Why Men Love War

Why Men Love War

Keywords: why men love war.

A dialogue means to hold space, to listen, and to learn from one another. It is a process of creating synergy in which you come from a place of not knowing, while sharing your thoughts and feelings and allowing them to be reflected upon by another person.

A discussion is to hold an opinion and pit it against somebody else’s for the sake of argument and in order to gain the upper hand. It is the attempting to establish your “truth” by dominating the other person.

War, Unprocessed Trauma, and The Movement of Opposites

My stance is that the root cause of all war is unprocessed trauma.

When dialogue is absent or becomes discussion, self-righteousness and self-importance take precedence.

Self-righteousness is an outcome of uncontained and unresolved anger. Think opposites; when you are made to feel small, you want to feel significant.

In light of trauma, this movement of opposites goes to extremes.

Survival Strategies and Identification

We “choose” a survival strategy that best fits our situation, and that we can identify with. If you grow up with a father who is overbearing, belittling, controlling, and he consistently tries to dominate everything and everyone, it is likely you will adopt a similar “fight” approach in order to live up to your father’s standards.

If you have a father who is overbearing, belittling, and controlling, but acts submissive, reclusive, and isolating towards others, you might adopt a similar “flight” strategy to deal with your ongoing stress.

You “choose” either fight, flight, or a please-appease strategy to deal with ongoing traumatic stress in order to survive. That “choice” is further influenced by whom you identify with in your direct surroundings when you are young.

→Read more about why men love war in this esquire article.

The Fight Response and The Need for Control

When your survival strategy is to fight—in order to compensate for an internal (childhood) experience of feeling unworthy—you will be constantly on the lookout for opportunities to gain dominance and control.

That gaining dominance and control is your way of avoiding your residual emotional pain. The perpetuation of those survival patterns through a fight response possibly contributes to the making of narcissists and psychopaths. Conflict, and the overcoming of that conflict, will continue to be your prime motivation, and also the mechanism through which you avoid your emotional pain.

This is why men need war, and why trauma is at the root of it.

The Flight and Please-Appease Responses

It isn’t just those who have a fight survival response as their main character drive who are doing the damage, though. Those who default to a flight or please-appease response are equally contributing to the state of affairs that our personal and collective relationships are in.

When you “choose” the act of not acting—neglect—you fail to set boundaries and give healthy feedback to those who tend to act out of their fight response, while those who act out of a fight response and do not consider another person’s well being pushes those with a flight-please response more inward. Hand in glove.

There is a need for both sides to learn how to build better relationships that tend towards dialogue, rather than discussion.

The Need for Cultivating Other Responses

It is only when you willingly start to take that journey inward—as opposed to projecting, reenacting, and reinforcing your traumatic patterns outwardly—that you can start to move away from a fixed fight, flight, or please-appease response.

When you move away from your fixed survival response, you can start to balance out your default character structure by engaging some of its opposites; for example, if you hold and work through the traumatic residue that relates to your default fight response, you will perhaps be able to be more compassionate—a healthy please response—and hold yourself (importance) in abeyance—a healthy controlled flight response.

Equally so, if your default is flight or please-appease, you need to learn to reestablish boundaries—a healthy fight response—and thereby reclaim a sense of self and self-worth.

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  • Mark Kahn says:

    Great article thank you Roland.

  • E says:

    This reminds me of The Origins of War in Child Abuse by Lloyd DeMause. A brutal read but an interesting perspective.