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Signs of Aggressive or Hostile Behavior

author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
Signs of Aggressive or Hostile Behavior
Identifying potentially dangerous behavior can help you to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images


Warning signs often accompany a person's violent or aggressive behaviors, according to the Los Angeles School Police Department. Identifying these behaviors in advance can help you divert or diffuse potentially dangerous situations. Carefully observe a person you suspect may have aggressive or hostile tendencies, but do not confront them without the assistance of a professional.

Social Withdrawal/Isolation

Social withdrawal can be an early warning sign a person is violent or aggressive, according to Summit Research Laboratory. A person may begin isolating themselves because they constantly feel rejected or persecuted by others and may withdraw to solitude as a coping mechanism.

Quick Loss of Temper

Those prone to violence may exhibit extreme impulsiveness, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. This behavior tends to be both frequent and intense. If a person seems easily thrown off balance and experiences intense bursts of anger or frustration, this can be a sign of violent behavior.

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Expressions of Violence

Children and adolescents have a tendency to express violent behavior via artwork or writing. Vague depictions of violence with unidentified victims or those related to television shows or movies are not generally considered to be dangerous. An excessive depiction of violence, however, can indicate a tendency toward violent behavior, according to the Los Angeles School Police Department. This can include pictured or written violence against a specific person, such as a family member or teacher.

Because this also is a creative outlet for a young person, it's important not to accuse a child of negative behaviors until you can be certain those behaviors are truly cause for worry. A psychiatrist or other medical professional can help you to determine if the behavior may be dangerous.

Intolerance to Differences

Those who display aggressive or hostile behavior may have unrealistic or unfair attitudes toward others, especially certain social groups. Displaying prejudice toward individuals because of race, religion, sexual orientation or physical attributes can indicate a violent or hostile person, according to the Los Angeles School Police Department. If a person joins a hate group or has verbally or physically assaulted those who are different, this can indicate aggressive or hostile behavior.

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