Keep Calm & Follow the Road
We’ve all encountered road rage at some point in our lives. We see it in the news, in movies and have either experienced ourselves or know someone who has. Someone cuts you off on the expressway. Another person steals the parking spot you were headed for. You are stuck in an unexpected traffic jam that leads you to miss a very important meeting.
What causes road rage? And what can you do to calm the situation?
Causes of Road Rage
Almost anything can cause road rage. Roads are becoming more congested and people are busy, busy busy. Traffic jams clog up the roads around rush hour. People are in a hurry to get their kids to soccer practice or to get home to relax, and people tend to use their cars as weapons to show power over someone else on the road.
There are two types of road rage – habitual and situational. Habitual road rage is a learned behavior, such as drivers that have learned to always drive aggressively. Situation road rage is based on the situation that surrounds the driver, such as experiencing a huge traffic delay which will cause you to be late for work which can lead to a disciplinary action.
In addition, according to AAA, 80% of US drivers are considered to be aggressive, which can lead to rage in certain situations.
In Tim Dimoff’s LifeRage, he says that “America is becoming a speedier place. Its workforce is expected to be on time and productive from the start of the workday Hurrying drivers do not want to be thwarted by their quest to please their boss (pg 110).”
One of the biggest culprits of road rage is speeding. Other causes include:
- Feeling stressed
- Construction delays or detours
- Slow drivers
- Making obscene gestures at other drivers
- Changing lanes too quickly and cutting another driver off
- Distracted driving – loud music, texting, not looking at the road
- Using the car horn
- Flashing your headlights
Solutions for a Peaceful Drive
Road rage can be controlled – and prevented – on an individual basis. While it may be unavoidable to get in a car while tired, angry, depressed, ill or inattentive, Dimoff suggests that drivers experiencing these feelings should consider taking a cab or riding the bus instead (pg 115). The first person you have to take care of is yourself. Here are eight suggestions to stay calm in a rageful situation.
Keeping your Cool
- Count to 10. You’d be surprised how well it works. Give yourself a few seconds, take a deep breath, and relax.
- Plan your trip wisely. If you know you have a problem with road rage or want to avoid others, arrange your trip to avoid rush hour and other heavy-traffic areas. Take the back roads to work and enjoy the scenic route. Give yourself a little extra time in the morning. Leave a few minutes early so you don’t feel rushed on your drive.
- Avoid dangerous behaviors such as tailgating, blocking passing lanes or intersections, changing lanes without using your signal or parking badly.
- Make yourself comfortable. Make sure your seat is in a comfortable position and the temperature is right. Turn on your favorite music or listen to a book on tape.
Dealing with the Other Guy
- Don’t get angry or do something irrational. Let erratic drivers pass you. Don’t make eye contact or make obscene gestures.
- Don’t try to teach the person a lesson. It’ll only make the situation worse. If you have a problem with a reckless driver, call 9-1-1.
- Don’t take it personally. Drivers aren’t lashing out on you because they have something against you. Maybe they had a bad day. Maybe they’re late for a date. Maybe the guy that cut you off just didn’t see you.
- Apologize. Even if it wasn’t your fault. Swallow your pride and say you’re sorry. According to a study cited in Life Rage, over 85% of enraged drivers say they would drop the matter if the other person responsible for the incident would apologize and express concern over what happened.
Are You At Risk For Road Rage?
Do you think you are a calm driver? Find out by taking AAA’s aggressive driving quiz.
Want More Information on Road Rage?
Order your signed copy of LifeRage by Tim Dimoff today by calling 330-255-1101, Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 PM. .
Tim is also available to come out and speak to your community about this subject and is available for interviews and webinars.
What comes to mind when I say rage?
Rage is furious, uncontrolled anger usually directed towards a person or group of people. It can arise from the smallest of incidents, turning a minor issue into a major problem. Life rage is usually based upon not one, but the build up of multiple incidences that leads a person to a breaking point. So what is fueling all this life rage? Turns out, there are many causes that lead someone to this path.
We all want to win, right? Being at the top gives you some authority over others and makes you feel in control. But when that power is threatened, life rage comes into play. Not having control over events in life, leads people to seek out ways to gain power again, causing them to lose themselves and often leaving relationships damaged beyond repair.
Credit cards are easy to obtain and use. Before you know it you can wind up thousands of dollars in debt. In a Detroit Free Press poll, 40% of respondents said they cannot afford everything they need to live a comfortable life. When you work a full time job and see others with the possessions you want, it’s hard not to get angry that you don’t have enough money to purchase the things you want or need.
