7/14/16

Why Are People So Angry?




Yesterday I drove to Hershey to pick my son up from hockey camp. On the way back we hit terrible stop and go traffic due to a very bad accident. We were crawling for miles. A trip that should have taken 25 mins took over an hour and I even ended up re-routing to sneak past the accident site.

Anyway...so I'm driving (creeping really) patiently and enjoying the bonus time with my boy. When all the sudden, a honk sounds off behind me. I'm in the center lane and I look in my rear view mirror to see this man pulling in behind me from the left lane. Not unusual, but this man, he was irrationally fired up. He met my eyes in my mirror and called me a "F** B**!" The raw anger shocked me. We were driving so slow and I was pleasantly crawling along with everyone else. He must have had his turn signal on and assumed I didn't let him over in my lane. Which maybe I am guilty of this, but not intentionally. I never saw his turn signal. We were driving so slowly I wasn't looking around at other cars because no one was getting anywhere.

The look on his face was scary. But then it got worse. As he switched from the center to the right lane, he continued to look at me and call me a B**. Over and over. And when he turned his head to face the road ahead of him, he kept an eye on me in the side view mirror and CONTINUED to call me a B**, a few more times.

I don't get it. I get frustrated with other drivers sometimes. I'm much more likely to say something along the lines of "thanks a lot jerk!" but then I move on. This man was so angry, over something I was unaware of.

Maybe he was late. Maybe he was tired of being stuck in traffic. Maybe his entire day sucked. But seriously? Even if I had intentionally refused his entrance into my lane (which I did not), how does that warrant such rage? If we had been stopped, I would have been fearful he would have approached me. What is wrong with people?

Take a breath...listen Buddy, we were all stuck. I was simply enjoying conversation with my son, waiting to make whatever slow progress I could make. Getting that angry with me didn't change anything. I even raised my hands and shoulders in the gesture to express..."What did I do? And I'm sorry". It made no difference as he railed against me until he literally could no longer see me in his mirror.

This left me a little shaken and very disturbed. I do not understand how such ugliness was his first response. I hope he got wherever he was going and was able to enjoy the rest of his night. I on the other hand, kept seeing his face in the mirror and kept seeing the pure anger in the reflection.

Today, I will be more mindful of being patient with other drivers. I would never want to leave such an impression on another driver. Let's all try to remember we are all headed somewhere. If we can keep our cool, we should all get there safely. Drive safe everyone.


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