I am typing this as I wait in the arrival lounge at Dubai airport to pick up my son Aman, who is flying back home today.
I was driving here to pick him up and had just climbed on to a small two- lane bridge, when I suddenly looked into the rear view mirror to see another car coming in too fast behind me, too close for comfort. He was tailgating me, flashing headlights, wanting me move out of his way.
Before you even assume anything, you have to know that, I definitely am not a slow driver. Watching my enthusiasm behind the wheel, my brother used to always say that, he would sign me up for one of those wilderness-driving adventures. 🙂
Anyway, back to being tailgated today. I could feel the immediate panic or urgency to do something, either step on it, to change lanes. I couldn’t change my lane immediately as there was a lot of movement over there. Eventually, I did! And it was a huge relief to not have him behind me.
As he zoomed past me on my left, I noticed he did the same to three other cars, almost demanding them to step aside. I could see each of those cars swiftly shift into the other lane, as though they were all making way for royalty to pass.
This got me wondering about certain behaviours we encounter and our reaction vs response to them. I was curious as to why the other drivers and to some extent I, was inheriting and feeling responsible for his sense of urgency? It felt like we were all in some sense or the yielding to the aggressiveness of another. It sure was not a comfortable response; it was more out of panic or urgency. We were reacting to his attitude as opposed to responding to the situation.
Why does aggressiveness and dominant behaviour invite submissiveness? Or vice versa too.
The louder a loud person gets, the quieter a quiet one does too, a demanding person gets his/her need get met more often. An aggressive person doesn’t experience much opposition, the more aggressive he becomes; the quieter people get around him/her.
On the outside it might look like a great balance. But if you look closely, you will notice the gross imbalance.
Those of us who yield to such behaviour could observe ourselves to see why we do what we do. Is it from a place of peace within our selves? Are we doing it to avoid conflict or more aggression? If so we need to understand that we are only enabling others to be more of that with us. We need to educate people on how to treat us, how to respect us, instead of being a victim, else there will come at time when the balance will suddenly tip. The oppressed will become the oppressor and ending up doing onto others the very thing they don’t like being done onto them.
Those of us who have the tendency to be aggressive and loud need to know that even though we get our way, we tend to lose people in the process. People around us get quiet and comply, not because they agree with us, only because they are too tired to fight. And my deep sense is the that’s the very last thing we are looking to do.
So, this was the gift I received today from that driver.