• Rude drivers can trigger a vicious cycle of negativity
  • Use key tactics to neutralize the stress and maintain calm
  • Focus on the big picture to help you stay grounded
You’re on your usual driving route. It’s the same route you take every day and pretty much almost always around the same time.

You’ve done this drive so many damn times that you could probably do this blind-folded. In fact, there are days where you don’t even remember the drive at all, much less what happened during the drive.

It’s like you’re on auto-pilot.

But this time, it’s different.

You’re driving in your usual lane, keeping with the flow of traffic and just doing your thing.

Then, all of a sudden, another car cuts right in front of you with only a few feet to spare.

As you jam on the brakes and blast your horn, you scream out, “What the fuck?! Asshole!”

No goddamn courtesy of a turn signal blinker or even a “my bad” wave back through the rear window. Nothing.

You don’t know if they’re oblivious or clueless or just a pure asshole driver.

You desperately want to drive up alongside them and give ‘em the finger and the stare down from hell.

You’re gripping the steering wheel so hard that your knuckles are starting to turn white and the blood vessels in your neck and forehead are popping out.

It’s set a bad tone for the rest of your drive.

As your exit is coming up, you make your way over into the middle lane. With only a few hundred feet left, you need to merge over to the right lane to exit.

The line is starting to bunch up and you know that if you don’t get over soon, you won’t be able to get over as easily. And you don’t want to be “that guy” that is blocking the middle lane trying to merge over.

You’ve got your blinker on trying to merge over.

The line builds up and now, you’re trying to nose yourself into a gap.

But, the driver right next to you just keeps closing the gap and not letting you in.

What a douchebag.

You end up having to drive further up and eventually, you’re able to merge into the lane, just in time so that you can take the off-ramp.

Commuting to and from work is hands down one of the most annoying, frustrating and agonizing parts of our day.

But what makes it a million times worse is other discourteous drivers - the assholes.

Why Bad Drivers Trigger Road Rage

angry driver car
We’ve all been a victim of somebody just cutting us off on the road. And, when this happens, it triggers all sorts of negative reactions.

It’s an automatic and instant reaction - more like a reflex.

You go from being in a normal state of mind to a raging psychopath in seconds.

Why do these discourteous and/or thoughtless driving acts get us all so riled up?

It boils down to two reasons.

First, it’s crowded. It’s called rush hour for a reason. Everyone is rushing to either get to work in the morning or back home in the evening.

And when things get crowded, we naturally get more antsy, impatient and irritated.

Experiments on lab rats have shown that rats will maintain normal behavior until there are one too many rats in the cage and then, they all turn on each other.

It’s the same for us.

Only instead of being in a lab rat cage, we’re all stuffed inside our cars and bumper-to-bumper on the highway. It only takes one bad driver to trigger a chain reaction of negativity.

The second reason isn’t as well known but frankly, we’re all guilty of it.

It’s the fact that we all have other deeper underlying negativity that is all pent up inside us and hasn’t been released. And, the action of the other driver is simply the pin that pops the balloon.

Think about the last time you blew your top at another driver on the commute. We bet that you were already having a shitty day.

You could’ve been upset or angry at something that happened at work or at home. And instead of releasing those emotions, it just gets bottled up inside of you and the pressure just builds.

And then, a car cuts you off - pop goes the balloon.

That external trigger is what sets us off and releases all of the bad mojo.

What we need to do is find ways to minimize and/or prevent this.

How To Deal With Rude Drivers

angry driver car
There will always be dickhead drivers on your commute. It’s as unavoidable as the commuting traffic itself.

Wishing that everyone would follow the rules of the road and respect each other is unrealistic and will never happen. You’d have a better chance of hitting the mega-lottery.

Having snap reactions to other rude drivers not only creates a vicious cycle of anger and stress, but it can also turn into some serious road rage violence. You just don’t know what kind of person is behind the wheel of the other car.

And, there are some real fucked up people out there. So, don’t take any chances. Instead, try out one or a combination of these ideas.

1) Clear Out Your Own Negativity Before Driving

When a child is upset or angry about something, it’s clear as day. All the tears, kicking and screaming is out in the open. It doesn’t matter who’s around.

