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The Wrong People Have All the Fear

·330 words·2 mins

We’re in traffic, and people are misbehaving. You’re doing your normal schtick, venting about all the bad behaviors around you. The way people drift into others’ lanes because they’re texting. The red-for-a-while traffic lights that are blatantly run. The motorists who are driving way too slowly on the highway and should have stuck to surface roads and are now moving roadblocks with a huge speed differential.

As I listen to you rant, I realize that the people we pass probably have no idea that they’re driving erratically. I’ve often found that to be the case — bad drivers don’t realize they are and are more surprised than anyone when they end up in spectacular wrecks.

I’m thinking about it again later when I post about struggling with anxiety, and a reader tells me anxiety doesn’t exist and that certainly social anxiety is no concern. Hilariously, they do so in a way that causes other people to dogpile on them because they’re being inappropriate and rude. Not reading the room, so to speak. I don’t see the comments thread until it’s a near-disaster. True to form, this OP anxiety-denier is flummoxed by the reaction that they get from others.

The trouble, I think, is that they don’t realize that they’re a bad driver. Socially. They should probably be more concerned about what they say and do. But it doesn’t sink in, for whatever reason, even after the series of accidents I’m sure they’ve caused over the years. Instead, they live in a state of perpetual surprise when they get into social wrecks.

Because they think they’re great at navigating the world. Surely, it’s other people’s fault.

Sighing, I close the browser window. “The wrong people have all the fear,” I say.

Because it’s the sweetest people I know who are always worried about the impact they have on others, who try to really hard to navigate situations well. And it’s the the bad actors who feel confident driving however they want.


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