KUALA LUMPUR: Good anger management is key in preventing one self from being involved with unfortunate incidents.
Stressful working life could turn saints into bullies, once they get behind the wheel.
Psychologist and criminologist Dr Geshina Ayu Mat Sat said anger management was a good way for people to learn to better control and find out what causes someone to be angry.
"However success is dependent on the person recognising and acknowledging that he or she has an anger problem.
"Reactive anger, especially reactions that are verbally abusive and physically violent do not occur in isolation, and as such requires a more holistic approach.
She said the holistic approach involved empathy learning and empathic practice, practicing moral values, unlearning bad attitudes and behaviours,understanding and accepting that roadbullying is not an acceptable behaviour.
Geshina was responding to a tragic road rage accident recently that claimed the life of a 19-year-old pillion rider when the motorcycle she was on, was allegedly run down by a car driver.
She said in general, there were three pathways that underlie road rage with the first being that that the person already had strong anger and aggressive traits.
"Very little is needed to trigger road rage. As long as this individual perceives that he or she was provoked, the immediate reaction is anger, retaliation and a desire to cause harm or destruction."
The second pathway is having negative emotional reactions to external stimuli that appear to be threatening rights, personal space, or obstructing movement on the road.
Geshina gave an example of how one driver's reckless driving could have resulted in damage to a vehicle or an accident.
"The third is already being in a negative frame of mind due to an earlier situation. This latest incident was the final straw that could not be tolerated.
"For example, having an argument at work that could not be resolved, and the high emotions were still present when a minor road delay or potential road incident is being faced. The incident on the road is blown out of proportion and the reaction is rage," she said today.
Road rage is a sign of failure to manage anger, she said.
She said having high emotionality, lack of empathy, lack of remorse, possibly having a sense of righteousness, egocentric, and a whole range of perceptions, personality traits, attitudes, judgments, and behaviours are what contribute to road rage.