Feel, Felt, Finallyby Alexander on February 4th, 2015
I have been reading one of those ridiculous self help books.
I have been wading through it, trying to work out what is credible and what is just hot air that needs to be discarded.
One part of this book talks about how to deal with people who are unhappy. The first example of this that I thought of was the conflict between drivers and cyclist. I have been round the Car/Cyclist debate a few times and now find the predictably of this conversation, to be a bit dull.
There are more drivers than cyclist, but cyclist tend to have been to this circus before. So the question for cyclist is:
“What is the quickest way I can process this guy and move on with my life.”
Next time I get into one of these debates I am going to test this Idea: Feel Felt, Finally.
Anger always follows hurt. Even if you feel that the driver in question isn’t justified in their railing against cyclists, you have to acknowledge that their emotions are real. The way to do this is to empathize:
E.g. “I know how you feel. I remember driving in oxford, and become increasingly irritable, because I kept have to overtake someone on a bike who kept running lights and then slowing me down.”
Felt: I know a lot of drivers feel this way. Some of my friends who drive and don’t cycle have told me that the find it hard to understand why cyclist ride in the road.
Finally: But I cycle habitually now because it is the fastest way of getting around London. I cycle in the middle of the road because it is the safest place to be. I am normally doing around 15-20 mph, and the breaks on my road bike are average at best. If I don’t cycle in the road, I get court in pinch points and it puts me in the strike zone of opening car doors. I am also traveling much faster than any car on average, so it is impossible that I am actually slowing anyone down over all.
The idea is that, feel and felt, disable the competitive feeling toward you. Finally, then lets you explain, why you have more information than them.
What should happen: They should offer up a third party to blame. “They should let drivers know that”
If they continue to argue with you, I think you just have to give up and move on to another topic. You have done your bit for cyclist everywhere.