The sound of screeching tires pierce the silence of my morning commute. A black BMW slides to a halt, stopping centimeters short of my rear bumper. My eyes shoot toward the rear view mirror. I am greeted by the driver’s silhouette against the morning sun. I squint to see her face. She is stressed. I can tell by her expression. She is talking to herself – and potentially me. I decipher what she is saying by reading her lips. I can interpret the four letter words clear as day. After muttering a few more expletives to herself, she decides to communicate her feelings through a commonly used hand gesture… or should I say, finger gesture?
Did she just flip me off? I can’t believe she flipped me off! Wait… I’m confused!? What the hell did I do!? Was that really directed toward me!? That can’t be…
It was directed at me. Directed toward the guy sitting patiently at the roundabout waiting on his turn to proceed. Did I do something wrong? Am I going to let this affect my day? Why is her anger directed toward me? I was so confused.
Let’s take a closer look at those questions:
Did I do something wrong? No. I was waiting for the traffic to clear to enter the roundabout. There is nothing I could have done to prevent her actions.
Am I going to let this affect my day? No. The only thing that I have control over is how I respond to this situation. I cannot address her anger, I don’t need to. I have two choices; shrug it off and move on with my day or get angry and let it sit with me all day. The latter does no good for anyone. She may feel she was wronged. She may carry it with her today, but that’s out of my control and quite frankly, none of my business.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
Why is her anger directed toward me? Who cares. It’s completely out of my control. I have no idea what she is going through in her life. She could have just had a major fight with her partner, or child, or parent, or whomever. She may have just gotten some terrible news. She may have just been pissed off that she needed to go back to work after the long Memorial Day weekend. No matter where her anger stemmed from, it has no bearing on me.