EGO IN THE STREET
Don’t have one.
Many people are all too happy to talk a big game but few are truly prepared to back up their words.
You should be aware of the people with big mouths who talk a big game. (And they aren’t hard to spot.) Those people are easy to avoid before confrontation arises because you know they’re coming. However, if you do encounter them, it is easier to deescalate the situation if you do not worry about your own ego.
Talking your way out of those confrontations by conceding to the big mouth that he/she is better than you (even when they are not), apologizing (even if you did nothing wrong) and leaving the scene (even if you were there first) can be enough. I know this can be difficult - especially when tensions are high, but this behavior demonstrates maturity and application of your training. Using your brain to get away from danger and only resorting to physicality as a last resort is the smartest option and one you should always choose first if possible.
Although people who talk a big game are annoying, it's the quiet ones you should pay most attention to. If there is a person who remains calm and composed in a situation that most people would loose control of their emotions, pay attention. There is likely a reason for their composed behavior. One reason could be that they are under the influence of a drug or alcohol, which impairs an individual’s ability to react. Another potential situation is the person simply is sleep-deprived and their reaction time is impaired. Alternatively, a person’s calm, collected reaction could be from spending most of their lives training for situations like this and have the skill to defend themselves against whoever is in front of them. Unfortunately, there is no way to be 100% sure which scenario is at play. Experience will give you an inclination but you don't want to find out the hard way.
Here are a few suggestions if you find yourself in a situation that warrants your quick reaction:
Your first response should always be to run. Get as far away from the danger as possible, as long as it is safe to do so.
Your second choice should be to use your brain to get yourself out of danger. Try to talk your way out of the situation as long as it is safe to do so. Your ego may be bruised but at least you are alive.
Your last resort is to use physicality to defend yourself and neutralize the threat. Then run and get yourself as far away from danger as possible.