How to Transcend Traffic
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.
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.
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