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Misdirected Rage After Getting Rear Ended

by Robert
(MA)

On a snowy day I pulled behind an expensive looking sedan stopped at a red light. About thirty seconds later a young woman tried to stop behind me, lost control of her car and hit my car hard enough to send me into the back of the sedan in front of me.

I got out and saw the young woman getting out of the car behind me. I turned and looked at the car I had been pushed into and a middle aged woman was getting out with an enraged look on her face.


Before I could say a word this well dressed middle aged woman started screaming profanities at me that would have made a hardened sailor blush. I recall phrases such as, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I F___ING AM?” and “WHEN I F___ING GET THROUGH WITH YOU YOU’LL NEVER HAVE A LICENSE AGAIN!”.

I couldn’t help but smile at her, she wasn’t pausing long enough for me to say anything. Smiling just enraged her more and the young woman who caused the accident is now cowering behind me. I finally couldn’t help myself and started laughing at this woman. That stopped her cold and she screamed, “WHAT THE F___ ARE YOU LAUGHING AT!” and finally stopped screaming.

I stepped sideways, pointed to the young woman and said, “I think you want to talk to the young lady who rear ended me and pushed my car into yours?”

The woman opened and closed her mouth a few times like a fish drowning in air. I looked at her back bumper and said, “There’s no damage” (I had already noticed that which made her rage all the more amusing to me). She got right back in her car and drove off without a word of apology.

I was driving a beater with more dents than I could count so I told the young woman it was her lucky day and I didn’t need to exchange paperwork with her. She had only hit me hard enough to slide my car through the snow into the woman in front of me.

I’ve never really understood people who get so angry over accidents. Regardless of whose fault it is how does it help to get so enraged and angry?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Robert, and thanks for telling your great story here. I love it. You stayed cool, and I think your laughter was totally appropriate.

In answer to your question, it doesn't help at all to get enraged and angry at accidents--or in any other situation for that matter. When a problem comes up and someone gets angry and throws a tantrum because of it, they have simply added a new problem to the existing problem.

Congratulations to you for not being one of those who adds to problems with your anger.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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