A simple threat to you or your loved one's ego is enough to trigger "compassionate aggression."
Sometimes we feel the need to protect what is ours, like the ones we love. Whether it's our children or our men — cat claws can surface if you mess with any of the above. Why? "It's, like, the rules of feminism," as Gretchen Wieners once offered as a reasonable explanation for crazy things we do as women, but she now has science supporting her theory (sort of) that it's just an innate part of us (And men, too).
A new study conducted by Michael Poulin, associate Professor at University of Buffalo found that it's natural for humans to exhibit aggressive behaviors if and when they need to protect their beloved. The catch is that this desire can be evoked without an actual sign of real danger. "It's not about anger or feeling personally threatened," explained Poulin.
Just a simple threat to you or your loved one's ego is enough to trigger this compassionate aggression.
According to Poulin, "Neurohormones are chemicals produced by nerve cells that act as both hormones in the blood stream and neurotransmitters in the brain." There are two of these neurohormones present, oxytocin and vasopressin. The two typically serve a function leading to an increase in, 'approach behaviors' and are also linked to the act of compassion, thus linking approach behaviors (sometimes being aggression) with compassion. And wham, you've got "compassive-aggressive". (Don't judge, it'll be a word soon enough)
Now, this doesn't give you permission to go around pouncing on other people for superficial levels of danger (like that flirty girl at the bar) that you may feel need to protect your significant other from. But it certainly helps explain the moments where you go right into attack mode when you're with your boyfriend.
Anyways, now that you know you're not just batsh*t crazy. Jealous women and men, know that these feelings of aggression stem from somewhere. We can all be relieved we're not alone and maybe even try to fight the urge to act on these bodily compulsions.