top of page

Road Rage! Where It Comes From, And How To Deal With It

Let's talk about road rage.

Yes, those moments when people become enraged on the road. When all of the sudden, the driver in front of you cuts you off, or they're going too slow, or the light turns red before you made it through, and you freak out because you can't handle it.

I'm not just talking about violent road rage either. I'm talking about the type most people experience from time to time, when they're alone in their car, screaming. It's the same as the violent stuff, just to a lesser degree.

Here's the truth. When it comes to road rage, you're doing it to yourself. No one else is causing it.

It was only when I realized that I was responsible for my anger on the road, that I learned how to experience less and less of it. With just a few months of practicing what I'll talk about below, drivers that used to ruin my day are literally out of sight, out of mind within a few minutes.

Just this week, I witnessed two people freak out inside their cars because of things out of their control. When I say freak out, I mean literally, freak out. I could practically hear the screams even though both cars' windows were shut.

One incident happened on the way to work. We were stopped at a light - one of those lights that's green for only a fraction of the time it's red. As soon as the batch of cars up front managed to get through the seemingly inconsequential duration of the green light, he erupted. He took both his hands off his steering wheel and began to bash it repeatedly, over and over. I could hear his screams in my mind, even though they were deaf to my ears. It was violent, to the point of being comical.

There's nothing noble about what he did. Even if he didn't take it out on someone else, with that kind of pent up anger, it's only a matter of time before he can't handle the pressure anymore and does take it out on someone else. Imagine how he'll be with his coworkers when he gets to work. I feel sorry for them.

Another incident happened less than 30 minutes ago of writing this. I was looking for a spot in the coffee shop parking lot, when a woman seemed to be half-way backed out of her spot, but not moving at all. I stopped to wait and see if she would proceed, but there was no movement whatsoever. So I, along with another car behind me, proceeded to go around her, slowly, in case she decided to dart out.

As soon as I did this, she blew up like a volcano. Her hands started flailing every which way, slamming her steering wheel. Just like with the man, I saw her violent screams. With that kind of distress, it honestly looked like she was being unlawfully detained and trying to escape from law enforcement. Or, she looked like a 4 year old child throwing a tantrum in a toy store. Clearly, she was in an enormous amount of pain.

What's behind road rage? The tea kettle analogy

I share these two stories not out of judgement, but rather from a place of compassion. These two people, along with everyone else who freaks out on the road, are doing this to themselves. And I'm here to say, you don't have to do this.

Only when you realize that you're doing it, will you be able to not do it.

I will say it another way. Until you realize that you're