Dealing With Hostile People on Public Transport

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July 8, 2014 1:19 AM EST

People come from all walks of life. This is the reason you have to deal with them well, especially when you're riding the same train or bus. Some people may just be having a bad day while others are plain hostile.

REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Passengers crowd together to board a commuter train during a strike by French SNCF railway workers at the Gare du Nord station in Paris

There are several ways to deal with hostile people without causing much trouble.

1. Ignore

Just ignore their comments. Many people would resort to this approach first. Stay quiet and observe the circumstances. Do not react yet and spend a few seconds to determine why the other person is hostile. Remain in your seat, look the other way, but keep yourself aware should words turn into actions.

2. Respond in a kind manner

Kindness and patience can yield very good results. Some hostile individuals will actually change into a positive mood after they are dealt with in a good mood. Some people might only be looking for a place to sit in a crowded bus. Make them realize that they do not have to be rude to get the things they want.

3. Talk back

If you do not have to patience to respond, you can talk the person back to let him be in his senses. Defend yourself by responding to the offensive language without being rude or using violent language yourself. The idea is to let the other person know that you do not condone to such bullying.

4. Wait for someone to come to your rescue

Hint at other people in the public transport. It is likely that the hostile person also got to their nerves and someone else might be having a bad day to fight back on your behalf. In some cases, police officers or security personnel might also be riding the same vehicle and arrest or contain the disturbed passenger.

5. Charge the offender

Similar to the Sue Wilkins' case, do not allow any stranger to talk to you or your children rudely by filing a case for using offensive language. It is a decent but compelling way to make them understand that they should not have picked on you in the first place. Taking public transport exposes you to different types of people with different kinds of orientations and belief systems - that is inevitable. But you can protect yourself from becoming a victim. 

(Photo: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer / )
Passengers crowd together to board a commuter train during a strike by French SNCF railway workers at the Gare du Nord station in Paris
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