Q: You and your mother are chatting as you walk through a store. You accidentally bump the man next to you. You apologize, but he starts swearing and yelling. How do you handle a stranger who goes ballistic?
A: "You did your thing—you apologized. Now it's about what you don't do: Don't get sucked in and lose your cool, and don't let it escalate. His reaction is obviously not about you, so muster up any pleasantness remaining and repeat, 'Wow, I really am sorry' as you exit the scene."
— Faith Salie, host of the public radio show Fair Game from PRI with Faith Salie
"We all have an ethical duty to confront jerks we encounter. If we don't, they'll continue to bully others. Tell the man in measured tones that he's behaving rudely and that he needs to learn to behave in public, and walk away. Then do what I do next: Get in the car, close the door, and call him every nasty name you can think of at the top of your lungs."
— Jack Marshall, president of ProEthics
"Your safety and your mother's safety are the number one priority in that moment, so move away from the volatile fool quickly. One person's insanity does not have to become your moment for vigilante justice. Take the high road."
— Pastor Rudy Rasmus, pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church in Houston.
From the November 2007 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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