Hostility is a persistent feeling of anger or resentment combined with a strong desire to express the feeling or engage in retaliative behavior in response to a perceived slight or injustice.
Hostility is a strong impulse inspired by feelings of anger or resentment. Although hostile impulses are normal, and everyone has them occasionally—for example, when frustrated, offended, or feeling deprived of something—a hostile person feels these impulses regularly. These persons are quick to take offense and often have a low threshold for managing the frustrations associated with everyday life. Chronically hostile individuals may be described as having a chip on their shoulder. Hostility can appear during anxiety attacks, depression, compulsions, or paranoia. On a larger scale, hostility can lead to violent crime and other acts of overt aggression, even war. Hostility can play a role in the expression of many personality disorders, particularly when individuals feel other people constitute a threat.
See also Aggression ; Anger ; Impulse control disorders ; Violence .
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