I Need Help
This might get pretty long, so apologies in advance. I'm 48, single white male and a professional, into working out and fitness (no steroids! never! thank God). But I've been a road rager for about 25 years...from simple staring, to horn honking, to arguing to actually pulling over and challenging other drivers, and taking up challenges as well.
How those situations never actually crossed the line is beyond me, but my problem is, I sometimes seem to like messing with other aggressive drivers. For example, if I see someone coming up real fast I slow down and stay alongside another car so he can't pass and laugh if he starts getting mad.
This sounds silly but I feel like I'm allowing someone to "roll over" me if I get out of their way, my attitude is like "I don't care of you're in a hurry, screw you--slow down." I definitely have a problem with machismo dating back to being bullied as a kid and a teen, and now that I'm full grown it's almost like I look for it, to prove that I won't take it.
What compelled me to finally look for help, (I found this site doing a road rage help search), was an incident last Saturday evening. I was going to work, and traffic was moderate on a two-lane highway, and I saw some car weaving in and out. When he came up on me I stayed in the left lane. Then he passed, and he did use his signal, but squeezed in between me and the car in front of me. So I blasted him with my brights.
He then slowed down and I turned them off. Then he sped up. I should've let it go right there but I flashed my bright lights again. He moved to the right and I turned on my interior lights so I could be sure he saw me giving him the finger. then he pulled in front of me and I flashed again.
This time he started slamming on the brakes, almost stopping short, either to try and make me hit his car or someone behind me hit me. Then he took off. I tried to follow him but lost him in traffic, and now that I've had a couple days to cool down I realize it was my fault, that he did signal to get in front of me.
Most times I'm OK on the roads but there are other times where I'm a bastard, plain and simple. I just want to get a handle on this before I wind up in jail, the hospital or in the ground!
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Thanks for writing this, George. It is great that you are trying to get help before something worse happens. I strongly encourage you to practice these anger management techniques regularly until they become automatic. If that doesn't do the trick, you will need something more advanced. These CDs or these books will help you get to the heart of the matter and address the underlying causes of your anger. I provide telephone counseling as well, so feel free to contact me if you'd like to schedule a session.
Meanwhile, before you drive anywhere, take a moment, breathe deeply, and picture yourself staying calm and driving in a courteous manner. This might help you stay focused when you drive. You obviously are a good person, and don't want to continue to act in such a destructive, dangerous way--or you wouldn't have written this story. Don't give up. You can overcome this problem if you set your mind to it!