The guy behind me made it abundantly clear that he was definitely not in favor of my decision.
I realized this when he laid on his horn behind me. And from my rearview mirror, I could see his arms wildly flailing (ironically just like my infant daughter’s arms flail when she’s upset!!). Happily, I couldn’t hear the words that were flying out of his mouth, but I assure you that he wasn’t wishing me a blessed day!
The guy with the flailing arms wasn’t too concerned about our safety…he was having a really, really bad day and he was having his bad day in a hurry.
My first priority was to protect my children and myself by not making a blind left turn into oncoming traffic. Still, my first reaction was a sense of urgency to make the left turn regardless of if anyone was coming. For a brief moment, the big guy with those crazy arms and fast-moving mouth seemed like more of an immediate threat than any cars that might crash into me.
But I kept my cool and stuck with my decision to put saftey first. And then the thought hit me…I wasn’t the cause of that guy’s bad day. I suspect he has many episodes like that often, and I simply can’t take credit for making him mad. Honestly, I’m just not that influential over anyone.
Whatever his problem was that day wasn’t going to be solved by me making a left turn when he demanded…he needed professional help! So, as I sat there (with my doors locked and 911 pulled up on my phone…just in case!) sticking to my “no left turn” policy, I also made a new policy in life not to own other people’s problems…especially in traffic! Wow, what a sense of freedom. I didn’t get upset at the guy for cursing me and honking at me. My day wasn’t ruined by letting his problems spill over into my day. My heart rate and blood pressure were perfectly normal.
Not taking ownership of someone else’s “issues” meant my day wasn’t ruined. I’d like to pass that onto my children.