part in returning her aggression for aggression. As you can imagine, the relationship soon disintegrated.
Now I have a dispute with one of my brothers who also believe that aggression is warranted when one is provoked and today my mum endorsed this. “You did sort of provoke him Desmond”, she pointed out as a justification for his aggression. I admitted that I did provoke him, and wanted to apologise, but to me, no aggression is acceptable or justifiable. Understandable? yes, acceptable? no.
I wonder how many others think that they can justify their aggression by how they are treated?