When kids are pissed off, they don’t hold back their emotions at all. Every thought and feeling pours out of them, unfiltered and unrestrained.

Then, after the emotional chaos is over, they’re back to normal. They’ve processed and worked through their feelings.

Now, as adults, we’ve been trained by society to manage and control our emotions, particularly at work where we all have to maintain a certain level of professionalism. After all, we’ve gotta manage our personal brand at work.

This means holding back and suppressing strong emotions when we want to scream out loud.

These pent up emotions need to be released before you get behind the wheel. Otherwise, you’ll increase the chances that you’ll lose your shit during the drive.

Before you drive off, take a few minutes in the car to let loose.

Scream, cry, get pissed off, etc. Get all of those negative feelings out. Really get it all out of your system.

Then, take a few minutes to cool down, take a few breathers and when you’ve calmed down, then start your drive.

Or, if that’s not really your thing, try doing a one-minute meditation in the car. Just close your eyes and breathe slowly for 60 seconds. Inhale and exhale to a 10-second count to keep your breathing pace slow and focused.

Getting all the bad mojo out and calming yourself beforehand will significantly reduce the chances of you snapping during the drive. You’re stopping the cycle from even starting.

2) Learn To Let That Shit Go

Trying to control something that is not in your control always makes a bad situation worse.

And you know who’s really good at berating you for this?

It’s the asshole in your head or the little devil that appears on your shoulder that’s egging you on to chase after that driver, give them the finger and yell at the top of your lungs. It’s all about revenge.

While it may provide you with a bit of short-lived satisfaction, it’s far more likely to start a vicious cycle of anger.

You’ve gotta just let that shit go.

Cut it off before it has a chance to take hold in your head.

Here’s how: it’s all about changing up your perspective.

It’s like this, have you ever been startled by a squirrel that darted across your path while walking?

Yes, it caught you off guard, but you didn’t get all bent outta shape about it, right?

You just continued on your way.

Seeing other rude drivers as random hyper squirrels will help you respond to their actions with awareness rather than react with anger.

This is what will allow you to let that shit go and stop trying to control things that you can’t control.

This is a hard skill to pick up, but if you can master this, you’ll be unfazed by all the asshole drivers on the road. 

3) Let Karma Take Care Of It, Because It Will

You’ve heard of the saying, “Karma’s a bitch”. This phrase is aimed at people who are unjustifiably rude, discourteous, etc.

Essentially, what they do to others will come back to them, sometimes multiple times over. It’s Karma returning the favor - payback time.

When another driver knowingly and intentionally disobeys the rules of the road and puts others at risk, the chances are really good that they’ll have to pay the price sooner or later, just like this shoulder driving idiot in the video below.

VIDEO: Insta-Justice
LENGTH: 0:13
In most cases, you won’t be able to witness the payback. However, just know that it will happen.


Because karma never forgets, biotch!

So, when that dickhead driver does something to piss you off, just ignore them and let them go on their way. They’ll eventually get what’s coming to them.

4) Turn It Into A Challenging Game

Think back to when you were a kid in elementary school or maybe, you have kids now in that age range.

There’s a phase that all kids go through where nearly everything they do is a contest or race.

The last one to get to the elevator loses.

Whoever can hold their breath the longest.

The tallest Lego building wins.

Kids will “gamify” almost anything. It can make the most mundane things more fun. And, it’s something we can use on our commute to deal with other jerks behind the wheel.

For each time you successfully not allow a rude driver get to you, give yourself mental bonus points - Mario Kart style.

Just find the biggest single-digit number on their license plate and that’s your bonus for keeping your cool. The more asshole drivers you’re successful at ignoring, the more points you earn.

One of our guys currently holds the record at 27 points from four successful “wins” on his morning commute.

See how many points you can accumulate before you arrive.

5) Imagine What They May Be Going Through

Most of the time, we think inconsiderate drivers are being that way purposely. We all have a negative attitude and bias when it comes to other drivers.

Because of course, we consider ourselves perfect drivers and everyone else is just an idiot.

