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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Flawed Thinking in Road-Rage or Calculating Asshole? Could be Both.

Of all the types of rage, road-rage is arguably the most prevalent and common [1].

In a world of high-capacity motor vehicles, self-destructive and impulsive peoples, and most of all, impatient and entitled mindsets - road-rage is ever so common. Its so common and so horrifying (for many), that psychologists and even public figures in the medical field (such as Dr.Phil) have come out to declare the mentalities of these people [2] [3].

So what does research (and logic), say about road-ragers?

Well it seems there are two types.

-The calculating asshole
-The brainless idiot

You know what that actually means?

It means we have an epidemic that can't be soothed so easily, not until we understand more about the differences between each type.

The Brainless Idiot (respectfully, we should actually refer to them as the angry impatient person)

So let's do that. (btw if you want to know the updated definitions and challenges of road rage cited click here)

The angry impatient, person

The characteristics of this person are that they "need to get wherever they need to go and the hell with everyone else''. Its really common. Not just on the road. But in stores. In malls. At the movies. I've seen this type of shit everywhere. Heck, I'm not gonna' lie, I've been this person a few times before.

The idea is they are either 1.) miserable with their own lives or 2.) just really have no patience at all.

These people see each traffic light, each glare from another driver as an insult. Even slow drivers. Each one is an opposition to THEM. There is no other reason. These things are in the way and they are every reason to justify anger up until the destination (if they make it there). Of course, these people ASSUME they will make (or find) their way to their destination. HOW COULD IT POSSIBLY GO ANY OTHER WAY??? But while 98% of  those road-ragers *might make it. A few of these lone angry people might not. Because awareness is only in the heat of the moment and light drunkenness often plays a role [4]. (I say lightdrunkenness because in hardcore users their ability to give a coherent thought to anything would likely be compromised)

In these particular individuals, cognition to the full extent is often compromised by the heat running in their veins [5]. This leaves an unsavory environment, not just for those around them but also in their own heads. They often crash later. I don't mean physically, but mentally.

The Calculating Asshole

An intellectual discussion might unexpectedly hit bends and turns and twists, but the calculating asshole hits them on purpose. He is the most intentional of the types of road-ragers, and he is defined by senseless, merciless and cold behavior. This type may appear impulsive, but he is really just ecstatically reckless. They derive euphoria from the danger they put themselves and others in - but believe they have all the answers nonetheless.

I sat down and had a discussion with one of these guys. I will not give his name, but I will say it was an interesting discussion.

This man is someone who brags about yelling at people to get a reaction, cutting people off on the road, taking dangerous turns and even throwing crushed bottles at people, in addition to other provoking tactics.

Jason: You're someone who's undoubtedly guilty of road-rage, but you come across as premeditated and calculating.
TCA: I'm a very smart guy, I calculate everything, even on the road.
Jason: Do you feel angry when you have to calculate your actions on the road?
TCA: To a degree yes, but I still hold my composure, I can feel my anger collecting, but it doesn't cause any uncomfortable feelings for me.
Jason : "What makes you so sure that you won't one day miscalculate your aggressive driving?
TCA: I take one look at everyone on the road, and within a split second I know everything about them and how much leverage I have on the road.
Jason : What makes you think that you won't slip up? Assuming your analysis is correct of the person, what is to say that one day you will analyze the second AFTER you cut the person off? 
TCA: Its customary for me, like instinct. Any time I speed, or cut corners, or rev up my engine in someones face - I do this all after I've already (instinctually) analyzed the person.
Jason : But how could you know FOR SURE? People's personalities have been known to change, in a split-second.
TCA: True, but I could look for signs in the persons facial expression, and even if they took the dirty route and came after me, I drive in such a way where I can guarantee an escape route. I know these roads better than anyone. Hey, worst case scenario, that person may end up looking at the barrel of a gun.
Jason : During the day-time? And the incident can be reported. Do you have a mask? Whats to say your license plate wouldn't have been written down by someone else on the road?
TCA: I don't believe those chances are very great, and besides, there are tons of ways to lie about the incident - so much that the other person doesn't have a chance, not even in court.
Jason : Well its obvious you are a very calculating individual, thanks for your time.

Now of course, its obvious I was speaking with a tremendously antisocial individual, but most road-ragers are antisocial (even the angry impatient types). If you've read my work on this topic, you would already know he fits into the "bold-disinhibited" personality type.


But let's get back into the topic at hand - WHAT EVEN is really driving these people? What is it that makes them all have that one "untouchable'' trait. They all think they are immune to repercussions. 
The idea is they all (even the former category) have (in my opinion) an entirely grandiose sense of self. EVEN if they have suicidal tendencies, those moments on the road reflect some kind of narcissism.

Now this isn't all to say that - people who occasionally express mild road-rage can't be good people. But its those who express it nearly or every time they get in their car that this says a lot about their personality. The funny thing about society though, is most of us (especially in low income counties) believe that 100% of these drivers MUST BE the angry impatient type - but I think we know deep down that some of these guys (and women) are calculating assholes. 

What's unique is that road-ragers have an exceptional consistence with their attitudes in response to being confronted. Its almost always (and remarkably) the same self-justifying answer. Very rarely do you confront a veteran road-rager and get a sympathetic or ''toned down'' response. In a way, its like road-rage is another form of alcohol, its a satisfying fuel that stimulates brain-endorphins for those who have committed to the lifestyle.


  1. Hey man I've been following your posts for a while and would love the opportunity to ask a few quick questions. Is this a good place to chat or do you have an email I could use? Thanks much, Ian


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