Situational Intervention / Averted Road Rage

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by HarryF, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    I'm not really sure whether this belongs here, it could be classified as more of an "odd event" than an instance of self defence, but here goes:

    I was at work today, on the phone and looking out of the window, and a guy (maybe 75+) on a mobility scooter was riding along the road, turning towards the pavement to bump up it at the same point as an access to a car park. Instead of bumping up the kerb, he scrapes along it and starts to off balance. I quickly ended my phone call and went out to help him, suspecting that he had fallen off.
    Thankfully, he hadn't fallen off, and was next to his scooter picking up some broken off part.
    Also at this time (as I was crossing the road), another guy (maybe in his 50s) in a 4x4 was trying to pull out of the car park (broken scooter old man was in the way), and was beeping his horn, revving his car so it was lurching towards the old guy, and gesturing and shouting.
    Seemed unnecessary.
    Anyway, thinking that 'this is not something I can allow to continue', I told the scooter guy not to worry and went around to the side of the 4x4, knocked on the window with a friendly smile on my face. As the window was rolled down, the crimson 4x4 guy's face turns towards me and before he can say anything I say (sincerely) "hi mate, can you give us a hand, his scooter's bust?"
    This is the strangest part: 4x4 guy instantly switches from heart-attack-inducing levels of rage directly to "oh yeah, no problem", turns off the engine and gets out to help!
    Anyway, we fix the scooter (push the rubber tyre back over the rim) make sure scooter guy is ok, congratulate and thank each other and all get in with our day.

    The thing that struck me as being really surprising was the 4x4 guy's instant switch of focus from ultra road rage whilst in the sealed shell of his vehicle ("how dare anyone delay ME?") to concerned citizen in a single heartbeat. Must have been my ugly mush, heavy eye brows, beard, metal t-shirt, charming smile and sincere desire to help...

    I suppose it was 'self defence' in that I stood up for my beliefs, and defused a potential road rage conflict. It might have been none of my business, in sine people's eyes, and there may have been a small risk of the 4x4 guy turning his rage on me, and yes a vehicle can be a lethal weapon, but I would still rather help out the old dude who was getting grief for almost falling off his scooter.

    There were other people in the street and on the pavement, but no one else joined in, about 7 people walked past as I was crossing the road and taking to 4x4 guy.

    Anyway, has anyone else experienced (or induced!) a similar rapid switch of focus that averted a potential physical conflict?
    Would anyone have done differently and, if so, what and why?
  2. FunnyBadger

    FunnyBadger I love food :)

    Fair play, 1000 good citizen points to you there :)

    Exelent way to turn around the situation to everyone's benefit.
  3. Travess

    Travess The Welsh MAPper Supporter

    1st off, as the Humorous Mustelidae one has already said, well done you!

    Secondly, you gave him the easiest out in the world, that not only didn't cost him any 'face', it actually gave him 'face', by allowing him to be altruistic...

    ...again, well played!


  4. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    forget everything else - what job do you have that lets you wear a "metal" tshirt?
  5. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Are metal T-shirts the new rage in all-day weight lifting?

    I think you have to account for relief too. He might have been thinking "oh god, now this hairy guy is gonna start on me and I'll have to fight".
  6. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

  7. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio


    Harry, I just realised that your pic is Jim Lahey from Trailer Park Boys.

    All this time I'd looked at it and thought: "Is that Robert Lindsay? ...WHY?"

    Now I've clocked it, I can't see Robert Lindsay anymore, but with Lahey's bald head cropped off and those shades... I could swear it was him!

    Just had to express my relief! :)
  8. bodyshot

    bodyshot Brown Belt Zanshin Karate

    Simpley put, I come to you with only Karate I havve no weapons.
    but should I be forced to defend myself, my friends or my family
    should it be a matter of right or wrong, life or death
    then here are my weapons, Karate, my empty hands.

    Well done, that showed charicter.
  9. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    I've seen this before - though I canna recall the specifics. I do remember the woman who'd turned the tables on what could've been a very nasty row was a very cool cucumber - had rapid response training or somesuch - very nice play, Harry!
  10. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Off the top of my head I can't think of any. Gradual backing down followed by forced mateyness as a way of saving 'face', yes. But a sudden switch like that? I can't think of one.

    I'd like to say that I'd have done the same as you did, but if I'm really honest I wouldn't have had your quick thinking. I'd probably have just given the bloke in the 4x4 the finger and told him where to shove his horn. Which wouldn't have helped the situation one iota.

    Well done to you sir. I think you handled the situation superbly.
  11. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

  12. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    Thanks for the kind words everyone, it just seemed to be the right thing to do at the time...

    Thinking about it a bit more, there must have been a number of things that led up to the guy being so angry that day, and the momentary distraction ("can you help?") released enough of the 'pressure cooker' to mean he wasn't boiling over any more...

    And, as Travess said, (unintentionally) allowed him to save and gain 'face' :D

    When I knocked on the window, I was fully prepared to have to talk him down for a while, and I had a vague physical back up plan if he decided to get out, or drive at the scooter guy, although I don't know how effective it would have been if he'd stayed in the car.

    As for the dress code at work... If we don't have a meeting that day, and no external people are visiting the office, it's pretty relaxed (within the realms of decency - a mankini probably isn't acceptable)
  13. evva

    evva Valued Member

    The principle you used is actually called betaris box, a known phychological principle. Also your use of words meant he didnt lose face which is a huge conflict trigger point.

    Your words actually gave him a solution to his problem subconciously which is another reason he changed. He wanted to get somewhere and you basically told his subconcious unless the he helped move the scooter he wasnt going anywhere fast.

    The use of language patterns is a very good tool for SD. Take a dip in to the world of NLP for more info.

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