How do I learn to stop antagonizing people?

Submitted by ziq in AskRaddle (edited )

A guy in a big SUV was tailgating me when I was overtaking 2 long vehicles and it pissed me off. So I wouldn't get off the lane afterwards. He kept tailgaiting and honking his horn for 5 mins even tho I was way over the speed limit. Then he cut me off and almost caused me to crash. So I gave him the finger. He got furious and drove next to me and pulled on his shirt to show me he was wearing a police badge and he mouthed 'I'm going to fuck you'... Yeah, I pissed off the wrong guy this time.

Every time someone is power tripping or pushing me/others around I lose it and incur their wrath.

What can I do to remove myself from this destructive cycle?


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supernice wrote

Try to keep at the forefront of your thoughts "this is not worth my stress". You've got more valuable things to spend your energy on.

It's hard to change your ways, it takes time. Really if you think about it, in the end your resistance to this asshole is not going to change anything. He's still going to be an asshole. He'll mess with the wrong person one day and get what's coming to him. It's inevitable.


ziq OP wrote

I'm shitting myself thinking of all the ways he could destroy my life.


OldHippieChick wrote

ziq, I was there yesterday or a few days ago and I still haven't fully recovered. You don't have control over this situation right now. You only have control over your own actions. You shared this with us (the Raddle community) so nobody will think less of you if you would rather spend what could be, in your own reality if not anyone else's, the last fifteen minutes of your life doing something else besides computers and the internet.

hth and if it doesn't just disregard.


supernice wrote (edited )

Try not to freak out. It's in your best interest to keep as calm as possible, that's the only way you're going to be be able to plan rationally for whatever he might do.

If he was tailgating you for that long, he likely got your plate numbers and that's going to reveal all the info he needs. If he's truly a vindictive asshole, he might try something, and you need to be ready. So you have to keep your head cool. Let's just hope he's reasonable enough to just forget about it.


Dumai wrote

in my experience assholes like this love throwing around threats they never follow up on because it's enough for them just to intimidate people. we don't really know what he's going to do but i think it's just as likely he's not going to do anything


tamarack wrote

Vindictiveness is often tempered with (and in some cases canceled out by) laziness.

Any ordinary fuckstick pig can flash a badge and talk shit. Actually going and running someone's plates, pulling their file, that sort of fuckery--which, I should point out, is technically illegal outside the scope of a police investigation [albeit never prosecuted]--takes effort; and cops are lazy as fuck. Piggy has probably moved on to another victim by now.

It certainly wouldn't hurt to keep a weather eye, but let's not be overly paranoid. I say this as a paranoid motherfucker myself.


surreal wrote

people change on the spot whey they are driving, i've seen the sweetest peeps turn into angry monsters.

put on some music when you drive and go slowly if you're not in a hurry, other than that, meditation, as in try to lose your Ego on high stress situations.


ziq OP wrote is something my partner told me to study because I keep get into messes like this.


OldHippieChick wrote

Some other ideas: Would it have a placebo effect to check in with someone daily (or more frequently) to let them know that you are still with us, offload some stress, and know that you are heard and that someone has a record somewhere just in case?

Would it help for Catsforfun or me to "curate" some of the better articles in Rad Mental Health about how bodies work under extreme stress like this and what helps?

I am so sorry for intruding but I see us as kind of comrades in the club nobody wants to join atm.

I can STFU too and not take it personally. Just let me and people who aren't that different from me know what you need and the best way we can support you through this.


tamarack wrote (edited )

You, my friend, need a hefty dose of samurai mindset.

Whether we like it or not, whether we want to be or not, we are at war right now, because there are intelligent beings out there who are trying to kill us. We aren't engaged in combat 24/7, but we are at war 24/7. You and I aren't in the same squad, but we are comrades; so let me offer some comradely advice.

Anger used to get me into trouble too. Road rage, cussing folk out, that sort of thing. You know what I'm talking about. Some of it was youthful indiscretion, but more importantly, I didn't have the correct mindset. I did not appreciate that 1) we are at war; 2) our side is fighting with disadvantage; and thus 3) we cannot afford to lose even one fucking comrade. Therefore, we need to be very careful with regard to our tactics.

So I started asking myself, in situations where I'd normally be disposed to anger, "Is this anger a wise tactical decision? Will it work to my advantage and the advantage of my comrades? Will it help the cause? Will it further our strategic objectives in any way?"

Often, the answer to those questions is "no", and there you have it.

Sometimes the answer is "yes", though, and that's where it gets tougher. You have to ask different questions, like "Is this the proper time to act? Can I preserve OPSEC? Should my anger be brought to a nice simmer, so that it can fuel more effective actions in the future?" This is what is meant by the adage, "Revenge is a dish best served cold."

Usually by this point I'm not angry anymore. Resentful? Embittered? Frustrated? Sure. But not angry. An angry person is a stupid person. I cannot afford to be stupid. None of us can afford to be stupid. Let our enemies be the angry and stupid ones. That's when we fucking win, yo.


elddar1 wrote

Being aware of traits that detract from your quality of life is most encouraging.

Consider a read???

Behaving badly. Edited by Robin Kowalski

Or look up Aversive Interpersonal Behavior.

Check it out.

Seriously, this world of ours can bring out the brute!