What are the most common road rage phrases?
- Go on then, move!
- Is the person in front dead?
- He's not even looking
- You're welcome
We all get angry sometimes, in fact, if anything we seem to be getting angrier and this is very evident when it comes to our lack of patience and tolerance when we get behind the wheel. For too many of us, one small motoring mishap can lead to road rage, out of all proportion to what’s just happened.
It ruins your day, leaving you stressed and out of sorts, and all for what?
How can we reduce our anger?
Sometimes we may feel our anger is justified, poor service in a shop, someone cuts you up on the road, a friend lets you down, any number of reasons and sometimes you have every right to be angry.
Anger is a very powerful emotion and if you don’t control it, then be assured it will control you. If you let that happen you will end up acting in a way that has no positive outcome, use it positively and you can make it work for you.
5 Tips for Controlling Your Road Rage
There are many reasons why you can become angry behind the wheel; someone cuts you up, the lights are against you, people are driving too close to you, not indicating, hogging the middle, you name it, we can work ourselves up into a rage about it.
In truth all those things are annoying, but the real reason we get mad, is because we’re in a hurry, we’re always in a hurry, to get to that doctor's appointment, to get to that interview, to pick the kids up from school and so, when we believe we’re being thwarted in our attempt to be on time, we get angry.
Here’s 5 tips to make sure you’re not that angry driver:
- Leave plenty of time: if you need to be somewhere for a specific time, leave plenty of time to get there. Unforeseen roadworks or an accident will see your anxiety levels go through the roof and we can then see other drivers as being there simply to stop as reaching our end goal of being at our appointment on time.
- Be a planner: know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there; screaming at your Sat Nav won’t get you there any quicker but it will make you tense and angry, not a great start to your interview.
- Be tolerant: every other driver is NOT out to get you; their driving maybe irritating, but is yours perfect? Will getting angry with them change your situation? No, so practice tolerance.
- Don’t be paranoid: if someone is doing 20mph in a 40mph zone, they’re not doing it specifically to make you late; they’re probably lost or looking for a specific address. It’s not personal, remember, it’s not all about you!
- Empathise: the driver who’s really ticking you off could have a very good reason for driving the way they are; shaking your fist, or shouting out of your car window at them is not going to change anything and may lead to an ugly escalation.
What about if the boots on the other foot; you think you’re driving along quite happily and then all of a sudden you become the victim of someone else’s road rage.
5 Tips if You’re the Victim of Road Rage
Here’s 5 simple things you can do if you find yourself on the receiving end of another driver’s road rage:
- Ignore it: when another motorist is aggressive, confrontational, shaking their fist or hurling abuse at you, simply ignore them, avoid eye contact and carry on with your journey.
- Let them go: if the car behind you is tailgating you, climbing all over your boot and just dying to get past you, then simply pull over and let them past; you’ll avoid a stressful journey, confrontation and remove the possibility of being involved in an accident duet to their aggressive driving.
- Acknowledge when you’re wrong: if you have made a silly manoeuvre then put your hand up and acknowledge your mistake, we all make them and a simple acknowledgement with a mouthed ‘sorry’ and a wave of your hand will diffuse most drivers’ anger.
- Stay put: if you’re in a queue and can’t move and the driver comes to your car, don’t get out, don’t open your door or your window and don’t make eye contact. Keep calm and move off when it’s safe to do so.
- Is it my fault: if you find you’re often the subject of road rage, you need to ask yourself ‘is it my driving’ and if it is think about taking a refresher course.
Anger doesn’t just happen on the road, it can happen anywhere and knowing how to deal with your anger, before it takes control is a valuable skill to learn.
5 Tips for Controlling Your Anger
If you feel angry here are 5 steps to diffusing that anger|:
- It’s OK to feel angry: it’s OK, in fact it’s perfectly normal to feel anger; being angry is not the same as acting inappropriately in anger. Acknowledge your anger, to yourself and to the person who’s caused it, this actually feels very empowering and helps you get it under control.
- Put pen to paper: break your thoughts down and put them on paper, so you can see and read why you are feeling so angry; sometimes when you write it down it can seem very trivial and your anger begins to dissipate.
- Shake it out: deep breaths, exercise, running, dancing, boxing, kicking out, whatever allows you to release your anger.
- Be grateful: the vast majority of us have an awful lot to be grateful for; our health, our friends, the roof over our heads, our lives, so practice gratitude, focus on the good things in your life and it’ll make your anger melt away.
- Share with the right person: a good friend, a sibling, a parent, someone who ‘gets’ you will get what’s made you angry and empathise with you, this is what most of us need to calm us down.
Is Road Rage on the Increase?