So many stories seem weird to me. People will do anything to protect their pride. They would rather fight a losing battle (or at least a Pyrrhic victory) rather than back down and swallow their pride. I'm not sure if this kind of scene is something people really do or something people wish they would do. In either case, it's so weird.
I am more than happy to kowtow to some asshole when it means preventing my asshole from getting stomped. My pride comes from being able to avoid those kinds of problems in the first place,being able to avoid black eyes and broken bones with my words.
Then again, those may not be the qualities of a particularly exciting character, so I can understand stories not really showing that happening. I guess my main issue is that it rings unrealistic to me. And since realism is so very important to me, then it detracts from the story, no matter how cool it may be. I just want to shout to those people, what's your pride worth?