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It Feels Like I'm Being Bullied On The Road

by DP
(Garland)



When I was really young, I was very accommodating, avoiding conflict whenever possible by quietly walking away or even just taking a measure like pushing, etc. At some point in about 8th grade, I'd taken enough.

People said you had to stand up to bullies to make them stop. I had finally taken it to heart, and I did -- and the bullying stopped too because I was no longer an easy target.

When I'm in the car and there is a particularly aggressive driver, it kicks off that same emotional response and I think if people don't tell this asshole he can't do this, he's just going to keep doing it, and that's when I go off.

If you were standing in a long line at the grocery store and someone came up and just shoved you out of the line to take your place, would it be "line rage" to pop the guy in the jaw? Or would it be just standing up for yourself?

There are some drivers who just seem to habitually think they're so bloody important or special -- or they just rely on the fact that everyone wants to avoid conflict and so they continue.

I think if I could answer this question, I would find it easier to quiet myself at these times (I hope).

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Oct 26, 2016
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I Can Really Relate To The Feeling Of Being Bullied!
by: Anonymous

Wow man, I can really identify with this mindset. When I see a driver on the highway acting in an aggressive manner I see them as bullying other people and it sets off this reaction in me that becomes uncontrollable rage. I feel like I need to stand up to this bully on the road for me and everyone else that he is bullying.

This scares me because I put myself in dangerous situations and lately it has been getting worse. It definitely has to do with when I was bullied as a kid and interestingly it is usually only the pickup trucks that really get me upset- because I associate them with the mean bully types from when I was a kid.

I hate that I can't control the anger that arises within me when I see these people bullying others on the highway. I try to think about getting from Point A to Point B safely, but then I get so easily triggered that I end up in a road rage situation. I'm scared of who I become in these situations.

Oct 20, 2016
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Some Things For You To Consider
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi DP -- Thanks for telling your story here, where others might benefit. What you say makes sense. You were bullied, which felt awful, of course. Then you decided to stand up for yourself, and the bullying stopped, and that felt excellent.

I can relate. I went through something very similar around the 8th grade. And...I've had my own issues with road rage. It's no fun, as you know.




So, let's see if I can answer your question. The "line rage" example is interesting. I think the reason that line rage is not an issue with the notoriety of road rage is that road rage is life threatening, and line rage usually isn't.

That's what I want you to think about. You're taking 8th grade fights and bad line behavior and applying it to what goes on when you're moving at high speeds in a big chunk of metal surrounded by other people moving fast in big chunks of metal. That's not a good or accurate comparison.

Driving is dangerous. Period. It's the most high risk situation most of us are in, on any kind of regular basis.

So, ask yourself...what is my goal when I'm driving? Is it 1) To get safely from point A to point B? or, is it 2) To make sure the bullies on the road don't get away with their bad (and life threatening) behavior?

If it's the latter, you're going to have a rough road (literally) ahead of you. And it may not end well for you at all. Consider the possibility that your life and safety are more important than trying to teach some kind of lesson to a bad, bullying aggressive driver.

It really helps me, DP, that when someone drives badly around me, endangering not only me but my wonderful wife, I focus on staying as safe as possible...and...this is important...I hope and wish for the dangerous driver to get a big whomping ticket, or some other kind of wake up call. Then I go back to driving safely to get to my destination.

Set your intention every time you get behind the wheel, and ask yourself what is your goal for this trip.

You're a smart person, I can tell. I'm sure you'll make good decisions for yourself.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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