I have polled many of my married friends and found that I am not alone in my annoyance at disputes between driver and back-seat driver. Apparently if the adults in a family drive, annoyance is almost inevitable. Almost, but although it has taken years and years, but I have cut the back-seat driving annoyance on my anger scale to a 3 or 4 with 10 being the exploding point.
David is the happy wanderer. He likes by-ways, not high ways, and tends to think when he arrives, he is on time. I’m like a Bronx cab driver, I like to get where I am going as fast as possible and would rather be a half an hour early than five minutes late. So riding together has not built harmony, but we have been together for almost 40 years and we both have ways of keeping our cool in the car.
Here are some tips:.
- If you want to do it your way, insist on driving.
- When driving, ignore all comments from the other unless safety is involved. Hum, sing, listen to the radio, keep your eyes on the road, which is there they should be anyway. Don’t converse any more than necessary.
- Practice every self-soothing skill you know.
- Work really hard to keep your self talk positive.
- Apologize when you are wrong and even if you think you aren’t
- Forgive and forget the other person’s flaws; you have your own
- If you are not driving, sit in the back seat, pretend you are being chauffeured, read, do puzzles, watch the scenery, nap, watch a movie on your cell phone.
- If you must sit in the front seat, keep your eyes off the road, self-sooth.
- Converse as little as possible. If you can’t be quiet, accept responsibility for any irritation shown by the driver, even if a comment of yours save both your lives.
- Apologize regularly, forgive and forget, we all have our flaws.
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