FWIW, IMHO here are some very sensible ways to avoid most confrontations.
1) Be respectful and polite to all who come your way (so long as they do the same) otherwise just ignore 'em.
2) Be ever aware of who is around and what they are doing. Size 'em up, they're doing the same to you.
3) Don't trust anyone that you do not know very well. Stay ever vigilant against those who attempt to enter your home, your vehicle or engage you in conversation on the street.
4) Fight to defend your person, your family, friends and your home. Any other reason to fight just 'aint worth it. Verbal garbage belongs in the trashcan and you know it, so why worry about it.
5) Don't go to or travel through locations you know might be trouble. If you do choose to go to or travel through unfamiliar territory (including parties in neighborhoods you don't know)dress approriately, learn the informal rules and the "players" and don't mess with either of them.
Sorry Lori, going to 7-11 at night,located in a strip mall was probably not the best choice for any woman. I know that every woman has the right to go unmolested wherever she travels but such is not the case. I recommend that you teach your daughter to frequent large, very active grocery stores during normal business hours. Yes, I understand the inconvenience but this is better than getting verbally trashed by some punks in a 7-11 lot. Chances are this would be less likely to happen in a parking lot of a well-attended grocery store during regular business hours And no I am not blaming you, as the victim, for this incident. I would have reported the punks to the business that owned the van and then pressed for immediate disciplinary action by the business. I would have also insisted that your anonymity be protected by the business and inform the owners of that business that you have contacted a lawyer for consultation on this matter. I might also have contacted the 7-11 owners and asked why they don't have proper security in their lots and let them know that you will not frequent their store unless they provide security.
6) When trouble does come up, use your head. Your mind is the most powerful force against attack. Try misdirection, cunning, etc. Sometimes intimidation may work but only if you are willing to put your skills to the test. (I abbreviated one situation just by rolling up my sleeves).
7) If you do have to defend, hit hard, hit fast and leave.
8) Road rage, Don't cut off other cars, leave room in front of you to move around (don't get hemmed in and don't tailgate), let fools pass (so what if they reach the intersection 30 seconds before you do). Play classical music while driving it will keep you relaxed.
9) Stay away from low-lifes and don't act like a jerk.