Facts of Incident:  As Jack Webb used to say on Dragnet, “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.”  List only what happened.  Avoid opinions and judgment(s).  Examples:

  • Driving down highway 101 in left lane.

  • Traffic going 60 mph in 65 zone.

  • Car passed me on right and pulled into space (four car-lengths long) between my car and car in front of mine.

My Story About The Incident: My view of the object’s motivation.  My opinions about why the incident happened.  My judgments of the object.  Examples: 

  • The other driver was crazy.

  • He didn’t care how small the space was in front of me; he was going to squeeze in.

  • It’s illegal to pass on the right like that

Object Of My Anger (External) :  The person/group I think is “wrong.”  Who/what I think caused the incident.  Who/what I react to; want to vent at.  The person/thing I blame.  [If they hadn’t done this, I would not be angry.]  Example: 

  • Driver of the other car.

Conditions I Brought To The Incident:  What was going on with me at the time; feelings, stresses, desires, expectations, etc. of mine prior to the incident.  The pre-existing state of my mind and body.  How I got myself into this position.  Examples:

  • Stress.

  • Giving myself too little time to get to my appointment

  • Prior history of being late to meetings with this person.

  • Unrealistic expectation of time required to drive to appointment in heavy traffic.

My Response To The Incident:  Actions I took as a result of the incident.  My behavior immediately after the incident.  How I gave my power away.  Examples: 

  • Honked my horn and turned on my (bright) headlights. 

  • Tailgated for the next mile.

  • Further down the road, passed him on the right and forced myself between his car and car in front.

Source Of My Anger (Internal) :  The part of me that I want to avoid seeing and owning.  The inner reasons for my feelings and behavior.  Examples:

  • My fear of the consequences of further lateness to my appointment.

  • My ego’s need to be right.

  • My regret (sadness) at not departing sooner for this appointment.

What Else I Can Do To Resolve My Anger:  Unilateral action I can take to flush my anger.  Examples:

  • Scream loudly inside my car.

  • Call my appointment and tell them I will be late; give a late enough arrival time so that I can easily get there, even if traffic gets worse.

  • Laugh at myself.

  • Forgive the other driver; imagine how bad off their life must be to be compelled to drive this way.

What I Can Do Differently In The Future To Serve Me Better:  Steps I can take to remove the conditions I brought to the incident.  Examples:

  • Leave earlier for appointments.

  • Stay in the right lane

  • Change my expectation for time required to drive to appointment.

  • Relax and enjoy the ride at whatever speed it turns out to be.

Click Here for Anger Tracking Chart

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