Instead of letting myself get really upset with these "types" of people, help me understand them. Or maybe there is no hope and I just have to call them "selfish bully" and leave it at that...
So, I was trying to back out of a parking spot at a convenience store the other day, but I was blocked in by a dude who was sitting in his pick-up truck parked illegally in the fire lane at the front door instead of a parking space while waiting for his wife to come out.
He didn't give a crap that I couldn't get out, so I started honking...instead of moving, he starts yelling at me and swearing. I could read his lips through the glass, and he said things like, "Okay, fine, I'll [bleeping] move you [bleeping-bleeper]. So, he backs up extremely slowly, giving me the absolute bare-minimum space possible to get out, trying to stare me down and act all intimidating.
I would have just simply driven off, but because he was trying to be all alpha-male, instead of letting him think that he intimidated me, I yelled back, "Use a parking spot! All five of these spots next to me are as close to the door as you are now!" I didn't swear, and I only raised my voice so that he could hear me through the glass.
After I left, he moved back up to where he was, blocking in two more people, without a care in the world.
10 minutes later, I see him walk into the same church event that my wife and I were attending! He didn't make the connection, though, as I was wearing sunglasses, a hat, and coat in the parking lot, but none of those things at the event, and he didn't seem or act like an observant person in the first place. I observed him, and he just seemed like a rich, grumpy bully, which answers my question, I guess, and his wife was exactly the same.
I know the rational course of action is to ignore the bully because any reaction only gives them their power, but at the same time I feel that if no one ever reacts or stands up to them, then they think they are on top of the world and gain power from that, anyway, making them do other bully-like things more easily in the future.
On a bicycle, it's different: I confront people all the time, and basically 100% of the time people back down, apologize, etc, but in the "anonymous metal death machine" it's different. Though it was hard at the church event to not go up to him and simply say, "I just want to get an understanding of how you think."
It does help me understand, though, that my father in law is like this guy, in a way. He isn't a bully, but he is so selfish that he will park in the fire lane at Target to take a phone call, blocking so many cars that they back up onto the main road, then when people honk, he will get all confused and wonder why the whole world hates him. But he is just the most selfish person I have ever met, and an emotionally abusive control freak with his family, as well. I have asked my father in law why he does the things he does like that, and he just stares at me like my face is green. Maybe the parking lot guy is the same way.
So, how do I not let these "types" bother me while not worrying about them getting more power from my non-reaction in the future?