I always choose to ride a public utility van every Saturday to avoid the long queue in waiting for a bus on my way home to the southern part of Cebu. It was a typical day for me following the same routine after my shift. Nothing’s really extraordinary not until I started my journey in heading home. I unexpectedly had to occupy the front seat as the only vacant slot available. I hate and I’m scared in sitting on that spot. Not all drivers are careful enough to observe road ethics.
Anyway, how was the experience sitting in front?
It wasn’t nice as I anticipated it. The driver next to me was quite moody. He easily get irritated with those vehicles blocking his way. But to be fair with him, he was nice in treating his passengers and responding to our requests. However, I think he badly needs help for his anger management!
I focused my attention to the outside view rather than listening to all his rants about the traffic congestion. We were two towns before our destination when his exasperation totally went out of control. A traffic enforcer called his attention for committing a traffic rule violation. A lady officer interrogated him trying to tell him in a calm manner on what his fault was. Obviously, it was his mistake! He raised his voice and said mean things to the officer in charge.
I was silently praying,” Lord, please let his raging hormones calm down.”
Goodness gracious! I honestly didn’t know what to do. I maintained a poker face while the scene next to me was becoming intense.
It took at least 3 officers to convince him to surrender his Driver’s License. A 20-30 minute heated argument just because he wouldn’t admit he was at fault. Can you imagine someone who has an alibi for every question asked? I finally met someone who can’t run out of reasons. Amazing!
As I went home, I am a bit surprised with the way the whole drama affected me. The driver’s mean demeanor didn’t get into my nerves.
Why was that?
It’s simply because I didn’t allow myself to get carried away with his negativity. Though we were seated next to each other but I created a wall between us blocking his nuisance attitude from reaching my own personal space. I didn’t mind all his actions at all and diverted my thoughts to something relevant to me.
I studied my own reactions on how it helped me overcome an annoying stimulus (Driver’s actions). These might help you as well.
- Not taking it personally
His obscene uttered words were thrown all over the place. I’ve heard it but never cared to listen. As per my mentor, hearing is simply the act of acknowledging the sound but listening takes an active participation to put meaning on what was heard.
- Counting my own blessings
While his anger was building up and explicitly maligning motorists along the road, I was busy counting all my blessings and the plans I have for my future. His negativity encouraged me to feel blessed. I’ve realized my troubles in life aren’t tantamount to the worries of the driver. He must’ve been going through something to have such a debilitating anger.
3. Deeper Understanding about other’s hardships
It’s unlikely for someone to get mad for no reason. I assumed something had triggered his emotional state causing him to displace his rage to others. We all had experienced our own “bad days”. It just so happened I met him on his not-so-perfect day.
4. I viewed The incident as an opportunity
I am not so particular when it comes to road rules. The violation committed by him gave me a warning to be mindful with the traffic regulations. This could be one of the reasons on why I had to witness an upsetting situation and that’s to achieve a better awareness about the law.
I hope these realizations of mine can help you too in building a habit for a better way in responding to an annoyed individual. I’m going to leave you with this bible verse:
James 1:19-20 (19) My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, (20) because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Sharing the goodvibes♥