When someone is vicious toward you they are giving you a glimpse of the pain they carry in themselves. Viciousness is suffering. The way you engage someone's pain either reinforces their pain or helps to release it. Be gentle when you can. If you are strong and safe within yourself, then be patient and teach your virtues by your calm example. Try to be less reactive. Try to be very kind to yourself and others. Start with one deviation from your negative and reactive habits. Instead of assuming, which creates pain and suffering for everyone, be open, curious and expect cooperation. Learn to be light. Have you ever tried to catch a tiny feather floating in the air? It's very hard to do. When you try to grab a tiny floating feather, it just flies right around your hand! The more violently you grasp, the faster the wind carries it away. In your heart and disposition, be as light as a feather and when they reach for you — you will blow right by their grip; you will effortlessly float to safety. Be as light as that feather. Have a smile of calm in your heart. Be peaceful. When you walk in peace you will literally see attackers shattering themselves against your inner-calm. They will defeat themselves.
— Bryant McGill
post "Gracefully flowing through natural conflict"