09 May 2011

The Car And The Real Person

If you want to know what someone is really like, watch him or her drive a car. People can be polite when moving around others in a crowded area, be polite in letting others through a door first or when negotiating around a supermarket with a shopping trolley. But when they get into the car, does that considerateness continue, or do they become belligerent and intolerant?

The fact is people who may behave decently face to face can become tyrants behind the wheel. Why is that? There is something about the disconnection a car makes between you and others. That leads to the person dropping their guard and letting the real person come to the fore.

My father was a polite man in public, but his manners continued behind the wheel because his core persona was not aggressive. Others show how nasty they can be when cocooned behind the sheet metal that is a car. So if you wonder what your true personality is, how do you conduct yourself on the road? Is it mild tempered, considerate and yielding, or perhaps do we get angry and explosive at the slightest upset?

Attitudes and feelings are moldable, so being milder of spirit when dealing with others is achievable. By showing courtesy on the road, and be patient with other motorists - and pedestrians too - we prove we can a better person in the way we treat others...even behind the wheel.

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