Strangely these two topics have occurred within the same week but they actually compliment each other rather well as I'm sure 99% of road rage incidents involve some naughty words!
As a sales manager I'm out and about on the road quite a bit, usually in a rush to get to a client meeting so can be susceptible to the odd bit of road rage (RR). Well I use to be.... Whether it's me just mellowing out in my old(er) age but I've started adopting a new take which could probably be described better as Road Benefit of the Doubt (RBOTD). I should actually give some of this credit to my husband as he suffers quiet badly from RR which frustrates me that he lets other drivers effect him so much. Born from countless times of me excusing other drivers bad decisions due to "their wife might be going into Labour... they might have just got sacked...." I started to practice what I preached and it has made a massive difference, to me and hopefully others I encounter. Simply, I don't let others driving affect me. Why should their inability/selfishness put me in a bad mood and raise my blood pressure, leading to a stroke or heart attack? (Little exaggerated I know but it could happen and how crap would that be) I find there's two categories of RR:
Firstly the Clairvoyant Rage, lets face it we all usually know when someones going to make a k.n.o.b move. Next time instead of pressing the accelerator to thwart their dastardly plans (admit it we've all done it) just let them do it, with a smile. No horns, flashing, gestures or angry faces just a smile. My personal favourite is blocking access. My previous unreformed RR self would see this as the top selfish arsehole act of 'if I'm not going anywhere neither are you'. Now I wait patiently without any sign of distress/anger and hey hoo all of 30 seconds later the next driver lets me out with a knowing look of sympathy and was that a slight glint of impressiveness that I didn't have a meltdown equivalent to that of a toddler wanting choc choc?
Secondly, there's people who've just made an unintentional error, which I like to call the Glasshouse Rage. As we are all such perfect drivers it is of course necessary to berate the driver who is not like us, a model highway code follower. I once set off from a red light when my CD came on :0 I'll admit not my greatest motoring moment but definitely self mortifying enough that I didn't need anyone else chastising me for it. Practicing not been a glasshouse driver is very rewarding. A gentleman pulled out on me and was then stuck, blocking my way. I could see the look of terror on his face awaiting the wrath. Instead I smiled, stopped and gestured for him to go, in peace. I could see the relief wash across his face and as he pulled away he smiled and gave me a thank you. I'd like to think I might have contributed to his day being a good one.
So give it a go, practice some RBOTD as even though they may just be a selfish shitty driver they also might be having the worse day of their lives....
Yesterday my 5 year old was watching utube, I over heard a naughty word and the following conversation happened;
Me: I don't think this is for children, they aren't using very good words
5 year old: Well I'm not listening to the not very good words
Me: It's not really for children
5 year old: Well I'm just thinking to myself, don't even listen to them saying fu*k
He knew this wasn't a word he should be using. I could see this with his sly smile and eyes glued down as he didn't want to look in my direction. Which was good as I couldn't resist a little chuckle. I could see what he was pondering 'have I just got away with saying fu*k???' Did I send him to his room? Take the iPad away? nope. In general terms I don't want my children using naughty words but in this sense I actually didn't have a problem with it. He's heard them and rather than make it taboo he knows what the word is, that he shouldn't use it and thats that. At the end of the day they are just that, words.