I'm okay and you are not okay
Aug 17, 2013 / 5:00 am
We were exposed to many ideas during training at the RCMP's Depot Division in Regina. A lecture that I do recall was presented by a psychologist who taught us about transactional analysis. One of the life positions we learned about, I'm okay and you are not oaky, seems to be common on our highways.
A person with that outlook is saying that I feel good about myself but I see others as damaged or less than [myself] and it is usually not healthy. Perhaps this mindset is one of the reasons that drivers disobey the traffic rules and fail to exercise courtesy to other road users. If we could move to the I'm okay, you are okay state not only would we be more healthy mentally, highway use would be a safer, more pleasant experience.
Communication between road users that leads to co-operation or sharing the road is an important skill that was not taught to me explicitly when I was first learning to drive. Today this concept takes up an entire chapter in ICBC's Learn to Drive Smart manual and is a key point during in car driving lessons. When all parties communicate fully, we can arrive at an accommodation rather than a confrontation or conflict.
Sometimes I find it difficult stay on track when I am presented with some particularly ill considered and selfish driving behaviour or I'm in a hurry. I find that it helps to remind myself that I am only lowering myself to their standard if I judge them to be not okay or start setting my own rules when it's convenient. I'm not always successful but I try. I hope you will too. Pass it on.
The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit www.drivesmartbc.ca.
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Tim Schewe has been writing his column for most of the 20 years in his traffic enforcement service in the RCMP. It was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and now Castanet.net. Schewe retired from the Force in January of 2006, but the column became a habit and continues.
E-mail him your questions or concerns: [email protected]
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