Ask Kari: How can I manage my stress on the road when I’m frustrated with terrible drivers?

Dear Kari,

Help, I am finding myself more frustrated then ever when I am driving around town. Each day I feel my temper getting hotter at the terrible drivers I engage with when I am going to and from work. There are so many terrible drivers in this town! Do you have any suggestions for me to have a better day?

Done Driving

Dear Done Driving,

This is a very hot topic, no pun intended. There are a lot of cars moving around our city on daily basis, which can cause stress for most people. I suggest that you make your travels in your car as soothing as possible. First, try and listen to music that makes you feel good (or no music if silence works better). Try and remind yourself that there are both good and bad drivers on the road each day, and that you will likely encounter both; thinking this thought can lead to acceptance vs. frustration. I know that encountering a bad driver leads one to feel heated, but I do not recommend engaging with them in an aggressive manner. Instead, go back again to the previous frame of thought, “There are both good and bad drivers and I accept them both”. Follow that up with redirecting your thoughts again to the good music that you were listening to.


As published in the October 2017 issue of Connections.


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

This column is for entertainment purposes only. If you are in crisis and in need of support please contact the Crisis Clinic at 866-427-4747.

Email your Ask Kari questions to [email protected] or use our online form. All email user personal information will remain confidential and not be public.