News item: “A 32-year-old Payson man learned that lesson the hard way Sunday. He was driving down a street in Orem (Utah) with his wife and children when he exchanged angry words with a local man. The Orem man pursued the family and tailgated their Chevy Suburban. In the heat of the moment, the Payson man stomped on the brakes. In the collision, his wife suffered neck injuries. Both men were cited for reckless driving and disorderly conduct.”
As this news story illustrates, the cost is often very high to losing one’s temper and not controlling anger on the road and elsewhere.
Costs can be calculated in financial as well as emotional and social terms. This man has to live with the fact that he injured his wife and probably traumatized his children. He also has to live with himself and perhaps his lowered self-esteem.
As we teach in our anger management classes, aggressive driving is often a “dance” with both parties participating and thus escalating each other’s anger.
Rather than “dancing,” it is better to ignore the poor driving of the other person rather than retaliating. Hostility begets more hostility, as this driver found out.
A very useful anger management tool to use in these situation is changing “self-talk” to calm oneself down. Self talk allows you to put things in perspective and think rationally rather than emotionally with medisavvy. Click here for a free article on using self-talk and other anger management tools to deal with aggressive driving.