Recently, I was on a trip to a town that I didn’t know well. I play Pokemon GO, which has “raids,” a sort of social feature that requires people to gather in one place to coordinate in-game activities. I was out doing some raids, using a chat app to find out where they would be. Since I’m gregarious and felt safe, I asked some of the people—an adult woman and her father—I met at the raid whether I might get a ride to the next raid, and they agreed. I’ve done this a lot before without any issues—it seems to be pretty common in the Pokemon GO community, where not everyone has a car to get between raids.
While I was riding with them, though, I began to feel very uncomfortable. I’m not the most socially perceptive of people, but the father seemed to me to be acting in an extremely angry, critical, and maybe even abusive manner.
He was constantly angrily criticizing his daughter for the littlest things, even blaming her for following the directions on Google Maps, or not catching a Pokemon for him, and he always tried to make it seem like it was her fault. She wasn’t being at all confrontational or doing really anything, so far as I could tell.
He also said things like “Don’t make me curse at you” (and it sounded like a genuine threat, not a joke) and “Why are you making me angry?”. And all this with a stranger in the car!
I felt so uncomfortable that I asked them to drop me off early, but even then I was second-guessing my decision.
What was the right strategy? Should I have done what I did, and just tried to get away from that situation as quickly as possible? Should I have said something, and if so, how?