A friend of mine is doing his obligatory military service in the army. He's been in some special force unit for the last couple of months. The thing is that he doesn't fit in there, a problem he knew he would probably have to face. People there, usually are right wing extremists, not so well educated and prone to violence. At least this is the case in my country. Guys in his unit are very young in their majority, around 18 years old and ready to pick up a fight. Someone like that, yesterday, for the first time threatened to hit my pal, because apparently he wasn't respectful enough when he talked to him. A direct insult and provocation! So I am wondering, what the members here think would be an appropriate reaction to a bully in an environment like that? My friend just made clear, as politely as possible, that he didn't have any ill intentions and he didn't mean to be disrespectful. My advice when he told me what happened, was to ignore him and keep doing that if the other guy continues to be provocative to him, but I can't help but think that this can be perceived as weakness that could lead to another incident like that. Responding with some posturing and shoving might had been better long term? What do you think? What would be the best course of action to avoid a physical altercation?