It starts off when someone does something to slight another driver...and then it escalates to the point where the actions become crazy and downright scary.
It's the same when an email exchange turns nasty. This happens often, and it happens with friends, business partners and even co-workers.
I was involved in one of those recently, and had the good sense to not inflame the situation by responding. Sometimes it is better to walk away.
Here's what you can do to avoid these things:
- Pick up the phone: Sometimes, we read things in email that aren't in real life. When we do that, we inflame the situation by responding. Instead, try to pick up the phone and call the other person. It works. This is always the best way to settle it. People tend to be more level headed over the phone and they tend not to over-react in person.
- Walk Away: Don't respond. Understand that the other person may be having a bad day or may be looking for a fight. You don't have to be a part of it. Chances are that if you ignore it, the person will stop inflaming the situation and forget about it. You can chose whether you want to continue talking with this person again. If you have to work with them, then you may want to weigh your options if this is a regular occurance.
- Kill them with Kindness: My father used to tell me to do this to people. Make light of the situation and don't feed the troll. Agree with them, tell them that they are correct, and move on. Be careful...this may make the person even more mad.
- Sever ties with this person: Sometimes, these people are more trouble than they are worth. A wise person once told me not to get in a pissing war with a....well you know.
Have a great weekend, and keep fighting the good fight.