Have you seen the new 2015 Volkswagen Beetle? It’s one of the happiest, peppiest cars I’ve noticed on the road when I’m out and about. Especially here in Coachella Valley, where it’s sunny most of the year, the VW Beetle just looks like joy on four wheels! However, happy Volkswagen or no, sometimes people really, seriously, hate driving. Sometimes, people lose their temper when they’re driving, and road rage happens.
You’ll be running errands, or driving to work, and someone will target you for no reason other than the rate of speed you’re driving. If you accidently cut someone off, or perhaps fail to signal before you turn, you may also find someone going way overboard in their reactions to what they perceive as your lack of driving skills. Whatever the cause, you may find yourself being honked at, cursed at, cut off, or in the scariest of situations; confronted.
It may be tempting to react by yelling back, cursing, or cutting them off in retribution, but that’s the worst thing you can do. If you find yourself the target of another person’s anger, the worst thing you can do. It’s never a good idea to escalate a situation where you don’t know why the person is so angry, or what they may do to lash back at you. Here’s how to deal with road rage, including a couple of things you can do to keep your cool:
Take a Deep Breath
Before you react in any way, take a nice deep breath and let it out slowly. This simple step will get rid of the immediacy of your reaction and let you re-think what you were about to say.
Think About the Other Person
When someone’s behaving badly, it’s hard to look past their aggressive actions. But think about the situations that they may be confronting; they may have just lost a job, had a death in a family, had a fight with their spouse or any other stressful event. Their anger may be directed at this unrelated event, and you’re just unlucky enough to be caught in the cross-hairs.
Deflect It with Kindness
If ignoring them just makes it worse, trying smiling. Nothing will throw a wrench in someone’s bad day better than a genuine smile. It may be difficult to do while someone’s calling you names, but I guarantee that a smile will make the other person realize how badly they’re behaving.
I hope that you never have to deal with this stressful situation, but if you do, just remember that kindness is the best strategy. The good people at Coachella Valley Volkswagen would like you to remember that driving is all about fun! It’s easy to get upset, and harder to let it go, but a car is a big, heavy object, and it’s best to keep your car, and yourself, in one piece!