Road Rage: “That blankety-blank cut me off! I’ll show him!!”

"Formula Farley" by Mimi Stuart
Live the Life you Desire

What does the way you drive say about you?

Are you a considerate driver who’ll let another driver cut in if she’s in the wrong lane? Or are you an impatient driver who tails other cars, gets angry, and swears when people cut you off or drive too slowly? Your driving could say something about your own shadow, that is, the part of you that has not been developed.

Two types of people typically feel aggressive behind the wheel. The first is someone who has trouble with simply being, always feeling impatient to get something done. This type feels a lot of pressure to get where he or she is going and to accomplish goals set.

The second is someone who hasn’t developed much personal power. When your self-empowerment lies in the shadow, it erupts in aggressive, inappropriate, or unattractive ways. When you’re in a car, you feel anonymous, and can become more aggressive without being concerned about what someone you know might think.

What can you do if you are one of these kinds of driver?

If you have trouble relaxing when you’re not productive, work on simply relaxing into the moment. Breathe deeply, listen to music, or plan an event. Replace futile thoughts such as “Look at this horrible traffic; I’m so late!” with more productive or calming thoughts, such as, “There’s nothing I can do about this now. I might as well relax/call my sister/mentally reorganize my life-goals. In a year, I won’t even remember being late. So why waste time wallowing in anxiety?”

If you are type that feels powerless in most situations in life, find ways to develop self-empowerment in situations where you are not behind the wheel. Notice when you feel meek and compliant, or when you are repressing your opinions. Try to speak up and integrate personal power in a calm and moderate way. If you develop more personal authority in your everyday face-to-face interaction with people, maybe you won’t feed the inner aggression that is waiting to explode when you get behind the wheel.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Watch “Expressing your Anger Effectively.”

Related Posts