Why do we get angry in a traffic jam?


There was a time when I’d literally end up in tears, the next stage after anger, when I’d get stuck in traffic. I’d try it all, swearing at other drivers ahead, cursing the bad roads, screaming my lungs out, even pulling out my hair, until I questioned myself one day “Where will frustration in a traffic jam take me? Ahead? Certainly not.” While several around me lose their cool, I am now surprised to find myself calm and cheerful, since I had long made peace with traffic, knowing I have two ways to deal with a situation I have no control over, lose my mind over it and let negative emotions take over, or stay calm and enjoy the alone time I get.

Traffic jams are unavoidable, especially in rainy seasons or busy hours. It is important to remember, that it is one of those situations where nobody can actually do anything, except for waiting for the traffic to clear. It’s like being stuck in a room for a limited time. You can either stay calm and take rest, or lose your head over opening the door that you know will open soon anyway. The physical pain that they bring along, is unavoidable too, and will probably test your patience, but a frustrated mind, will only make the pain worse.

Frustration and anger, makes the time stuck in traffic, much worse. The frustration that begins in a traffic jam, doesn’t end with it. It seeps through your day, or night, and sometimes onto people who are no way related to your struggle on the road. Don’t let bad traffic set out a chain reaction. The next time you’re stuck in a traffic jam, take a moment before you react. Remember, that getting angry or frustrated, will not take you anywhere ahead, it won’t clear up the road or add civic sense into the government that built the bad roads or bad drivers that made the traffic worse. When you do that, you end the misery in the traffic, and don’t carry it beyond. Listen to an audio book, play a game with yourself or your co passenger, look around and study people, dance in your car and cheer yourself up. When you get frustrated, remind yourself that anger won’t help clear up the traffic but will only make the experience worse.

All it takes is conscious awareness, that it’s something you cannot change, and is best dealt with peace. Happy driving!

10 thoughts on “Where Will Frustration in a Traffic Jam Take You?

  1. I grew up in a small town where a “traffic jam” meant it took 5-10 minutes longer than normal to get to your destination. A little over 2 years ago, I moved to a metro area with well over a million people. I learned pretty quickly what a real traffic jam is like. While it still doesn’t make sense to me that traffic comes to a complete stop every day on a highway that has no stop signs or traffic lights, I learned quickly that getting frustrated and upset doesn’t help things in any way. I absolutely agree with you… when stuck in traffic, all you can do is stay calm and remember that things will eventually clear up. I always turn up some music and just enjoy the chance to listen to loud music and sing along. Believe me, nobody else wants to hear me sing. 😉 haha When you can’t control the things that are happening around you, you might as well just try to make the best of the situation. Life is too short to be stressed out and upset over things you can’t control.

    Great post!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou for sharing Danny. “Life is too short to be stressed out and upset over things you can’t control!” Very well said. I had to face terrble traffic as part of my commute everyday, for over 6 years! I’d get angry, upset, sad and deal with a ton of emotions, and let the frustration seep in to my interaction and time with others, long after I reached home. This continued until I realized on my own, the damage it was doing to my mind and the little time I had left after the traffic. That is when I decided to stop getting stressed over things I had no control over. Thankfully I no longer have long commutes, but I’m much calmer when I do face traffic once a while. Juts like you mentioned, might as well make the best of the situation 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! There was a time when I had to commute about 30kms each, to and fro! I just had to make peace with the boring waste of time! I once was stuck in such bad traffic, that I started reading a book behind the wheel! Vehicles showed no signs of moving anytime soon, and I just had to kill time 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I too recently learned to take it easy when stuck in traffic. Getting worked up and angry won’t cause the traffic to move faster. I started to enjoy the surroundings, listen to some music or have a conversation. I need to purchase some audio books.. that’s a great way to spent the time. Great post 🙂


    1. Thanks Candace. Isn’t it much better than sulking over something you have absolutely no control over? Talking of surroundings, if I were stuck in traffic jam in an island, I’d never want the traffic to move 😛 I’d rather just be stuck and enjoy the beauty around 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good advice, traffic is one thing that tends to stress me out, even if I’m not driving. But you are absolutely correct about that anger and frustration carrying over even when the drive ends. I try to relax and listen to music, and if there’s another person in the car, I try to look on traffic jams as an opportunity for conversation.


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