June 29, 2010

Letting emotions get the best of you

By Anna | 10 Comments »

Today is like any other day. I’m working hard, waiting for the moment I can run out and grab that elixir of life, coffee.  I walk out into the scorching sun, and head down the street to Lucy’s. As I arrive at the crosswalk, I notice an SUV is about to turn into my path. I allow this. Then I cross, but the guy behind the SUV goes to. If I had not been anticipating this scenario, I probably would have gotten hit. I was standing about 3 feet from his car when he crossed my path, and without even a thought I threw him the bird. He probably did the same in response…there was certainly something going on in there directed toward me, but the sun was glaring into the window so I couldn’t tell for sure if it was the finger or an apologetic wave.

I immediately regretted it. Why should I let someone so stupid and beneath me get my emotions up? They don’t deserve it, that’s for fucking sure. I feel the same way about biking. As I’ve previously mentioned, I usually get neutral to positive results whenever I put on a smile, wave, and respond politely to all negative attention, and that’s what I try to do. Unfortunately, anger and escalating behavior is my automatic response. It’s a struggle to put out those positive vibes rather than the negative ones, but the effort definitely pays off in my opinion. Even if my response doesn’t change the way the other person reacts, I feel better about myself, and I feel better about the situation.

After this experience I came back and read a post from Bikes and the City about Meli’s experience with some skank while riding.  It reaffirms a conviction I’m sure many of us share:  the only thing you can control in any given situation is the way that you respond.  Be safe and wise out there friends!

Enjoyed This Post? Share with others:
digg | stumble | del.icio.us


  1. On June 29th, 2010 Lara said:

    Control my anger and sense of outrage in these situations is REALLY hard for me to do, but you are right, if you can control it, you feel SO much better for it. And avoid escalating a situation–little exchanges like that can turn into a scary situation no one wants.

  2. On June 29th, 2010 oldfool said:

    It does not get easier as you get older. I find that my finger rises faster and with much less effort that my ability to say “good morning”. I wish there was a commonly known hand signal for “thanks” or “sorry” but if there is I don’t know it. Waving to someone to acknowledge a courtesy they have given is just as often interpreted as being flipped off.

  3. On June 29th, 2010 Bliss Chick said:

    Grrrr . . . I’m so sorry! In my better moments, I try to wave or blow the person a kiss, but as oldfool said, that gets misinterpreted as well. All we can do is practice how we want to respond.

  4. On June 30th, 2010 Richard said:

    You’re human. It’s normal.

  5. On June 30th, 2010 meligrosa said:

    stay strong Anna. think that maybe they were (rather idiots) and didn’t see you.
    You never know what loonatik you may encounter out there, life is to beautiful!
    mucho love +thanks for your support.
    many hugs, as we all know, quick unexpected shenanigans can always turn very, very ugly.

    xxo.m <3

  6. On June 30th, 2010 meligrosa said:

    now let’s all get a punching bag and put those losers faces and names, or cross streets on it.

  7. On June 30th, 2010 Steve A said:

    It may not get easier with age but it DOES get easier with practice.

  8. On June 30th, 2010 John Romeo Alpha said:

    I think we need the fast reaction time of our more primitive faculties to survive in traffic. The challenge comes from separating them from the emotional reactions that surface up with them–anger, frustration, middle fingers, yelling, throwing U-locks. It’s very possible to control those and then ride happy, because that added baggage is all internal to us, and we can learn to govern ourselves so that we are not hair-trigger bags of anger and pent-up violence. If we seek that in other people, we should foster it in ourselves first. We need to nurture our better sides while also reacting near-instantly to threats. Peace.

  9. On July 1st, 2010 Dottie said:

    I have no wisdom on this subject, as I too often let my anger take over. Every experience on the bike is heightened, including the feeling of vulnerability and … anger. So I’m still trying, one a-hole at a time.

  10. On July 2nd, 2010 2whls3spds said:

    Been there done that and left a sizable dent in the side of an Escalade with my steel toed work boot…

    All we can do is work on it.


RSS feed for coments on this post
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

No public Twitter messages. You Should Follow Me on Twitter
  • Things We Believe In