Drugs and alcohol affect people from all walks of life. It can lead to behavioral, emotional and financial problems, causing life rage. Addiction can permeate in the workplace, at school, in our homes and within society as a whole. Gang wars, prostitution, murder, drug and sex trafficking and theft destroy neighborhoods and homes. It can be a gateway to a life of crime; always doing something extreme to get the next fix. This altered state can lead the mind to think life is not fair and you deserve more.
Lack of Responsibility
We all know that one person that just won’t take responsibility for any of their actions. They blame everyone but themselves for their problems, even though most of their issues are self-inflicted. Lack of responsibility can start as early as childhood. Kids that talk back, don’t pick up after themselves or bully others are likely to carry that behavior into adulthood.
Technology and Change
When I was young, we had one telephone that was connected to the wall with the long curly cord. You could make calls and receive calls, that was it. Everyone knew how to use one because that was the only type of phone that existed.
With changes in technology comes fast living and added stress. We can get things done faster and connect with the rest of the world with the click of a button. Jobs are expecting more out of people because they know smartphones are usually always on a person. In fact, many individuals never leave their smartphone out of sight or turned off.
Even though we are out of the recession, the need for the need for skilled, college educated employees is where the growth lies. With production and manufacturing is being outsourced overseas, there are less unskilled and manufacturing jobs in America.
With all the changes in the economy, the elderly can’t afford to retire at an early age. Often, people have to work overtime to support their families, which can take a toll on family life. The longer hours mean more stress and less time on leisurely activities.
Solitariness and Alienation
We are becoming a nation of the unattended. Both children and adults seem to be constantly glued to their smartphones, music players, computers or TV. This leaves children with underdeveloped social skills. They can become isolated and alienated from peers.
Domestic violence is an increasing issue not only in our country, but around the world. People lash out because of life rage and unfortunately, the ones they love see the brunt of their anger.
This is said to be one of the most common fears in the world, yet no one really choses to deal with it. Hate crimes fueled by racism, religious intolerance, homophobia and immigration are in the news every day. I’ve personally seen people physically fearful of standing next to someone in line that is from a different culture or race. We tend to blame a whole religious group or race for the wrongdoings of one person from that group. Social and economical issues make people paranoid and fearful for their lives.
Order your copy of Life Rage today
To order your copy of Tim Dimoff’s LifeRage, visit www.liferage.com or call 330-225-1101. Tim will personally autograph your copy and ship it to you.
I’ve spent a lot of time writing blogs about various rage topics- including how to control anger, rage in America, in the workplace, and at home. I don’t spend too much time talking about outlets for rage because, let’s be honest, there aren’t many occasions where you can safely express your anger.
Although rage is looked upon as an undesirable characteristic, we all experience it, and there are times where it is necessary- in the interest of maintaining sanity and peace- to let it out. Here’s an idea:
What about a Rage Room?
Have you ever considered having a rage room? Recently, a Rage Room popped up in Toronto that allows you to step in for 30 minutes and destroy things with a bat, a hammer, or other various blunt-force weapons. Battle Sports is a recreational facility that also offers fun activities such as Archery Dodgeball and Nerf Gun Battles to help you vent your rage.
The idea behind this Rage Room is that you can destroy a variety of objects in a safe environment. Essentially, this includes some protective equipment (headgear, chest protector, gloves, etc.) in a room designed to withstand the destruction about to take place. Now, I’m not necessarily advocating that you create your own room, as it can be a dangerous activity, but, here are the benefits and drawbacks of such a room.
Benefits of Having a Rage Room
- Scream and yell all you want. Sometimes it is enough to just have an outburst. There have been occasions where I just wanted to yell at someone, but I don’t because it isn’t ‘normal’ to yell at other people. So, if I had my own rage room, I could go there and let it all out.
- Breaking things is cathartic. If you have the right equipment to keep yourself safe, breaking things can be a great stress relieving activity. Not only will you tire yourself out physically, but the adrenaline that comes from breaking these things will tire you out mentally.
- Nobody has to know. Other than anyone who lives in your house with you, your rage room can remain a complete secret. If you feel ashamed about being angry, or you want to express your anger without people looking down on you, a rage room will allow you to do that without ruining relationships.
- It can be dangerous. Breaking glass and throwing things around can result in injuries. Being aware of this is the first step to preventing accidents. Taking protective measures to keep you safe is important.
- Adrenaline is addictive. I’d suggest using the rage room only when you really need it. If you start going to the rage room every time you get a little annoyed, it may start to spill out in your relationships.
