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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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I find that my own road rage is triggered when I feel as if someone else on the road has violated a rule (whether that rule is real, or my own). Ego comes into it, as well, I think. I've learned some ways to diffuse my anger.

My aversion to bumper stickers started when I was in high school and a teacher I despised had one on his car that read "Come to think of it, I do own this road".

Donna,

That one manages to combine narcissistic entitlement with an expansive sense of territoriality, but that's one way, I suppose, to get at the difference between normal territoriality, which has limits and boundaries, and narcissistic territoriality, which has no boundaries. "There is only mine; yours is only what I grant you for the moment."

Bumper stickers are expressions of the old poster, on which the mouse flips the bird to the predator that is about to devour him. However, they engender numerous negative attitudes and behaviors. The one which I find most ignorant says: keep on honking, buddy---I'm re-loading. Really? If I were carrying a loaded gun in my car, I would not want to advertise that fact. Look, we are either civilized, law-abiding citizens---or we are not. If you are not, try living in Alaska---lots of room up there, fewer people to annoy you; and a cooler climate---to help you understand community and the importance of cooperation for survival itself...

Leave your damned guns at home---and stop goading people into doing you harm---or death. Wake up...or, get off the planet. The rest of us will not miss you. Get it?

Oh, yeah: to the gun-toting moron who does not like to be honked at? Lead, follow, or get out of the way. Stupidity may be genetic, but ignorance is learned.

Studies have revealed motorists are more likely to speed (and exhibit aggressive behavior?) when in proximity to other vehicles. I do not recall if this behavior applied to most drivers or a small percentage, but probably a disconcerting percentage.

I am generally a docile, defensive driver, and like Melanie can become angered by Type-A drivers who invade my space by lane darting, tailgating or failing to yield. I generally come to my senses before reacting in a illogical manner, but not 100 percent of the time.

My most interesting experience involved a creature who I noticed approaching fast on a two lane, yellow line road with posted limit of 30mph. This driver began flashing his lights due to the fact I was travelling at the speed limit. I then made a point to come to a COMPLETE stop at the next two stop signs, which caused him to go beserk. The lunatic pulled alongside me and threatened to call 911 and report my driving. I could only hope, for the sake of other motorists, he was going straight home to engage in some "activity" to release his hostility. He became extremely agitated when I looked at him and began mimmicking his conduct.


Do any studies exist for those who affix stickers to other bumpers?

The last ones I applied (years ago) were to coworker's vehicles at an IRS group training. The return trip to home base was 100 miles, so they had plenty of exposure. My (female) supervisor got; Honk If You Are Horny. This Car Powered By Lust is the only other one I remember of the 5 or 6 stickers applied.

Personally, I would rather be waterboarded than own a vehicle with a bumper sticker.

Hmm. So the actual content of the bumper stickers doesn't matter, because they all count as territorial markers that suggest the owner of the car is special in some way, this indicates a tendency toward road rage? Maybe...but that seems a tenuous connection, like claiming that having tattoos makes a person mean.

I have three bumper stickers currently, all with magnetic backings so they can be changed out. I don't consider them aggressive, but perhaps they could hint at narcissism....if any attempt to personalize your vehicle counts as narcissistic.

I know a person's evaluation of their own driving can be off, but am pretty sure I'm on the cautious side due to things like almost never speeding, leaving a considerable following distance regardless of how many people jump into it, and having used my horn once in the past year.

Oh, and

Do any studies exist for those who affix stickers to other bumpers?

The last ones I applied (years ago) were to coworker's vehicles at an IRS group training. The return trip to home base was 100 miles, so they had plenty of exposure. My (female) supervisor got; Honk If You Are Horny. This Car Powered By Lust is the only other one I remember of the 5 or 6 stickers applied.

I'm not sure a study is needed....but if you really did that a whopping fine is, for deliberately defacing someone else's property. You'd rather be waterboarded than own a car with bumper stickers, but you were happy to impose that on other people?

Gretchen,

Practical jokes were commonplace during this 4 week seminar. Dozens of IRS employees stayed in the same ocean front hotel and socialized like family members. None of my co-workers were angered or annoyed by the easily removed bumper stickers. They were xeroxed copies which were applied with scotch tape around the perimeter.

It might interest you to learn I had an accomplice who distracted several IRS employees while I reversed the peep hole on their hotel room door. We also fished through the purse of a co-worker to confirm the date of her birthday in order to hold a surprise party. Fortunately, we weren't arrested or fined.


Lighten up Gretch

I've never associated narcissism with road rage. I would think that a narcissist would want to keep his or her BMW or Mercedes pristine instead of putting unsightly stickers on it. Personally I would never detract so much from my car's appearance; I like my car to look flawless. You only put bumper stickers on your car if it's an older car. You don't see anyone putting stickers on their Ferrari's or Bentley's.

I often find that bumper stickers annoy the person driving behind them; they have to be subjected to the other person's opinions.

Please remove the comment from "Asianprincez" on your site. Since you are unwilling to link to the site in question, I do not appreciate you posting my comment. Either list it with the link I included or don't list me at all. I would never have bothered to write a comment if i knew you were going to edit my website url and "name".

I don't include urls to businesses and I didn't alter your name. That's the name that was in the name box. I've never had anyone demand a comment removal after their attempt to get a commercial back link was denied. Interesting.

I kind of like the one with the picture of the semi-automatic hand gun, which says: "I don't call 911". I wonder how that bozo would feel with his tires blown out (or worse) by someone wielding an Uzi or Mac 10? If you paint a target on yourself, some fool may decide to use you for target practice---just, sayin...

Intimidation can cause unforeseen pain. But, some of us learn things the harder way.

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