I do not often allow myself to get angry in my daily life. The idea of “allowing myself” to feel an emotion is silly though. I probably have the emotion anyway, but I just do not allow myself to experience it and use it in a productive way. In any case, anger is difficult for me, even though I am acutely aware of when I receive unfair treatment, and being treated unfairly is a completely legitimate reason for feeling anger.
There is one realm where I find anger comes easily too me–when I am driving. The following are some of my driving pet peeves that flip the angry (or just annoyed) switch in me on a regular basis:
(1) Drivers who cut me off in a way that forces me to hit my brakes. This is especially annoying if I have been waiting in a long line of slow moving cars and a driver decides to sneak in at the last minute near the front of the line, nearly causing an accident behind him/her. Bonus annoyance points if the driver does not turn on his/her turn signal before veering in front of me.
(2) Drivers who drive close behind me, as if trying to nudge me along to speed up, when the cars in front of me are going too slow for us to go any faster. Yes, this will increase the likelihood I will step on my brakes unexpectedly. Double annoyance points for the driver who tries to unsuccessfully pass me on the right.
(3) Drivers who merge onto the freeway at < 50 mph when the flow of traffic is at least 65 mph or who speed up to 80 mph to prevent me from safely merging at 65 mph.
(4) Bike riders who do not follow the traffic laws. California is already not super safe for bike riders and I would really rather all the bikers stay safe rather than run through that red light just to maintain pace.
(5) Pedestrians who jaywalk in front of moving traffic. When I’m a pedestrian, I am definitely afraid of cars and use the crosswalks appropriately. My body just does not have the same armor as a car. That said, drivers who turn into crosswalks when the pedestrian has the right of way are particularly annoying.
(6) Drivers who do not follow the rules at a four-way stop, either by not going when it is their turn or jumping the line early.
(7) Drivers who right turn on red when I am in the middle of a u-turn.
(8) Trucks who decide to pass each other on a two-lane road, cutting off a line of cars going the 65 mph speed limit just so the truck driver can go 55 mph instead of the 54 mph that the slower truck was imposing.
(9) People driving in the middle of the road, usually in residential areas, instead of sticking to their side of the road.
(10) Lots of what goes on in parking lots, ranging from pedestrians walking without looking for cars (and my quiet Prius does not make this any better) to drivers backing up without checking first that all is clear to people driving in the wrong direction (against the direction of the arrows) to drivers taking wide, fast turns that take up most of the road and more.
I drove more than usual yesterday (almost 3.5 hours) and I was fairly grumpy by the time I finally got home at the end of the day, which definitely inspired this post.