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Old 22nd September 2017, 11:41   #1
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Default Driving with Emotional Intelligence

The word "Education" often crops up whenever we encounter a bad driver or whenever we face unpleasant situation on the road. We tend to blame the other drivers / riders and call them "uneducated".

Education as a term means (from Wikipedia):
Etymologically, the word "education" is derived from the Latin ēducātiō ("A breeding, a bringing up, a rearing") from ēducō ("I educate, I train") which is related to the homonym ēdūcō ("I lead forth, I take out; I raise up, I erect") from ē- ("from, out of") and dūcō ("I lead, I conduct").
While formal education teaches skills and schools make attempts to inculcate good behaviours in school, the environment and surroundings with which a person interacts, their upbringing and the neurological makeup often times will lead to undesirable responses.

Daniel Goleman, author and science journalist, is known for his famous books on "Emotional Intelligence". I am sure some of the BHPians already know about the author and his books.



Some of his quotes:
  • "The emotional brain responds to an event more quickly than the thinking brain."
  • "There is zero correlation between IQ and emotional empathy… They’re controlled by different parts of the brain"
  • "If you are tuned out of your own emotions, you will be poor at reading them in other people"
  • "If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far."

While I ponder over this "intelligence" every day in all sort of situations whether it is dealing with your spouse/children/relatives/colleagues, I find it more interesting to apply while on the roads.

Came across this today:


The 10 points mentioned in the link, if followed, can make our everyday commute pleasant.

1. Focusing on self versus blaming others or the situation
2. Understanding how feelings and thoughts act together
3. Realising that anger is something we choose versus thinking it is provoked
4. Being concerned about consequences versus giving in to impulse
5. Showing respect for others and their rights versus thinking only of oneself
6. Accepting traffic as collective team work versus seeing it as individual competition
7. Recognising the diversity of drivers and their needs and styles versus blaming them for what they choose to do
8. Practising positive role models versus negative
9. Learning to inhibit the impulse to criticise by developing a sense of driving humour
10. Taking driving seriously by becoming aware of one’s mistakes and correcting them

Last edited by AltoLXI : 22nd September 2017 at 11:43.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 14:13   #2
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Default Re: Driving with Emotional Intelligence

On the contrary, I would say that we need to practice emotionless driving in today's traffic if we need to keep our sanity. I am not commenting on the emotional intelligence part and the 10 points as mentioned by you are very apt too.

I want to suggest that we need to practice reaction-less driving, as in, not let our emotions (mostly ego) take over while driving.

1. I am waiting at a red signal and someone is continuously honking from behind. I need to maintain my composure, not show any emotion and not react to the honking. Unless there is an ambulance further back in which case I will move.

2. Someone cuts me in traffic or people from crossing lanes at a signal start moving even when the traffic light is in my favor. Again, keep calm and let those people go. Do not let your emotions take hold of you and ask you to block them or take revenge.

3. Anticipate and be prepared - that rickshaw slowing down on your left before a cut in the divider will most likely cut you off and take a U turn. That public transport bus leaving a bus stop will most likely block you and get in your lane.

So what I am trying to say is that when we let our emotions run amok while driving, we lose sight of the basic fact that the only person left sore at the end will be me. Practice defensive, anticipatory and emotionless driving and be a happy commuter
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Old 22nd September 2017, 15:44   #3
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Default Re: Driving with Emotional Intelligence

The rude and rash behaviour of a person while driving is the result of stress and psychological pressures he faces in day to day life. Family can play a bigger role in such circumstances by maintaining a harmonious and calm atmosphere at home because a cheerful person in private life is also a cheerful person in public life. Personal egos have no place on roads and it is always better to avoid flaring up of the situation by being discreet in words as well as actions. Remember nothing is personal on roads.

Reiterating again some helpful measures to avoid nasty situations while driving:
1. Always overtake the vehicle in front from the right and in a steady manner. Avoid zipping past at high speeds.

2. Signal the driver ahead about your intentions to overtake by gently blowing the horn. If still you are not being allowed to pass, wait for a while instead of loosing temper. Also avoid continuous honking at all costs as it leads to rise in anxiety levels.

3. In case of misunderstanding always try to diffuse the situation by moving away from the spot as quickly as possible. Avoid making eye contacts with the other drivers at all costs as it may send wrong signal.

4. Always start early so as to avoid unnecessary stress while driving.

5. Smile away at the unintentional minor mistakes made by fellow motorists and ignore and stay calm if someone is driving rashly.

It should be our earnest endeavour to strive for courtesy with fellow motorists so as make driving a truly happy and memorable experience.
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