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What Road Rage has Taught me about Self Awareness

I lived in Mexico City for almost 20 years. It contains 25 million people. It is a city located 2500m above sea level, surrounded by two active volcanos, and built on a lake which means that every year, it sinks a few centimeters. No tests are required to drive in this megalopolis - all you need to do is submit some form of ID, your proof of address and pay the equivalent of approx. 40 US dollars and you are free to participate in the mayhem.

Mexico City drivers are notorious for flouting traffic regulations. In my 20 years of driving in this chaos, I developed a severe case of road rage. I have had people draw guns on me, cut me off, and even get out of their cars and spit in my face.

In my dark satanic trip down the rabbit hole of road rage, I learned an important lesson. I embarked upon a personal quest to find the most damaging way to express my rage to the dickhead that had the nerve to cut me off on the Periferico (that is the major highway that runs 120km from north to south of Mexico City). Would it be to tell them to go and fuck their mother? Tell them that they were ugly and their mothers dressed them funny – or could I inflict more psychological pain on these lawless motherfuckers using a different technique?

In my quest, I stumbled across an interesting existential question – what is the opposite of love? Is it hate, or is there an emotion more nefarious that almost perfectly mirrors love? Yes, there is, and I found it in a most unusual place. I found it one of the best and worst creations in the history of the world – social media. Two years ago, I was introduced to the canceling culture. It is this ability to erase/obliterate someone from your social media existence without any reason, warning, or explanation that gave me the answer to my question. The opposite of love is not hate – it is indifference. The way to truly hurt someone is to make it as if they do not exist. When you cancel someone, you want them to disappear into the ether. This is the epitome of rejection – to communicate to someone in the most passive-aggressive way possible that they are worth so little that they might as well be dead.

This failure to recognize that someone exists is the deepest psychological pain that can be inflicted in an age where everyone is so desperately seeking the approval of others. If you want to inflict the maximum amount of pain in the shortest period – ignore their very existence. Going back to the road rage experiment, if someone cuts you off, cut them off and then ignore them 100%.

So why is the cancel culture inflicting so much psychological pain in the 21st century? If everyone is well adjusted and knows who they are, it shouldn’t matter if someone decides to cancel them on social media. That person will continue to exist in the physical world where it counts. The problem is that the majority of people are not well adjusted socially. They have low self-esteem and are riddled with feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing. Most people need external approval, attention, and affirmation to feel good about themselves. This inherent fragility results in devastation when they are canceled, or ghosted.

In this world of opportunity, it is easy to feel like a failure - to feel small and insignificant – to feel invisible and that you do not deserve to be in this world. Throughout history, man has been paranoid about being exploited. This problem of exploitation is quickly being replaced with the problem of relevance. Automation and robotics are replacing good honest jobs. This means there is a greater chance of you being marginalized than being exploited.

So what was the point of writing this blog? In this new world where we are more vulnerable than ever to indifference, the soft skill of self-awareness is one you need to hone and perfect. You need to do everything in your power to convert yourself into a high-value man, that knows his worth to himself and others, and will not be tossed around by every nasty comment received on social media.

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