Anatomy of An Emotional Hijacking (Road Rage)

19 May

One of the prepper blogs I always visit is The Apartment Prepper. Carr always has great insight combined with great writing. She posted an experience witnessing mild road rage.   Many people have never experienced a violent encounter and have little idea what to expect in one. That’s a good thing! If you can live your life in peace, surrounded by tranquil surroundings, that’s the best life. It means you’ve made good decisions. The lower level of stress will give you a longer and happier life.

In another post, I wrote about sociopaths and psychotics. These people can be deadly by nature. Most often hostility happens to otherwise normal people. They literally go out of their mind with rage. One term for this is called “Emotional Hijacking.”  The article I link to explains it far better than I ever could, but in short, the rational part of the brain stops functioning as rage takes over.

To see what an emotional hijacking looks like watch this video of road rage:

Too many survivalist or prepper blogs divvy up the world into “us” versus “them,” almost like the situation in the smash hit TV show Lost where there are “the others.” In the real world, violence can overtake people just like us or people we know or work with. In the video, the man is a decorated Marine. He’s an ordinary guy who had a really bad day.

No doubt this video will haunt him, but he was lucky. What if the other driver had gotten out of the car and the Marine had killed him? The video would have sent him to prison for most of his life. The guy who stayed in his locked car responded very well to defuse the situation as best he could.

This is a terrifying situation to be in: You’re being confronted by a highly aggressive, young, physically fit attacker, who in this case has hand-to-hand combat training. Put yourself in the position of the driver. What would you have done? How would you have felt? What actions would you have taken?

For me, the scariest part of the video is when the attacker walks away. It could be the calm before the storm. Could he be going for a gun or a weapon to smash in the window?

In this situation, besides the highly-intelligent move to stay in the locked car, remember the option to drive away as you seek help. After an accident, if your car functions, you can put it in reverse and move back just enough to allow you to turn out and exit if necessary. If fleeing for your life, you can ram the other vehicle to make clearance if you’re otherwise hemmed in. The downside: Once you ram an aggressor’s vehicle, he’ll go completely bonkers.

Once a certain point is reached, you can’t reason with somebody in a state of emotional hijacking. But, if you can verbally defuse the situation before that point is reached, that’s the nicest outcome. Being able to control your own emotions in a highly stressful situation and being able to read and respond appropriately to the emotions of others is called “emotional intelligence.”


For those looking for another physical fitness test, here is a link to the Marine test.

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