I was driving home from the hardware store tonight and turned left at the light on to my street. As I get to the crosswalk, I see a guy about to take a step off the curb. So, I stop in the intersection about 10 feet away from him, we catch eyes, he just stands there so I continue turning. As soon as I pass he yells out "Pedestrians have the right away $#@!!" It took me a second to register what he said and then I slammed on the brakes. I rolled down the window and said "I stopped to let you pass man." (He doesn't have the ROW at an unmarked crosswalk when I have a green light) And he starts ranting again on how I almost hit him and how I'm an $#@!. Then he says "You better get going before I kick your ass!" I argue with him more, he starts charging my car and stops dead in his tracks halfway. So obviously, he is trying to intimidate me. I unbuckled my seat belt to get out of the car and confront him but my wife stopped me. He started walking back to the crosswalk and then back to me. I decided to drive away slowly and continue on my way while he continued yelling and calling me a pussy.
Part of me wanted to scrap. I may not have beaten the guy, but at least I'd still have my self-respect. The logical side said to just let it go and nothing good will come from this. You're a dad and showing up to work with signs of fighting is not the best idea when you consistently meet with clients. More than likely, it would have been a yelling match where we both walked away. 9 out of 10 times, it's simply a macho exercise.
When things escalate to the point where they get physical, how do you handle it? Do you walk away or get into it? I would never take the first swing, but I'm certainly going to defend myself if someone leaves me no choice.