Can’t Let Go of the Anger…2/7/07

Question:
A while ago I cut somebody off in traffic and this person was upset. This person pulled up beside me at the next traffic light and I apologized but this person wasn’t having it. They started swearing and threatening me and usually in the past I would get out and this person would be eating through a straw for the next month. I couldn’t help myself but to start getting angry and yelling comments back at this person. Eventually we just drove on. The thing is it’s been a few weeks and I just can’t seem to let go what happened. I just keep thinking about it. I was wondering what are some ideas on how to deal with the reoccuring anger after the situation?Answer: Maybe you are dealing with guilt and wishing you had handled the situation with a ‘cool head’.  If that’s the case – you need to forgive yourself as well. And go to your Higher Power for wisdom and strength to forgive that person and yourself.

How about writing out the road rage event and identifying what you were thinking.
Most likely, you had “hot self-talk”. Hot self-talk will cause you to react more angrily than you normally would.
Maybe you began saying to yourself- “I can’t let that person disrespect and humiliate me that way!” “he needs to be told off”, etc. It’s time to start thinking differently.That other person may have a mental problem or may have had a very stressful day. So, how about telling yourself that.. Put yourself in their shoes. There’s a reason they got so mad but, that doesn’t mean it was justified or acceptable.The problem is that you could have provoked that person more with your rage and if he had a weapon – you might have landed in the hospital.

When someone gets that enraged- it’s best to back off for your own protection. He can’t think straight and you won’t solve the issue then. Road rage leads to violence – don’t become one of it’s victims.
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Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC
Diplomate, AAAMP; President, CounselCare Connection, P.C.
What’s Good About Anger Institute blog, podcasts and resources

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