“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Jul 5, 2013
DEAR AMY: I'm in my early 50s. For the past few years, I have been experiencing increasing bouts of road rage, especially driving home from work. When traffic's light, I'm happy and drive safely. But when the road's crowded and/or when I see dangerous moves or my personal peeves (failure to signal or to yield), my temper flares.

I think this started after my Saturn died and I ended up with a sportier car. I actually scream to let off steam, loudly enough that I think others can hear. Last week I found myself doing 75 mph in a 45-mph zone after a taxi sped up and tried to cut me off (he won the biggest jerk contest). When I get out of my car, the anger goes away.

I think pressure at work is stoking it. I'm ashamed of my behavior, but I haven't figured out how to stop. Reciting mantras ("I will not get angry, I will not let others get the best of me") hasn't worked. Do you have any suggestions on how to calm down? Therapy is not an affordable option right now.-- Car Screamer

DEAR SCREAMER: Even though you say you can't afford therapy, a professional evaluation and a couple of sessions could do you a world of good before you hurt yourself or someone else. One reason road rage is so dangerous is because if you lash out at someone equally raging, the resulting combustion could hurt a lot of people.

I wonder if the "mantras" you are choosing might be triggering your rage by reminding you that you actually do get angry; you do let others get the best of you. For you, screaming might raise your temper and temperature and be the opposite of letting off steam.

In the short term, try to decompress from the office before you enter your car at the end of the day. Perhaps you could work out or take a yoga class, take a walk or simply have a snack and read your favorite section of the paper. Relaxing for as little as 15 minutes before entering your car should help.

You should practice mindfulness, breathing and meditation techniques during times when you typically experience small frustrations. Successfully deep-breathing (not screaming) your way through a minor traffic tie-up will give you the important experience of successful control. Listening to favorite podcasts or music in the car (not raging, noisy DJs) could keep you entertained enough that you'll be more lighthearted and in less of a hurry.

DEAR AMY: For a number of years, my family has been poorly treated by my cousin and her husband. This cousin is not on speaking terms with her two sisters, who have also experienced such maltreatment.

They now have a summer residence across the street from mine. They spy on the activities of my elderly mother, my brother and me. They will not acknowledge us but will go to neighbors and spread negative rumors about us. When their son was married, my mother received a letter "dis-inviting" us to the wedding! Not one person from our side of the family was invited.

This cousin's father passed away a number of months ago. My mother, brother and I sent flowers. Those, too, went unacknowledged. We invited them to 85th and 90th birthday parties for my mother. They did not RSVP and did not attend. We are very hurt by this behavior and seek your insight on how to deal with this stressful situation.-- Hurt in N.Y.

DEAR HURT: Your stress will diminish if you follow your cousin's lead and act as if she doesn't exist. Simply step off this roller coaster. Do not invite this couple to events -- don't ruminate on their behavior. You cannot seem to heal this relationship, so concentrate on the functional friend and family relationships in your life.

DEAR AMY: Like "Torn," the nondrinking college student who feels pressured to "party" along with her friends, I don't drink and never have. The pressure to imbibe is considerable until other people adjust. I found that just holding an opaque cup with liquid in it seemed to get people off my case.-- Not Torn

DEAR NOT: Great suggestion.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#2 Jul 5, 2013
1- Why the hell you in such a goddamm hurry? I'll bet you're the guy riding my bumper when I'm going ten miles over the speed limit. The other day a woman blared her horn at me because we were stopped at a red light and she wanted to turn right but I was blocking her. She tried to squeeze around on the side but there wasn't enough room. Lady, the light will turn green in 30 seconds. Your cocktail isn't going anywhere. Relax.
(of course I sat there for a few more seconds after the light changed just to pzz her off. And boy, it worked!)

2- Yes, stop working on this relationship. And why do you and your brother still live with your elderly mother?
Stina

Ronkonkoma, NY

#4 Jul 5, 2013
LW1: Get yourself in check before you kill someone. And I hope you aren't texting while driving like a jerk.

LW2: Dog, the mom is pretty old. Maybe they take care of her? And it's a vacation house, not a regular house.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Jul 5, 2013
1.Maybe this is a real person with a real problem. However when he wrote
"I think this started after my Saturn died and I ended up with a sportier car."

I wondered 2 things. First was this a frat boy question and second, can this guy be so clueless that he thinks a sport car unleashed his road rage?

He will wind up on a YouTube or CNN video when he starts a fist fight in the middle of the expressway.

2. Read up on the concept of shunning and then use it back on them. Figure out a smart-ass response when asked by the neighbors, something that will piss them off when it gets back to them. Perhaps, Oh yeah, we used to be related to them before we got the DNA tests back, or something
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#6 Jul 5, 2013
LW1 - Bouts of rage can be a symptom of depression. Really. If you are aware that you react to certain situations with anger that is way, way, way out of proportion to the circumstances, you need to talk to your doctor. Therapy may be good, but sometimes a low dose of an antidepressant can go a long way even without it.

LW2 - Stop trying to have this relationship. You don't HAVE a relationship with these people. Just act like these people are weird total strangers to you.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#7 Jul 5, 2013
Stina wrote:
LW1: Get yourself in check before you kill someone. And I hope you aren't texting while driving like a jerk.
LW2: Dog, the mom is pretty old. Maybe they take care of her? And it's a vacation house, not a regular house.
And maybe they're just mooches. And it's the cousin's summer home, the lw didn't specify if it was THEIR summer home.

Since: May 13

Location hidden

#8 Jul 5, 2013
Solution: move to a small area / town where the population is less than 300 people. Be sure this place offers everything you'll need. Drs, gro. shopping etc. Drive daily without getting on the any 4 lane / interstate. Then, after about a year hit the interstate , this will cure you.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#9 Jul 5, 2013
hellodear wrote:
Solution: move to a small area / town where the population is less than 300 people. Be sure this place offers everything you'll need. Drs, gro. shopping etc. Drive daily without getting on the any 4 lane / interstate. Then, after about a year hit the interstate , this will cure you.
Sounds like :
1. SunCity or some over 55 retirement village
2. minimum security prison
3. Loony bin, assuming they still have those

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#10 Jul 5, 2013
PEllen wrote:
3. Loony bin, assuming they still have those
Yes, it's called congress!

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