Step 1 -- Mood: I admit the foundation on how I will proceed with this encounter is entirely dependent on my mood. I have a millisecond to decide if I want to take this moment to educate people on the proper etiquette of personal space or look at them like they are crazy and call them out on their rudeness. If it’s been a long, arduous day…it is not looking good for you.
Step 2 -- The assailant’s intentions: There are some people who mean well but due to their lack of exposure in the world, stumble like a toddler learning to walk. Others are rude and they know it. The former are more likely to be receptive to constructive criticism, and it’s easier for me to have empathy. The latter are more likely to be insulted because you are insulted for having your personal space violated. *insert side eye*
Step 3 -- Aggressive scale: Pretty straightforward. Did the assailants timidly reach out and pat your hair as if you’re a poodle, or did they grasp a tendril or fistful of kinks and yank it as if they are testing to see if you’re wearing a wig? With the former, I’m more likely to watch you as you’re reaching toward me, and believe me I’m looking at your facial expression. I might see genuine childlike curiosity, but then again I might see hateful malice. The latter will result in a reflex counter punch. *Not apologetic*