Anger management: Road rage

I live in a country where the rules of the road are never followed. Most people drive very aggressively, with no thought to others sharing the road with them. In order to survive even a trip to the grocery store, I have to drive just like everyone else. When I drive aggressively, I tend to get very angry.

I am not an angry person by nature. When I was younger, I was angry at everything, and I have learned over time that anger is a useless emotion. Anger causes stress, and I already have too many sources of stress in my life. Stress causes anxiety, and I am already too easily prone to anxiety.

The other day I was driving to the mega-mall for our weekly trip to McDonalds and to buy a few groceries and I was cut off by a reckless Jeepney driver. If this had been the only occurrence I would have ignored it, but I had been cut off two times earlier. Road rage had been building in me for some time, but this driver made it flare up uncontrolled. I blared my horn at the offending Jeepney, but the driver did not acknowledge me at all. I swerved in to the oncoming traffic lane and slammed the accelerator pedal to the floor. As a sped by the offender, I raised my middle finger in salute, even though the tint on my window is too dark for anyone to see me.

A jeepney

In case you are wondering, this is a Jeepney.

The anger was pulsing through my body, and even though the offending driver was far away in my rearview mirror, I continued my aggressive assault on the road. I was swerving through traffic and speeding past other innocent drivers. Then I looked over at my wife in the passenger seat and could see she was wide-eyed in fear. This broke through the veil of anger and I immediately slowed to the speed limit. I was more than a little ashamed at my behavior so I put my hand on her leg and gave her a little apologetic squeeze.

I love to drive but I hate when I am pushed to anger. After it has faded, I often remember this quote and promise to do better next time:

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha

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 The previous entry was inspired by The Seekers Dungeon – Dungeon Prompts and the Zero-to-Hero Challenge.

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22 thoughts on “Anger management: Road rage

    • Great article! I think I will attempt to find this book and read it….I wonder if Amazon ships internationally?

      I also wanted to tell you I really enjoy your other site, onecoolsite, very much. I find myself going there often.

      Thank you for your comments!

  1. I had no idea what a jeepney was but now i do, thanks. (Thing’s a monster.) Im like you in that im not a reckless driver, but cut me off without signals and its on bitch. Im trying to control this side of myself more, especially since i dont want to cause harm to those in the car with me. I’d hate myself for that.

  2. When I read the first line of your post and saw the picture of a jeepney I wondered what country you were in. My guess was India. Then I read some other parts of your blog and found you were in Massechussetts. Your description of the driving there has put me off wanting to visit despite the travel brochures about the glories of New England in the Fall.

  3. I think road range is actually in each and everyone of us at any given time we have been pushed to our limits. Around here when there is a stop sign by the freeway and your going onto the ramp to get on the freeway who ever was at the stop sign next might try to pass you just because your only going 60 trying to get on the freeway. At that point I punch it just because I can not because I am angry then I get over in the the other lane and cruise on. I normally do not have to deal with the Houston traffic but if I did I might get angry then.

  4. Oh boy, could I relate and I had calmed my road rage when I lived in Ontario for 13 years, unfortunately, in Quebec the drivers are so aggressive and I am back home…trying real hard but sometimes I do get upset…yet, it is young people who give ME the finger when they have cut ME off…I don’t get it. Great post!! The problem with anger is getting UNangry…so much harder.

      • How could a Montreal driver NOT relate. It is not something I am proud of but I have mellowed over the years. It is usually only in city driving when people almost kill you by cutting you off…so, I believe for now, it may be fear that triggers this anger in my old age. I am working on that.

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