Provocation: n. unintentionally or intentionally causing and/or motivating anger and/or aggression
Motivation is usually getting someone to do something good whereas provocation is motivating one towards anger, aggression, or doing something bad.
Ridicule, harsh criticism, put downs, name calling, and insults frequently cause or provoke anger and sometimes even physical violence. Taunting, pushing, and hitting will sometimes provoke physical aggression as well as anger.
Provocation is usually unintentional but there are humans who delight in provoking others intentionally, especially if they are considered enemies or humans whom we greatly dislike.
In childhood provocation sometimes leads to fighting because the selfpreservation urge is great and if a child feels that they are being attacked verbally or physically then they will respond in an angry sometimes violent uncivilized way.
If your provocation was unintentional then the smart thing to do is to apologize or say that you are sorry that you provoked them.
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