Often someone who is deliberately baiting, taunting, tormenting you, will feign innocence when confronted. This individual start by provoking/soliciting an emotional response from their target and then after they’ve fallen for it, they’ll stand back and innocently ask whether you’re “okay” and talk about how they didn’t “mean” to agitate you.
This faux innocence works to catch you off guard and make you believe that they truly didn’t intend to hurt you, until it happens so often you can’t deny the reality of their malice any longer.
When you are being baited by someone who wants to pick a fight with you, you have reduced control over these instinctive physical and mental responses. You are tuned to react quickly. Your powers of reasoning will be diminished.
It helps to realise when you’re being baited so you can avoid engaging altogether.
Provocative statements, name-calling, hurtful accusations or unsupported generalisations, for example, are common baiting tactics.