Get Over the Small Stuff And Live Better: #3 Road Rage vs. Road Peace

Seriously, people, use it!

When I get behind the wheel, I’m pretty much convinced that I’m the best driver out there (ten years driving and no accidents yet, knock on wood), and everyone else got his or her license out of a cereal box as my good friend would always say. I live in Boston, and the drivers here drive. Me. CRAZY. But not as crazy as before when I suffered from a serious case of road rage. Every drive would be a nightmare because someone would cut me off, drive too slowly, or simply forget basic road rules.

And the rotaries.

OMG, don’t get me started on the rotaries. If you have the fortunate luck of never coming across these circles of perpetual annoyance in your home state, then thank your lucky stars; there are no faults written there. Some Boston drivers do not know what to do around a rotary. Others think it’s the best time to start driving around from another direction at the same moment when I’m driving—the moment when it’s clearly my right of way. I keep driving and dare the idiot to come crashing my way.

via chuck.goolsbee.org

Expletives used to fly out my mouth as if they were eggs hitting the other driver’s windshields. Shaking fists, exasperated sighs, gritting teeth, severe eye rolls, and the long WTF-were-you-thinking stare at the driver upon the red light.

BUT, not anymore.

My road rage was out of control and adding unnecessary stress to my brain and my life. Yeah, people out there were bad drivers, but that didn’t mean I had to lose my cool over it. Why should I let idiot drivers ruin my day and turn me into this angry bird? Why should I sacrifice my peace for something so insignificant, especially when there are no accidents involved? Why should I work myself up into a whirlwind of negative emotions for dumb drivers?

The answer: I shouldn’t have to.

Anger is a powerful emotion that should be reserved only for moments where it can be harnessed intelligently to create meaningful change like in unjust circumstances where people are being physically or emotionally hurt or displaced by others. Anger has no place in our every day lives. Allowing anger to fester in the presence of simple annoyances shows a lack of control and reveals deeper problems from within—problems that should be dealt with so one can find peace, the optimal state of mind.

My poor anger management stemmed from past disappointments and rejections that I hadn’t been able to release. I held on to these failures so tightly because I didn’t know what else I could do. It was as if letting go would nullify all the hard work I put in to achieving the results that I so desperately wanted. When those results failed to come true, I felt stuck, hurt, and angry all the time. My anger seeped out when I drove, interacted with family, or did every day tasks. I had no peace.

It wasn’t until that I confronted my anger head on, unpacking its deeper meaning and sources, that I was able to become aware of how I was hurting the people around me and myself. I finally let go of my failures, rejections, and disappointments, and consciously decided to learn from them and move the hell on.

And with that came peace. So, now when I drive I’m a lot less annoyed and angry. I experience peace and take joy being behind the wheel. But I’ll be honest. Sometimes that one driver will drag an eye roll out of me because Boston. But it’s not that serious. 😉

How about you? Do you have road rage? How do you deal with it? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Stay amazing,

Sammy

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Also check out: Get Over the Small Stuff And Live Better: #2 Commuter Rage vs. Commuter Peace

4 thoughts on “Get Over the Small Stuff And Live Better: #3 Road Rage vs. Road Peace”

  1. Loved reading this. A friend and I were talking about this last night. Her 3 year daughter now swears and flips the finger when anyone overtakes…. totally charming and learnt from mommy!

    I used to be a very angry, aggressive driver but since I gave birth to my 1st child I changed instantly. In South Africa in general people don’t worry too much about the law, especially on the road. Speed limits and stop streets are often ignored, people overtake on blind corners at the speed of light and it is hectic. I now just try and get my kids from A to B alive and I don’t really worry what people are doing, I just get out the way now.

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    1. Hi Lynne, thank you! I agree that’s it’s all about just getting to your destination in one peace and without losing your cool, especially when you have children to think about in your car.

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  2. I’ve always been one to get upset with other drivers. Not to the point where I’m upset yelling but I share my aggression verbally inside the car. It amazes me how upset some people can get with others driving. I saw this commercial yesterday, a guy cut off another, got out and wanted to fight, until the guy came out the other car and he was a professional boxer. The aggressive driver shut up pretty quick.

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    1. Hahaha, I’m just imagining the picture of the pro boxer getting out of the car and scaring the other driver away! But I hear you. Some drivers never cease to amaze me with their stupidity. Thanks for your comment, Brian!

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