No one loves their morning commute, but there is one thing that can truly screw mine up. Maybe it’s irrational or subconscious, but it’s sort of an innate feeling of road rage that I am susceptible to getting…and it comes from someone not giving me the wave.
“The wave” is just the wave of a hand out the driver’s window or in front of the rearview window when you let someone merge into the lane in front of you. Whether I let someone merge, or they butt their way in, there better be a wave.
Why do I care?
It breaks down to a desire to be acknowledged. Either a.) I was inconvenienced by the action taken or b.) I was being thoughtful and kind by letting the driver merge. In either case, I want that inconvenience or kindness acknowledged! A “I’m sorry” or “thank you” goes a long way.
Without the wave, I’m in a foul mood. What a jerk. I may also be less inclined to be thoughtful/kind in the future, either consciously or subconsciously expecting to be ignored or needlessly inconvenienced.
This isn’t isolated to the car or to driving.
This acknowledgement of a situation – whether positive or negative, can affect you, the other individual, and can even cascade downstream. Maybe that moment of acknowledgement spurs other random acts of kindness that spur other acts and so on.
So when you get impeded by someone else, or when they provide an act of kindness, don’t forget to give the wave.