In the event of an emergency, we’d like to imagine we’d react rationally. This is the point of drills your work may have for fires or other emergencies.
But you can’t be prepared for everything, as Redditor Lazy_Connection_3012 discovered. The original poster (OP) experienced a unique and dangerous situation and reacted to the wild situation.
OP was told off by her boyfriend for her outburst, so she took her story to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to see if she was wrong.
Her question was:
“AITA for being ‘unnecessarily mean’ to a driver who breaks cut out and damaged our property?”
It’s a strange and dangerous scenario:
“So I (23f) was in the back yard with my dog. I hear weird metal screeching and I see a car rolling down the hill.”
“I call my dog in but it’s too late. The car crashes into our garden, hitting our car, our dog and breaking down the brick wall as well as general damages to things in our garden.”
“I’m so shocked and in an adrenaline fuelled panic, I start screaming at the driver. I will admit, I called them all sorts of names. But I was also telling them to get out the car and to turn the engine off.”
“I get that going from insults to trying to help will definitely scare and confuse someone, but my brain was frazzled and the insults were a shock, first reaction thing.”
“My boyfriend and neighbours had called police, ambulances and vets. Luckily everyone was ok. Dog had a fracture (thank god) and everyone in the car was ok.”
“The people in the car stayed inside the car until the police arrived and it’s a women and her toddler. She’s in absolute hysterics.”
“The woman and her toddler get taken to the hospital and the car gets towed. Boyfriend and I are talking about it with neighbours and one of them says it wasn’t ok for me to scream at her like that. Boyfriend agrees and said it solved nothing.”
“We later found out her breaks messed up so it wasn’t even ‘her fault’ and now boyfriend thinks I’m even more of an a**hole. BTW dog is doing fine and is recovering well.”
“NOTE: No boyfriend and I are not breaking up and no this isn’t a red flag. This post isn’t for relationship advice. I just want to know if I’m the a**hole for yelling.”
“EDIT: The toddler was not crying and from where I was, I couldn’t see them.”
On the AITA subReddit, people explain their situation and how they reacted. The other users on the board then judge the poster to determine if they were wrong.
This is done with one of the following comments:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
While plenty of people can think of how a calm and rational response might have gone, it’s difficult to put yourself in OP’s place if you’ve never experienced that.
Because of this, OP was judged to be NTA.
“NTA. Guys don’t pretend that if someone crashed through your fence, hit your garden, car and DOG you wouldn’t yell at them.”
“OP you had no way of knowing that they weren’t drunk or just malicious, anyone in that scenario would have done the same and to expect anyone to keep a calm head when A CAR SUDDENLY CRASHES THROUGH YOUR FENCE AND HITS YOUR DOG is absurd. Trust me, your neighbors would have done the exact same thing.”
“Edit: To everyone calling OP the a**hole because they could have been logically observing the situation and making a plan of action PEOPLE ARENT PERFECT” – googleman1234567
“car barrels towards you and your property ‘Now remember your manners.’”
“Jesus, NTA. You’re allowed a mulligan on that one.” – GumpTheChump
“NTA- you had a panic response. That’s fairly normal. People like to talk about ‘how I’d react’ up something, but fact of the matter is, until it actually happens you can never know.”
“Yeah, it’s shit to be sworn at, but for the love of dog, your pet was injured, your property destroyed, and you had no way of knowing that it was a mechanical failure. I’d have likely spat some choice words myself.”
“I see where your bf is coming from, but does he at all understand where you’re coming from?” – CatteHerder
“Owning and operating a several-thousand-pound metal object means you accept the personal responsibility for maintaining it in working order. Brakes don’t just fail – people fail to keep brakes working.”
“I would be angry in your shoes and I would be angry at myself if I were the driver. It’s just a crappy situation.”
“Your boyfriend shouldn’t call you an a**hole for having a human reaction to a traumatic situation.”
“NTA” – rjb4000
However, other people were less generous in their decisions. They felt OP should have had a better grasp on the situation and didn’t think her actions helped anyone.
Their votes ranged from thinking no one was wrong to voting YTA.
“In an emergency panic situation like you had, the adrenalin fueled fight or flight instinct kicks in. For a few seconds you literally aren’t in control of your reflexes.. it’s all taken control of by your instincts.”
“Your instincts made you go into fight mode. You can’t be an a**hole for an involuntary reflex.”
“Once you’d calmed a little and rational thinking started kicking in, you started trying to help.”
“Boyfriend was right, it wasn’t okay that you screamed at her. She was in shock and so was her child, but so were you, and you didn’t act like that deliberately.”
“Your boyfriend doesn’t know much if anything about the fight or flight relex though – because if he did, he’d have understood that you were reacting rather than thinking.”
“Therefore; NAH” – singing_stream
“I’m more shocked that someone crashed into OPs property and hurt her dog but there was no level of concern for the people in the car.”
“I can’t imagine yelling at someone who just went through an ordeal themselves, it’s not like it was intentional, most people don’t just crash into people’s properties on purpose. Where is the human compassion and concern??”
“Like sure I can understand cussing and being angry but to yell at the person who was just in an accident as well, doesn’t excuse the behavior. Yta” – mandygej
“Did you even bother to apologize? If not, then yes, you would be the asshole.”
“It’s one thing to get emotional in the heat of the moment but it’s up to you to make things right when you’ve calmed down.” – kanna172014
“Shock is one thing but you basically attacked this women for something completely out of her control. YTA learn some compassion, there was absolutely no reason to use name calling and insults.” – [deleted]
OP reacted emotionally, but it was pretty understandable. While OP and the driver should apologize to each other, it’s easy to see each person’s perspectives.
The boyfriend could do with a little more perspective and understand where his girlfriend is coming from, though.