We’ve all seen it, right?

The two fellas ready to come to blows, only they mutter those 3 words to their buddies nearby because they don’t really want to initiate contact with the person standing in front of them.

They use the Hold-Me-Back method to give them an excuse to say whatever they want to say – but when it comes to backing up those words, there’s a built-in excuse… a mask… to hide behind.

But – how often do we recognize that we use this as a mechanism in other areas of our lives to prevent actually seeing the person – the human being – that we’re yelling insults or obscenities at? When you really think about it, aren’t we often just utilizing our surroundings to conceal the fact that we’re just kind being an asshole for no particular reason?

I bring this up because….

Jess and I jumped in the car a couple weeks ago and took off on one of our random road trips. No real set destination (ok… obviously we made it to Vegas for a few days) but primarily, it was just a way to explore, be free, expand our minds. And because it won’t stop freaking snowing in Colorado. It’s May…. enough already… 😉

I tend to do most of the driving when we go on these trips. It’s pretty much always my choice to.

In doing so, I notice that I consistently have to check in with myself on how I react to the way others around me are driving. I’m a pretty safe and focused driver – and when people around me make dumb driving decisions, especially with my loved ones in the car, I can get a little reactive and my road rage might take over.

“What an asshole!”

Now – when I say road rage, I’m not saying that I blare on the horn for 20 seconds to make sure EVERYONE KNOWS HOW ANGRY I AM or that I start throwing middle fingers around like confetti. (But come on, don’t we kiiiinda just smile a little at that person because they’re so outrageous?)

But it can be pretty likely that if the poor driving choices were egregious enough that some nasty things might come out of my mouth, spewed in their general direction.

The thing is – once I’ve taken a moment and the angry word vomit subsides, I start to think about the fact that there’s a person inside the car. Someone that might have a family too, someone that might have just a made a mistake – maybe they didn’t see me. And I think, would I have really said those things to that person’s face? And if yes (which is literally never my answer), what would I expect to happen next? Probably something I don’t really want to approach…

And suddenly, I’m over it. Because why would I hang onto such an unnecessary burden anyway?

Sure – I have my driving pet peeves. We all do.

But when we start yelling and screaming at the drivers around us, we’re really just hiding behind the metal structure that’s holding us in and the one they’re surrounded by. All of a sudden we’ve lost sight of the fact that there’s a person inside the other vehicle. Using the vehicle to Hold Me Back.

I get that instinct takes over and we clench up and get mad in the moment, but how often do we hold on to that feeling to the point that it starts spilling over into other aspects of our life – dumping onto the ones that are closest to us?

If we stop to recognize that feeling that came over us initially and determine that it’s not how we’d act, or what we’d say, if the other human was actually standing right in front of us (because none of our buddies are there to hold us back), that instinct to yell and scream actually starts to dwindle. Mellow heads prevail and we get to continue on with our happy-go-lucky lives. Seriously.

Don’t hold me back, bro… because I’m coming in for big-ass hug…

Hold me back, Bro…