- Your family might think you’re different. Have a good discussion with your family about anger. Let them know that you are not mad at them, and that anger is a natural emotion that tells the body that something is wrong. Especially if you have kids- you need to let them know how to handle anger properly.
I can admit that I struggle with anger. I’m not an angry person; I actually struggle with expressing my emotions. It is difficult for me to admit when I am angry or sad or anything of the sort. It does help me to express my emotions in a physical way sometimes, but there aren’t many opportunities to do that. If you are anything like me, or the opposite, where you get angry often, a rage room is probably a beneficial concept for you.
Life Rage Can Help
If you would like to know more about rage, how to deal with it, and where/how it occurs, order Tim’s book! There is a lot of information in there that can help you become rage-free. Call (330)255-1101 (Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 PM) to order your copy of Life Rage today!
“Police Brutality” is the buzzword driving anger and protests across the nation. A quick look at www.policemisconduct.net is an indicator that police abuse of power is a real issue in this country. I tend to trust the court’s handling of the aftermath, but how can we be proactive about preventing misconduct across the nation? Correctly dividing the true cases of police misconduct and the cases where police are operating effectively under the law is difficult with such polarized views spouting partisan rhetoric.
Police Brutality Cases
Truth is defined as, “something that is consistent with itself”. In order for us to rightly divide truth, we need to determine what is consistent with reality. In an effort to understand the issue at hand, here is a quick wrap up of major events that occurred in the 2015:
- Walter Scott was stopped for having a brake-light out in North Charleston, South Carolina on April 4, 2015. He was fatally shot while running away from Officer Michael Slager, who was charged with murder after a cell phone video surfaced that contradicted his police report.
- Freddie Gray was arrested on April 12, 2015 for possessing an illegal switchblade. While being transported in a police van, he fell into a coma and was taken to a trauma center. He died 7 days later of ascribed injuries to his spinal cord that are believed to have been sustained while in transport.
The medical examiner ruled Gray’s death a homicide, on the grounds that Gray died of a “rough ride”, which takes place when officers failed to properly secure someone in their vehicle, then deliberately drive sporadically, while the victim is thrown around the vehicle and unable to protect themselves due to their restraints. On May 21st, a grand jury indicted the officers involved on most of the original charges filed, including second-degree depraved-heart murder, manslaughter, and reckless endangerment.
- The Texas Pool Party Incident involves an officer restraining a 15 year old girl on the ground and drawing his weapon while responding to disturbance calls regarding a pool party with over 100 teens on June 5, 2015. The incident was caught on video by a fellow party-goer. The officer was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, and later resigned. There is no information regarding possible legal recourse.
- At Spring Valley High School in South Carolina, a female student was picked up and dragged out of her desk after refusing to comply with a school police officer. The student was told to get up from her desk and when she did not comply, the officer physically removed her. The altercation was caught on video and the school and the local police department is investigating presently while the officer is on administrative leave.
- Ronald Johnson III was running away from police officer George Hernandez when he was shot on October 12, 2014. On December 7th, the Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez (who brought a first-degree murder charge against Officer Jason Van Dyke in the Laquan McDonald case last year) announced that no charges would be filed against Officer Hernandez because of one key difference: Ronald Johnson was known to be holding a firearm when Hernandez opened fire on him. In an effort to prevent further rioting, Alvarez spent 75 minutes explaining the legal justification for Officer Hernandez’s actions in a press release.
- 13 women accused Officer Daniel Holtzclaw of sexual assault and rape in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. One of the women told authorities that Officer Holtzclaw had assaulted her during a traffic stop in June, 2014. After that, more women began coming forward and investigators pieced together the scale of his abuse of power. Holtzclaw was fired in January 2015 after an internal investigation and on December 10, 2015, he was given 263 years in prison.
It’s rather frightening going through all of these cases, and I’ll admit, I grew rather uncomfortable reading a lot of them. In many of these cases, the Officers involved were blatantly in the wrong- such as Officer Holtzclaw and Officer Slager. Some of these cases are a little more ambiguous, such as the Spring Valley High School incident, where an investigation is being completed. And in one of these cases, Officer Hernandez was exonerated from all wrong-doing.
How to Respond
We have seen so many riots in the past few years. It is disheartening to see so many American’s angry with one another. As I said above, in a lot of cases the rioting and the frustration are completely justified- with the exception of any looting or violent protests that have taken place.
Understanding the truth in each case is difficult when we don’t have all of the facts. I believe that Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, took action in understanding the plight of Americans who believe that the police are out to get them. She spent time to discuss the justification behind the decisions they made and implored Americans to use their own logic in deciding if their conclusions were correct.
