Private Investigations and Personal Security/Should one confront or not confront jerks?


I have just spent the past couple of hours reading your website and find it very informative. While I am in agreement with everything I've read so far regarding avoiding crime, how should one respond to jerks who are not violent if you ignore them yet could be if you take them to task for their behavior. Things like bothering a bus load of people by blasting their music, littering, not picking up their dogs shit from your lawn, and other similar things that aren't terrible but are disrespectful to others. A diplomatic admonishment might get them to stop but most likely would elicit a "mind your own business asshole" response or worse. Ignoring them is safe but makes you feel bad and probably contributes to the general decay of society. Do you have any suggestions.  

Go to the bibliography page (links at the bottom of every page).

The issue you are talking about is less about self-defense and more about assertiveness vs. aggression, communication, negotiation and working out reasonable boundaries and mutually agreed upon operation/environmental conditions.

Two books I heartily recommend are "How to make friends and influence people" by Dale Carniege. And "How to talk to anybody about anything" by Barbara Walters.  They are both older books (one written in the 30s, one in the 70s) but they are wonderful starting points for learning communication skills.

Long ago I read a statement by Robert Heinlien that not only suck with me, but proved itself true countless times over the years. "Your enemy is not a bad guy in his own eyes. If you keep this in mind, you can reach some kind of agreement with him. If you can't then you can kill him quickly and compassionately, without hate or malice."

While that last part is kind of extreme (it was in a science fiction book) you will find out that a lot of the problems that arise, stem from the "you're being an asshole" approach that is so common.

By this I should point out that it is a two way street, a lot of people -- who even though they are trying to be polite -- the "you're an asshole" is still leaking out.  Contrawise, there are a lot of people who automatically assume that they are being called an asshole, when someone approaches them to open negotiation.

When you approach someone what are your intentions? Are you trying to adjust reality for yourself or for everyone? Are you trying to work things out to be a win/win for everyone?  

When you look a situations that go sideways, you will most often see that it isn't just one person who is trying to "win," quite often it is two people who are each trying to win, without consideration of what the other person needs/feels/wants. This turns it into a win/lose situation instead of a win/win.

I think you will find that a lot a people are disrespectful to others feel that others are being disrespectful to them. As such they feel justified in a "do unto others before they do unto you" approach. A lot of time, people who "misbehave" have this attitude and it is a factor that makes them difficult to deal with. Knowing this, you also know that you don't come at them the way they expect. That way you don't run into their defenses.  

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