One of the most clear examples of anger out of control is in the case of road rage.
Picture the scenario: a person cuts you off as you are driving on the highway. You look over at them and they shoot you a nasty look. Then escalates to them flipping you the bird. You are thinking, what is going on here? He speeds off and you are left shaking your head and stewing over the fate of humanity, or worse.
Then a few miles later you pull over at the rest stop and go in. As you are walking toward the bathroom you see the person waiting in the Starbucks line.
Now, what are your options? Our society has evolved to really steer us to one of two options. The first and probably most common is to just ignore the person. Fear of them having a gun or being violent takes over and we swallow any emotion we have and we move on.
The second option is to approach them and say something that gets stuff off our chest. “Hey, how about toning it down out there, you are going to kill someone being reckless like that!”
What about a third option? The one where we walk up to the person, look them in the eye and calmly say, “I saw that you were upset out on the highway, I know it gets kind of hectic out there, I wanted to see if you were OK?” If the third option is used with sincerity, eye contact, and a composed demeanor, can we see how it could diffuse tense situations and make the world a better place?
Would love to hear your comments and idea’s around this.