Here are 4 steps to proactively prevent police brutality and to properly handle it after it has already happened.
- Compliance is important. If an officer asks you to get up from your desk, do it. If they tell you to put your hands behind your back, do it. However, if you believe they have acted inappropriately (such as Daniel Holtzclaw did), don’t be afraid to speak up!
- Don’t assume every cop is horrible. I’d be willing to bet we’ve all met a nice police officer. They are not all bad people. A few rotten eggs have made the whole lot of them seem like bad people.
- Wait for the facts. I believe that, in the vast majority of cases, the truth will win out. If it is true that the police officer was in the wrong, as we have seen, he will be punished appropriately for it. But, regardless of how the courts decide, it is important to wait for all of the facts to be made public before making a decision and becoming angry about the verdict.
- Respect the court’s expertise. This does not mean you cannot peaceably disagree! The reality is that most of us are not lawyers who intimately understand the details of police conduct. If the courts decide to side with the police officer, it is important to understand that they may have more information than you. But, if you feel that the courts made a bad decision, you are given the legal right to protest that decision in a peaceful manner.
It is important that, as a protestor, you do not get violent. In the past few years, we have seen a lot of protests become violent. Violence in a protest delegitimizes your message. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. protested peacefully and saw magnificent change as a result of doing so. If you decide to protest, be sure to advocate for peaceful protesting and have the permits to do so.
Life Rage Has More Information
As a former police officer, Tim Dimoff has spent a lot of time studying and understanding rage, and he compiled all of his knowledge into one, easy-to-read book. His book discusses everything from bullying to child abuse and even depression and anxiety. Order a copy of Life Rage today by calling (330)255-1101.
Have you ever lived next to someone who was just a serious pain in the neck? There is never an easy way to deal with your neighbor playing loud music all hours of the night or getting them to properly secure their dogs in their backyard. Nobody likes living near these kinds of people, but there are ways to properly set up boundaries and open the door to neighborhood harmony without entering into life rage.
My wife and I moved into the apartment we are currently living in a little over a year ago, and I distinctly remember my wife waking me up because our neighbors were singing karaoke to “Like a Virgin” at about 11:30pm on a Friday night. I’m not against some late weekend fun, but my wife cannot fall asleep if there is one decibel over her normal sleeping volume.
Fortunately for us, we were able to handle the issue. One night, while I was sleeping, my wife got up and went out into the hallway and knocked on their door. They immediately shut off their music and our neighbor came to the door and apologized profusely. We never had a problem after that.
But I know that not all stories end as well or as quickly as ours did, so here are some easy tips to promoting harmonious living within your community.
6 Steps to Harmonious Living
- Scout out the neighborhood – If you haven’t yet moved in, you need to investigate the neighborhood to determine if it is somewhere you want to live. Drive around it at night time (or better yet walk around) and get an idea of the activity and noise level. Look for dogs, music, basketball hoops, skateboard ramps, and anything else that would be loud of obtrusive.
- Investigate your neighbors yards/houses – You can determine what kind of neighbor you are going to have if you can see how they keep their yard and maintain their home.
- Set the expectation – Give very clear boundaries and expectations.
When you move in, say something like, “if I am ever too noisy, please don’t hesitate to let me know.” Or if you are going to have some friends over, warn your neighbor by saying, “I’m going to have a few friends over this evening, I don’t think we will be too loud, but give me a call if we are keeping you awake.” These kinds of expectations will keep them off your back if you are a little too noisy and it will open the door to you being able to give your neighbor the same kind of correction. But most importantly, it will define the relationship about what is considered appropriate neighborly behavior.
- Talk first – 9 out of 10 times, your neighbor has no idea they are bothering you unless you tell them. If you are willing to talk to your neighbor about the problems you are having, they will try to compromise with you. But you have to be willing to compromise as well.
- Know your legal recourse – If you cannot get through to your neighbors through civil discussion, knowing your legal recourse options is a good next step. All cities have ordinances regarding noise, house and yard upkeep. Let them know if they cannot be neighborly, you have no option but to file a complaint.
- Lastly, call the police if you think you are in danger – Never approach your neighbor if they have a gun, knife or other weapon. If they start to approach you in a confrontational way, run to your home, lock your doors and call the police. File the report and let them know you will not be intimidated.
Understanding how to live peacefully together is a step in the right direction to stopping the conflict within your community.
Order Your Life Rage Copy Today!
If you are still struggling with your neighbors and how to handle them, order a copy of LifeRage. Tim has put a lot of time and effort into understanding the minds of angry people, and his book can help you with any Life Rage situation.