Yesterday while driving to work, I had another driver on my ass all the way through town. He was riding the yellow line trying to get around me on a single lane and honking at me even though I was going the speed limit. I wish I could say that I didn’t let him, but he got to me. I was pissed. Eventually, he passed me on a double yellow and then ended up in front of me at the red light. Now, I’m guilty of aggressive driving. I got right up on his ass and stared him down in his rear-view mirror, and then continued driving along behind him until we got to our respective turns at the same time. I aggressively beeped ‘goodbye’ to him and I continued on my drive to work.
Normally, I am a pretty compassionate person, I get angry sometimes sure, but in my car I get ANGRY. I don’t know where it comes from. About 5 minutes down the road from this whole ordeal, something inside of me said, compassion. I swear to God. You can think I’m crazy if you want, but that voice was right. I had the power to control my response. I was angry because I felt that he was putting my life in danger by driving recklessly, but then I did the same. I had the power to let his anger and aggressiveness to pass through me. I could have just let him go but I wanted him to follow the rules. I thought that if I don’t let him pass, he will give it up. I cannot control that. All I can control is my own reaction and actions following.
The compassion comes in as a tool. It is a skill that I am good at and I can use it in situations like this. Maybe this man was rushing to work because he will lose his job if he is late today. Maybe he is going through a really rough divorce or someone in his family just died and he is letting out these emotions through aggressively driving. I can use this to deflect his energy and prevent myself from absorbing his aggressiveness and his anger. I can let him pass and move on with my life. I don’t need to let him affect me. I can control my response.
The point of all of this is, that anger doesn’t feel good, and getting up on an aggressive driver’s ass doesn’t ‘get him back’. I could have (and will next time) choose not to be affected by it and prevent myself from feeling like shit.
Thanks for reading! Drive safely friends and let the losers pass you!