Last night, I encountered my first real experience with road rage. I was making a left off a freeway in the far right lane (out of 3 lanes). When I finished making the left, I realized there were parked cars in my lane so I had to immediately move over into the center lane next to me.
BUT, I suddenly saw that I had accidentally cut off a car behind me when I merged so suddenly.
NOTE: I understand this whole series of events was caused by me and this is my analysis of my own mistakes in causing this situation.
The guy definitely took it the wrong way and subsequently tried to use his high-beams to blind me. I felt super bad, and was still recovering from nearly hitting a parked car. The cars ahead were moving pretty slow (or at least I thought), so I probably seemed pretty slow moving.
So the car behind me decided to change lanes, speed past me, and then swerve quickly into my lane!
To make matters worst, having past the parked car, I now decided to change lanes back into the very right lane and to try to avoid the oncoming anger of the guy ahead of me.
BUT, he decided to further merge into my lane (the far right lane) and slowed down just to make sure I got the message that I shouldn’t cut people off like that. (at least that’s what I think he was trying to teach me!)
I just wanted to NOT be in this person’s lane so I decided to change back to the center lane, but then this is when I knew he was really angry and targeting me specifically is when he moved back into the center lane just to block me again.
So I tried to get back into the very right lane, and subsequently back to the center, each time continuing to be blocked by him.
After a few more seconds of this, he decided to finally change to the far right lane and then make a right turn… and I continued straight in the center lane.
- This was maybe a 30 second exchange, but it has now stayed with me for the past 12 hours.
- My pride got in the way, so I left not feeling bad, but feeling MAD that he had gotten the better of me.
- Mistake #1: What I should have done at this point was to not change lanes so suddenly, but instead just turn on my signal, wait it out, and change when there were no more cars coming.
- Mistake #2: At this point in time, I should not have provoked him further by trying to change out of his lane, but instead to just slow down further or just let him be in front of me.
Don’t dwell on things like this for longer for 60 seconds, otherwise it starts to affect your mood.
- Pause a moment, let your anger go & DON’T accept their anger.
- Understand you’re both just trying to get to your destination.
- Be the one to back down (in order to diffuse the tension)… & if they decide to gloat, think about the larger picture beyond this moment.
- Be grateful for your health and well-being and (if you can) wish them good health and well-being too.
- Whisper “I’m sorry, please forgive me…” to yourself because you don’t know their circumstances and they may have had a much worst day than you, so this may be their only victory of the day.