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Self Defense/Is the type of insults that rile a person up reflective of his personality?


What I mean by my question is.... You mentioned repeatedly how childish many bushwhackers (especially the amateur wannabe gangbangers) are because of their twisted idea of "respect" and more importantly their egotistic personality. In particular how an insignificant polite complaint such as how they smell stinky can inspire aggravated assault. Nevermind small comments like "you're a pussy" or "you're a clumsy idiot".

However quite recently I was traveling in the Italian community of New York. I saw some metalheads roaming around the community. They were yelling out insults at random people while traveling on their pickup truck. Until they found a fat bald man who's 5'3. At first they started calling him a pussy and other typical insults that teen punks fight over. When that didn't work, they started using racist slurs insulting the Italian race/culture, but the fat bald man just went about his business running his store......

One of the punks than said "lets leave, this piece of shit probably has an ugly  mom who's a lazy fat whore". Out of nowhere the Italian fat man just suddenly jumped out his stand like he's an expert of hurdling and ran into the back of metalhead pickup truck, grabbed the guy who insulted his mommy, and busted his jaw in one hit. The other metalhead tried to gang up on the Italian but he was so ferocious in his anger, they got hit and fell to the ground. He was literally going to kill the punk who called his mom a slut until police intervened and the guy got some cracked wounds on his skull.

Interestingly the policeman let the bald guy go off with a warning but severely punished the metalheads, putting them in the worst part of the local prison where rapists and murderers were (including the driver who didn't participate in the fight).

However when I saw the bald storeowner again, I saw him affectionately hugging his crippled mom and helping her walk to a restaurant. Its obvious he had immense filial piety by the way he interacted with her.

Now that I put an example up, I am curious if the nature of an insult that causes someone to crack your skull with a bat is reflective of his personality? I mean many of the punks who use violence over a comment being called a pussy often have incredibly egotistic personalities. AS in they think they are the biggest wolf in the world. However I note with many of those punks and gangbanger types, if you make a joke you had sex with their mom or their dad is retarded, they won't lose their temper. In fact they'll just laugh it off like a complete joke.

Seeing the Italian lose his temper like a demon upon the comment about his mom being a worthless good-for-nothing whore was quite a shock. None of the cliched "you're a pussy" type comments or even the anti-Italian slurs riled this guy up at all.

Hence why I ask this question. Because the reactions from different insults is as though I just witnessed a basic summary of what different personality the Italian and punks/gangbangers (such as the metalheads in the pickup truck) were at the core. From your experience is the insults and gesture that causes a person to lose it reflective of the personality type you're dealing with?

Short answer is yes.

A deeper and longer answer starts with "Thoughts precede emotions."

There's something very specific that is meant by that. It's not "Gee I think I'll get upset because someone said that."

It's that pre-existing thought patterns, beliefs, social conditionings, assumptions, threat assessment, current mood, social status and what kind of culture/socio-economic background the person comes from. But most of all how much self-control the person has developed (habits).

All of these create... well filters, that we process stinuli through. These pre-existing filters, by in large, dictate our reactions to stimuli. (If A happens, react with 1. If B happens react with 2, etc.)

They dictate things because we allow these reactions to become habits. "Nobody says that to me!" These habits often involve giving ourselves permission to act a certain way when we feel a particular emotion. Stimuli, emotion, pre-packaged reaction.

Now this may or may not be appropriate for that environment. For example, in certain places you DO NOT touch a guy's hat. Slugging someone for knocking your hat off is considered self-defense in those circles (not legally, but in those circles). Figuring that you know the rules, if you knock his hat off, you're telling him you're attacking. If you knock someone's hat off know that's the message you're sending in that environment.

Yet many folks who are long on giving themselves permission to react to their emotional impulses are completely caught by surprise when they get nailed their contempt display of flicking the dude's hat off his head. Where they're from such an act isn't 'supposed' to have such consequences.

The answer to your question gets really, really deep -- and really fast. The more you look into the subject.

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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