My two year old reminded me today of a lesson I try to teach my boys.
Me, griping: "There are a lot of bad drivers out today."
Sam: "But Mommy, they aren't bad. They're nice."
Me: "You're right. They're just making poor decisions today."
Just that little reminder, that we all make poor decisions, calmed me. I could feel my blood pressure drop back to normal. Because I'm sure I've done bone-headed things while driving - forgetting to signal, getting confused which lane I should be in, maybe stopping a little too late and quickly. Haven't we all?
And that little parenting lesson, telling my sons that I still love them even when I don't like their behavior, is about separating the person from the action.
Remembering that the driver who just cut you off isn't really a bad person sure can make you remember that they are a person. The driver isn't the car, which is easy to transfer anger to, inanimate object that it is. And the driver is only human and humans make mistakes.
I bet removing my anger and aggression (ok, more annoyance than anger) made me a better driver so someone else wasn't griping about my ability to safely maneuver a car.