The reality is that not all drivers are being jerks just to piss you off. In some cases, they’re in situations that require them to rush for a reason.

Maybe, their teenager has lost it and is burning down the house.

Maybe, their mother or father has suddenly gotten ill.

Maybe, their spouse is in the emergency room.

Whatever it is that’s making them drive erratically, you just don’t know what is happening in their world or what they’re going through at the moment.

If you put yourself in their shoes and imagine that you have a family emergency of some sort, you may not be exactly the most courteous driver either.

6) Give Yourself More Time

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. When you don’t leave yourself with enough time to do a task, you have to rush through things.

When you’re in this rushed state-of-mind, courtesies go out the window.

It’s like the urgent task that you’re scrambling to finish for your boss. When a co-worker comes by to gossip, you’re not exactly in the most friendly state. In fact, you have little patience and can be easily set off.

It’s the exact same thing with driving.

We all live in a just-in-time environment of leaving ourselves barely enough time to get to our destinations. We end up aggressively weaving instead of staying in the lane to make up time. And, when you hit a little snag, delay or other issues during the drive, it automatically ups the stress factor.

And when that idiot driver crosses your path, you lose it.

Instead, leave yourself with more time so that when (not if) minor traffic problems happen, it’s not going to trigger your frustration or throw you off your timetable.

Try this idea this week: give yourself an extra 15 minutes for your commute.

When you know that you’ve got extra buffer time, traffic snarls and asshole drivers won’t faze you as much. With the added time, you can relax and not be so rushed. In fact, you can turn your commute into relaxing me-time.

It’s like getting to the airport two hours before your flight. You’ve got plenty of time and so, the long security line isn’t as stressful and you can leisurely browse the shops.

7) See It As Skills Sharpening Exercises

When some jerk driver pulls a dickhead move on you and it causes you to swerve or take some evasive action, you react with all sorts of negativity.

Your mind latches onto that emotion and won’t let it go until you’ve successfully delivered the middle finger while blaring the horn at the other driver.

It’s a natural reaction.

But, instead of letting it be a negative thing, spin into a positive event.

Each time you’ve successfully avoided a potential accident is a good thing. It’s like passing a micro-test that measures how good your driving reflex skills are.

And, you still got it, baby!

Every single act of rude driving behavior is a test from the highway gods of your emotional, mental and driving skills. If you ace every single one during the drive, give yourself a righteous high-five!

8) Reframe Your Mindset & Be Grateful That You Have A Car

A lot of times, we all become so used to our current status that we forget about how good we have it.

Yes, the commute sucks and yes, there are obnoxious drivers that piss us off all the time.

But, instead of thinking about those things, take a step back and look at this from a much bigger perspective.

Just the simple fact that you have a car is huge.

And, the fact that you can get to and from work in a comfortable, private space of your own is a luxury that a lot of people just don’t have.

Imagine walking 21 miles to and from work every single day, in the freezing winters and blistering summers. It’s something Detroit native James Robertson did for over a decade.

VIDEO: James Robertson Walks 21 Miles
LENGTH: 3:05
Can you imagine having to commute by foot for that kind of distance every day? Even when the weather is absolutely shitty and/or you’re sick?

We all have it pretty good compared to some other folks out there. So, let’s not lose sight of that or take things for granted.

All it takes is a different perspective to change our attitude and mindset.

Ignore The Assholes, Take It Easy & Enjoy The Ride

There are days where it seems like everyone out on the road is out to get us. It’s one asshole driver after another making our lives more miserable than it needs to be.

Trying to control their actions and behaviors will only result in one thing - more stress, anger and frustration.

What we can control is how we respond (not react) to them.

When we shift our attention and/or reframe our thinking, perspective and attitudes, we gain control of our emotions and can more effectively neutralize all the bad mojo. And maybe even turn it into something positive.

It allows us to keep calm and commute on regardless of other chaotic drivers.

So, the next time an asshole driver pulls a stunt on you and you don’t let it ruffle your feathers, you’ve won.

You’re as cool as ice out there - a driving dynamo.

Nothing can knock you off your podium of peace.

Feel Better,

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