This week I want to share with you my top four reasons why you get road rage and help you stay in control behind the wheel.
Feels Like Home
The first reason is that your car is an extension of your home.
Imagine that someone built their house right next to yours – so close that you can see inside your neighbours home from your window, and when they open their door it hits your wall.
You feel pressured, angry and irritated that someone would get that close to you.
These are the same feelings that come up when someone drives a little too close to you. They are invading your space and therefore you feel in danger.
Your response mechanism goes into overdrive making you angry to keep yourself and your family safe and secure.
Shocked or Suprised
Reason two is feeling shocked or surprised. Just like someone invading your space, your automatic fight response comes up when you are shocked.
This makes you feel like you must act in an aggressive way to protect yourself from an intruder.
A Safe Space
Reason three is that your car feels like safe space to be angry with no repercussions.
Remembering that your car is an extension of your home – in your car you feel it’s justified to be angry as it’s your space to do what you want.
With this space comes a sense of entitlement and empowerment from expressing anger.
Adding to that if others do the same in their cars; this combination normalises excessive anger and rage. Which, of course, you wouldn’t dream of acting on in your day to day life outside of your car.
And lastly, reason four is that your car has become a place to feel empowered and in control of your surroundings.
All of the above points lead to a feeling of justification that it’s OK to be angry, and that you can be who you want in your car.
A way of releasing anger and stress in a safe way.
However, studies show that talking about and showing anger does not actually help to diminish anger, but instead makes you feel angrier for longer.
Road rage is commonplace with anyone. Really though, road rage keeps you locked in the same repetitive behaviour.
Start addressing what is really making you angry, rather than small releases that make you feel good in the short term, but don’t actually help in the long term.