Driving with Emotional Intelligence
There are 10 basic skills that you need to possess in order to drive with competence. Driving with emotional intelligence
involves identifying problem areas and then taking steps to change your thinking so you will be a better and less aggressive driver
thus less prone to violent behaviors while behind the wheel. Consider the following driving competencies along with a non-intelligent response then change your own thinking toward the emotionally intelligent response instead.
1. Focusing on self versus blaming others or the situation
Not Emotionally Intelligent: "This traffic is impossiblyslow. What’s wrong with these jerks? They’re driving like idiots."
Emotionally Intelligent: "I’m feeling very impatient today. Everything seems to tick me off."
2. Understanding how feelings and thoughts act together
Not Emotionally Intelligent: "I’m angry, scared, outraged. How can they do this to me?"
Emotionally Intelligent: "I feel angry, scared, outraged when I think about what could have happened."
3. Realizing that anger is something we choose versus thinking it is provoked
Not Emotionally Intelligent: "They make me so mad when they do that."
Emotionally Intelligent: "I make myself so mad when they do that."
4. Being concerned about consequences versus giving in to impulse
Not Emotionally Intelligent: "I just want to give this driver a piece of my mind. I just want him to know how I feel."
Emotionally Intelligent: "If I respond to this provocation I lose control over the situation. It’s not worth it."
5. Showing respect for others and their rights versus thinking only of oneself
Not Emotionally Intelligent: "They better stay out of my way. I’m in no mood for putting up with them. Out of my way folks."
Emotionally Intelligent: "I wish there was no traffic
but it’s not up to me. These people have to get to their destination too."
6. Accepting traffic as collective team work versus seeing it as individual competition
Not Emotionally Intelligent: "Driving is about getting ahead. I get a jolt out of beating a red light or finding the fastest lane. It’s me versus everybody else."
Emotionally Intelligent: "I try to keep pace with the traffic realizing that my movements can slow others down—like switching lanes to try to get ahead."
7. Recognizing the diversity of drivers and their needs and styles versus blaming them for what they choose to do
Not Emotionally Intelligent: "How can they be so stupid? They’re talking on the phone instead of paying attention to the road."
Emotionally Intelligent: "I need to be extra careful around drivers using a hand held cellular
phone since they may be distracted."
8. Practicing positive role models versus negative
Not Emotionally Intelligent: "Come on, buddy, speed up or I’ll be on your tail. Go, go. What’s wrong with you? There’s no one ahead."
Emotionally Intelligent: "This driver is going slower than my desires. Now I can practice the art of patience and respect for the next few minutes."
9. Learning to inhibit the impulse to criticize by developing a sense of driving humor
Not Emotionally Intelligent: "I can’t stand all these idiots on the road. They slow down when they should speed up. They gawk, they crawl, anything but drive."
Emotionally Intelligent: "I’m angry, I’m mad. Therefore I’ll act calm, I’ll smile and not compete. Already I feel better. Be my guest, enter ahead."
10. Taking driving seriously by becoming aware of one’s mistakes and correcting them
Not Emotionally Intelligent: "I’m an excellent driver, assertive and competent, with a clean accident record—just a few tickets here and there."
Emotionally Intelligent: "I monitor myself as a driver and keep a driving log of my mistakes. I think it’s important to include thoughts and feelings, not just the overt acts."
To learn more about road rage, simply click on the links below: