Slap on the head

Repeated slaps on the back of the head do one of two things: they finally knock you out, or they get your attention in the right way.

Tonight I had a slap on the back of the head. I finally got it.

Stopped at a service station, driving a friends car, she got out and approached the door to the shop at the same time as a big, burly drunk man, who turned on her aggressively.

I reacted. I got out of the car and told him to leave her alone.

He reacted aggressively to me. Verbally aggressive, with a bit of standover.

I’ve finally realised that my reaction provokes this reaction, and I’m left with utterly nowhere to go after that.

Under those circumstances, I can:

  • yell and scream — provoking more aggression from the other person
  • back-off — provoking more aggression from the other person because they perceive me as weak
  • stand my ground with eye contact — provoking more abuse because now the other person perceives me as passive-aggressive

I can see this now. Finally. It’s taken a while.

So the solution to this one would probably have been to have stepped out of the car and asked sweetly if everything was okay rather than going in hard. Make a joke, distract rather than attack. And if the guy still came at me verbally to have backed off with a kindly apology — not backing-off as such, more smoothing things over. Allow him to think he’s in the right (clearly he isn’t).

Okay. Now I can sleep.

More on this at – how to stay safe when you’re confronted by an aggressive person.

Author: gotheek

Sometime writer, full time human.