Driving on the edge of sane and insane is something we do each and every day. When we hear about someone “snapping,” what goes through our minds? “That would never be me, no way.” Or instead, do we ask ourselves, “how did that happen, and could that happen to me?” Are we closer to leaning to one side of that rail than the other at any given moment? When you look deeper into certain incidents that happen in today’s society, you will find there is a true mix of a history of mental health issues that someone who snapped was plagued with and you will also find a large majority that had never shown any signs of snapping.
I feel that each and every day I’m confronted with these types of situation and I believe more of us ride that rail than those willing to admit to it. Yep…. that’s right, I ride that rail and so do you. Take for instance, you are driving down the road and someone cuts you off. Immediately your blood pressure elevates and you get pissed. Next thing you know you are flashing your headlights at this jerk, beeping your horn and maybe even flipping him or her the bird. Did you just flip to the dark side of the rail? Are you running the risk of committing an insane act? And if so, where and how does it stop? Do you continue to pursue this car through traffic until you can get up into their trunk or even worse yet, pull up right next to them so you can (as my wife describes) “give them the look.”
Or maybe you are shopping and someone bumps into you and instead of them saying they’re sorry, they just look at you and say, “Hey, what the hell’s your problem?” The key word here is, “they.” They bumped into you, they are the violator, they are the guilty, but somehow they just skewered you on the BBQ as if it’s you that has the problem. How do you react?
This is where our own ability of making decisions comes into play. Do you make good decisions or bad decisions? Is your decision based on any type of criteria? Do you escalate or de-escalate situations (normally)? Is your decision making ability based upon your social status? (Company exec beats Uber drive) Obviously not when too much alcohol is applied as seen in the link above. Or is each situation measured on its severity of pain inflection? Perhaps it’s based on the kind of day you are having. Stress has a lot to do with our decisions. Have you ever heard someone say something like, “If one more person complains today, I’m gonna lose it?” This statement would lend one to believe that the person speaking has been dealing with complaining people all day. What does, “lose it” mean in this statement. Does it mean that the next person who complains is going to be completely chastised or worse yet, the person making the claim of losing it has a complete mental melt-down.
Just remember, whatever the situation is, you are in control (or not). You have to make good decision and remember how narrow and slippery that rail is that we ride each and every day. Just imagine how much worse that ride gets when you add alcohol or drugs. That playground that sits on top of your shoulders can be powerful and conflicting all at the same time.