One day not too long ago I was enjoying an afternoon drive in my Boxster with the top down. The sun was shining and I was feeling great as I drove to a meeting in a nearby town. As I came to the end of a country road, I pulled onto a major highway and headed north at the legal speed. Before I turned, I could see a tractor trailer way off in the distance, giving me more than enough time to get up to speed. Within moments this massive piece of steel on 18 wheels came up to me almost kissing my rear bumper. I can only guess it was the driver's wish to go much faster than the speed limit. Maybe he made an assumption that my fast car should only drive fast. It was obviously a dangerous and aggressive move for this driver to ride my tail. If I stopped suddenly for any reason, my car and I would have become one with the truck's engine.
I naturally felt an immediate fear of danger since this truck could easily eat up my little car in a flash, yet I was not willing to drive faster. After a few seconds of adjusting to this development and noticing my first response of anger at the other driver for this act of intimidation, I took a deep breath and gave myself a moment to choose my response. I then chose to bless him instead of swearing or being frozen with fear. I simply recognized the driver's fear over whatever it was that drove him to this behavior. I then repeated the words "bless you" a few times. The result was I immediately felt calmer and better able to drive with appropriate caution. Within a moment, while looking in my rear view mirror, I saw the truck back off to the normal speed creating a safe distance between us.
My belief is that my blessing of this driver created a shift. I believe perhaps without even knowing what "hit him", he realized his actions were that of a road bully and that intimidating another driver was not what he really wanted to do. I am sure that my choosing to respond with peace turned what was an initially frightening situation with a potential for great danger, to one of peace.
So, the next time someone hooks you into getting angry, pause for a moment and bless them. Whether or not you see a difference in their behavior cannot be confirmed, but I can guarantee that you'll feel better.