The ability to read the intentions of others may be one of the most important skills when living among others. Different people not only have varying abilities to detect certain intentions, they also differ in their level of reactions after the intentions are detected.

Some people are overly sensitive to hostility, and may see it where it doesn't exist. If they react to hostility by withdrawing (they might not be sure of their analysis, so it may seem to be the safer thing to do), then they may live the isolated life of a recluse.

Others often see hostility where it doesn't exist, but react to hostility with confrontation. These are probably the hotheads of the world, ready to fly off the handle at any time.

Those that under-detect hostility tend to be the victims of the world. Those who finally react and withdraw are probably those one might see as the typical victim - fearful, depressed, a sense of powerlessness.

The group that under-detects hostility, but confronts it may be the most interesting. This group may be the one that political revolutions are made of. If those in power are trying to exploit the general population, they will do their best to mask their hostility, thus the general population tends to not detect what their rulers are doing to them. However, when and if they finally react by confronting the hostility, this is probably the most important of the groups to overthrowing the existing order.

Hos*til"i*ty (?), n.; pl. Hostilities (#). [L. hostilitas: cf. F. hostilit'e.]

1.

State of being hostile; public or private enemy; unfriendliness; animosity.

Hostility being thus suspended with France. Hayward.

2.

An act of an open enemy; a hostile deed; especially in the plural, acts of warfare; attacks of an enemy.

We have showed ourselves generous adversaries . . . and have carried on even our hostilities with humanity. Atterbury.

He who proceeds to wanton hostility, often provokes an enemy where he might have a friend. Crabb.

Syn. -- Animosity; enmity; opposition; violence; aggression; contention; warfare.

 

© Webster 1913.

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