It seems that a lot of times when folks act out, or when they say something incendiary, what they’re really after is simply attention. They want someone to pay attention to them, and they know they can get it if they provoke.
I believe that most of the time these people don’t want to be in a combative situation, they just want connection. Perhaps if the rest of us stop taking the bait to fight, and realize that the “acting out” is a plea for attention, then we can approach our fellow humans with compassion, rather than judgment.
Of course, this is easier said than done. But it isn’t impossible.
These people crave attention, because they crave connection. They crave connection because they want to feel loved.
It may be extremely difficult to put up with bad behavior, but it is always easy to simply love.