Challenge Day 23 – Decrease Your Anger. No RoadRaging & No Angry Texts

by Dr. Rachael

by Dr. Rachael

Table of Contents

“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Some people are worse at it than others

Some people are worse at it than others, and road rage kills.  66% of all traffic deaths each year are caused by aggressive driving.  There are generally two types of people who road rage: 1) type A or competitive-type personalities.  These people are so used to having things their way, that they explode when it doesn’t go that way on the road. and 2) people with intermittent explosive disorder.  These people have poor impulse control, explode in anger far out of proportion to the stress they’re experiencing, and usually suffer from mood, anxiety, or substance abuse problems.

Non-road ragers hit a period of stress while driving

Non-road ragers hit a period of stress while driving and do not flip out, but road ragers take another persons bad driving or a traffic cut-off, as a personal slight.  They feel as if it is a targeted and impulsive move against them.  As a result they fly off the handle, their blood pressure surges, anger courses through their blood-stream, they cuss/scream, and are certain that the person who might either be having a bad day, an emergency, or just happen to be an awful driver, made a car maneuver specifically to ‘make me late,’ ‘make me mad,’ and ‘cut me off.’

Road ragers respond with aggressive driving and loud expletives.  Their day is now thrown off, the kids in the back seat are nervous and shocked, and they may try to ‘get the other driver back’ through retaliation-style driving.  They never take a moment to think about how silly it all is, that your unnecessarily bruised ego might kill someone, or that you have given another person that much control over your day.

Another angry habit is the anger-filled text message

Another angry habit is the anger-filled text message.  Through text messages, your partner makes you mad, so instead of diffusing and composing yourself, you cuss them out through text.  You shout and scream with exclamation points and expletives.  Your partner may be on the receiving end confused as to what even started the argument.  Texts are without tone, one person may be rushing and misunderstood, they might not have time to compose your version of the proper response, and you have taken none of that into consideration.  So you have an angry eruption and outburst.

Let’s take a minute to understand where anger comes from and why it’s so hard to control sometimes.  Anger in an emotional feeling or outburst that comes from a place where you have been disappointed or irritated by an unmet expectation, demand, or belief.  It can also occur when you feel like your progress towards a goal has been hindered or we feel hurt from another person’s actions.

-You expected that you had dinner plans tonight and they cancel: unmet expectation
-You thought they would be excited because you worked so hard on the project: unmet belief
-The driver knew you wanted to get over but wouldn’t let you: hindered goal
-Someone told you they thought your dress was ugly: hurt feelings

It’s time to stop and do better

It’s time to stop and do better.  Instead of continuing on this angry path, make a promise to pick up the phone to speak and diffuse angry text arguments.  Through conversation you can resolve what through text may drag on for days.  Instead of thinking every non-driving person is out to get you, practice road-empathy instead of road rage.  These people do not know you.  They are simply trying to make it through life and every now and then that will require them to speed.  Here are some anger-management tips.  When anger hits:

1)  Pause and acknowledge the fact that you are angry.
2)  Think about why your feelings are hurt and think about what the consequences might be if you lose your cool.  If you lose your cool: you might lose your job, you might lose a friend, and even worse, you might even lose your life.
3)  Evaluate…is losing my cool really going to help anything?  Will it be worth it in the long end.  Is the person I’m lashing out at really the thing I am angry about?
4)  Calm Down.  Ask yourself what do you need to do to bring your emotions down a bit, and do it.

So today and every day of the #30DaySuccessChallenge, Decrease your anger.  No road-rage & No angry texts.  Thank me later : )

Article by

Rachael L. Ross
MD, PhDAs a family doctor and a sexologist.

Dr. Rachael Ross has been heralded as “The next Dr. Ruth, the nationally renowned sexual therapist who pioneered frank sex talk.” Chicago Tribune. Dr. Rachael earned her M.D. from Meharry Medical College and her Ph.D. from the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists, along with a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, where she studied anthropology.

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