The other day a friend of mine on facebook talked about an incident where she was trying to merge (because she had to) and someone didn’t like that very much. So they pulled in front of her, slowed down and blocked her off no matter which lane she was in. She wasn’t spending much time on the freeway, and was glad to be rid of such a rude driver when she exited. Her comment was, “he did this to what avail?”
My first thought was that he was simply being rude. Something about her needing to merge set the guy off and he felt like he had to take out his rage on my friend. After all, it was his road, and she just had to barge in. If only we the drivers around us could be a courteous as we would like them to be. But unfortunately, that aren’t. So how do we keep our cool around them when they are being rude?
Use the Same Social Rules Your Mother Taught You
Remember when there was that one kid in school who was just obnoxious? As a kid I can think of a few times I simply wanted to punch someone’s lights out. I would go home crying to my mom and asking her what I could do so I wouldn’t be so hurt. She always gave me the same annoying answer that never satisfied my anger, “Kill them with kindness”, but… but… but how would that make me feel any better? I wanted revenge! Being kind to them wasn’t going to get me there.
Then again, I would eventually find that being rude back did nothing for me. So, I would do as my mother said and be nice to the person. And guess what? My mother was right, they would get so fed up with my happy demeanor they would stop bullying me. Why not apply the same rule to the road. If you back away and give someone plenty of room, and avoid trying to be first, they will give up on bullying because it’s not working!
Don’t be in a rush
This one may seem obvious with my pervious statement, but I feel like it needs to be reiterated. The number one problem I see on the road is that everyone thinks they need to be somewhere more important than everyone else. In 2005 I was in a car crash because I was going to a very important family event. (It really was a life changing event for my dad) but once I was smashed between two cars I realized something. Even though it meant a lot to me to go the event, my life meant more. If I had been more cautious — I may have been late, but I would have made it. As it was, I missed the event entirely.
Now, I know the pressure of work obligations and what people will think if you aren’t there on time, but sometimes all it will take is a little explanation of what it was like on the road and people will understand. Of course, if it’s work related don’t make it a habit (leave earlier if you must) but one or two times is understandable.
In short, when it comes to driving around rude people, take the high road. It will pay off in the end with the gift of your life.
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