Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

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How to Transcend Traffic

How to Transcend Traffic

MichaelSunnarborg / April 06, 2016 Article, Image, Link / Leave a Comment

For some, driving can be a chore; a necessary evil; a mandatory requirement. For others, it can be an enjoyable experience.

Regardless of whether or not you enjoy it, driving can also be a source of incredible frustration. Whether you live in a big city or a small town, the annoying antics of other drivers will always be inevitable.

So how do we maintain our sense of peace and calm while swimming in a sea of chaos on the road? We transcend traffic. We learn how to allow the rest of the world to exist while we continue creating our own positive experience.

Here are a few of the top mischievous motorists and how to handle them.

The Bumper Bully

These drivers ride your bumper so closely that you’d swear a rope is towing them behind you. These aggressive agitators are usually trying to “persuade you” to speed up. Can you? Do you? Should you?

Solution: If you can, move your car and let them pass—especially if you’re in the left lane. And then move your ego and let it pass. Remember: This is not about you and it’s not your job to teach other drivers how to be respectful. Plus, you already understand that we all get to the next destination in relatively the same amount of time, so what’s the big rush?

The Rally Racer

They dart in and out of lanes, weaving between other motorists as if the cars were traffic cones, never bothering to use that annoying blinker device. They completely disregard any traffic signs—and sometimes signals—focusing only on “winning the race.” Hate to break this to ya, buddy, but there is no race… except for the one you’ll get from the police.

Solution: Maintain your composure. Keep your speed. Don’t make any sudden movements. Steady as she goes. Do not enter the race, for you are simply another orange cone. Let them have their experience—law enforcement (or karma) will handle the rest.

The Sunday Driver

They are usually tootling along, singing with the radio and looking at random cloud formations. Or they hunch over their steering wheel, determined to keep that car on the road. Okay, so maybe if it actually is a Sunday, this is permissible; however, any other day they can become your worst nightmare.

Solution: Pretend that they see you and they realize you actually exist, though they don’t plan on acknowledging you. Knowing this, make your moves around them without disturbing their vibe. Leave well enough alone. Think: How do you wake up a Doberman Pinscher? Right—you don’t.

The Slacker

Could be a guy; could be a gal—talking or texting on their phone; eating a burger and drinking a Big Gulp; wearing ear buds—or even worse, over-the-ear headphones coming from their iPod; veering slowly to the right as they text their BFF about tonight’s party. Look out for them because they’re certainly not looking out for you.

Solution: See The Sunday Driver. Live and let drive.

Tips for Transcending Traffic:

  • It’s not all about you; it’s about everyone on the road. With any luck, you’ll probably never see them again. Why let them rob you of your serenity?
  • It’s not your job to direct traffic. What others are doing is none of your concern, unless it directly affects you (e.g., the Bumper Bully), and then you are only in control of your response to them.
  • We never know what anyone else is going through. We’ve all been late for work, we’ve all had bad days, and we’ve all been bad drivers. Let somebody else have his or her bad day.
  • Focus only on yourself. If you’re paying attention to other distractions—including other drivers—then you’re not paying attention to the road. Suddenly we become the Bumper Bully, Slacker, or Sunday Driver!
  • No one can irritate or anger you unless you let them. Breathe. Relax. Put on your favorite music. Focus on the road and enjoy the ride. After all, it’s your choice.

To Our Better Balance,

Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

Michael is a professional speaker, best-selling author, and life transition coach, helping people find better balance and happiness in life—especially during transitions. You can follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter, or learn more at michaelsunnarborg.com

Need more tips for finding better balance? Then visit michaelsunnarborg.com/books and find support for all areas of your life, work, and relationships.

Image Copyright: wastesoul / 123RF Stock Photo

All content is copyright © Michael Thomas Sunnarborg. All rights reserved. Original content may be shared via links through email and social media—or shared as "fair use" as either brief quotations or in a review—but otherwise may not be duplicated or copied in any other form without expressed written permission from author.

4 thoughts on “How to Transcend Traffic”

  1. Great suggestions for a common problem everyone faces. I especially love the suggestion that we don’t know what people are going through when they are behaving badly. I try to remember that and it definitely calms me down. I’ve also recently tried blessing bad drivers, people who don’t pick up after their dogs, and smokers who throw their cigarette butts all over. Although that doesn’t fix the problem, it seems to erase their behavior from my mind. Good post!

    1. MichaelSunnarborg says:

      Indeed, Elixabeth. I like your idea of blessing other drivers. Our compassion can always help us to practice patience while allowing others to create their own experience. Thanks for the comments!

  2. Tammie Voelkel says:

    I agree. Following some of these drivers does tend to get frustrating and when you can’t lose the bumper driver your patience is worn thin. But if you live in a small town or even a medium size city and you are really in no rush to get anywhere and you have all the time in the world, why not try walking, biking or running to get where you are going. There is nothing like an outdoor activity to help you maintain your inner peace. And even if you do need to be somewhere by a certain time, leave early and if it is not to far try another form of transportation. If you really need to drive then just relax, take your time and say a prayer for those other drivers because what you may or may not intentionally contribute to the frustrating circumstance could cause harm to either you or someone else.

    1. MichaelSunnarborg says:

      So true, Tammie. I love your idea of alternate transportation—we often drive when we could just as easily walk, bike, or run… and the exercise will always benefit our minds, bodies and souls. Thanks for the reminder!

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