“Watch out for that car!”
Do these things just fly out of your mouth while you are riding in the passenger seat?
It is so difficult to just be the passenger, let go of the control and trust that the other person sees all the other drivers on the road.
I have found that those two words are what this is all about. Control and Trust. Yes, I know, sigh…it always seems to come down to those two things. I have a tendency to try to control all situations and not trust that others could possibly do things as well as I can. But if you flip those thoughts and think if you were on the other side and felt like someone else did not trust you to be in control or to trust that you would perform your task well, it would probably feel pretty bad and maybe even defensive.
I know that I wouldn’t like my partner to stand next to me while I was cooking and make comments such as “Hmm…do you really think you need to add that much pepper?” or “That rice is looking a little dry, I would put more water in the pot”. I know I would tell them to go away and trust that I will put something edible on the table.
Why is it so much tougher to sit in the passenger seat and just enjoy the ride. When I am defensive or worried someone is judging all my moves I do a poor job. So if we back off the comments it could actually even help them drive a little better.
3 ways to stop backseat driving:
- Tell yourself over and over that your partner does not want to get in an accident just as much as you do. Become aware of how many times you give “helpful advice” that you consider helpful that he does not. You can even ask him to tell you each time you say something if you are at the point that you don’t even notice it anymore.
- Give yourself a time limit to not say a word about his driving. I get in the car and tell myself that I am not going to say anything until we get to a certain landmark. I work hard at just normal conversation and not saying anything like “Watch out for that pothole.” or “Do you need to drive this close to the back of that car?”. Sure enough, we get to the landmark and I make a new goal in my mind to make it to the next landmark.
- Do something else in the car. Bring a magazine or your to do list to go over, anything that will make you not even look at the roads. This way you don’t even notice what is going on around you. Make sure to take notice that your partner got you to your destination safely so that you can start to make your mind understand that you are going to get to your destination safely.
By using these tips I have completely changed our experience driving in the car together. I still have things pop up on my head that I want to say but am able to bite my tongue. I do have a few exceptions but I actually think for a second if the advice is really needed. It is funny how it is actually like training for something. If you become aware of when you are doing it and find some ways to stop for short periods of time then you can train yourself to not make a bunch of little unneccesary comments.
Now I am sure my husband will read this and give me a few more things I could train myself to handle better. Nagging if he is going to actually mow the lawn this week or pressure wash the back porch would be on his list for me to stop bringing up. 😉 Love you honey!
Tia @ financiallyfitandfab says
I used to be the worst backseat driver! Now I just say a prayer and trust the driver. 🙂 it can be hard at times but it hasn’t failed yet.
Carmen Baguio says
I am a terrible backseat driver. I really like the giving a time limit before saying anything.
I was too. It is so hard to change.
I don’t know about backseat drivers but I’ve definitely dealt with passenger seat drivers. Whenever I’m with my mom or dad and I’m pulling out of a driveway or parking lot, they always look to the left and right like they’re going to stop an oncoming vehicle from hitting me with their eyes. It’s so annoying! Not to mention the fact that if I go a little bit above the speed limit, they always point it out and say,” you’re going to get a ticket.” And every single time I reply back with, “I don’t care, it’s my ticket to get if I want it.” Parents…….lol
Bree Hogan says
I am definitely guilty of back seat driving – it can be really hard when the other person is clearly not driving very well, lol!
I agree. I have gotten so much better but definitely have slip ups occasionally when I just can’t stand it. 🙂
Haha I am always on the receiving end of it, given I learnt driving from my hubby for the most part it gives him all the more excuse to backseat drive. So best practice, he drives when we go somewhere together, LOL.
xx, Kusum | http://www.sveeteskapes.com
Robin Masshole Mommy says
I am a passenger seat driver when it comes to my husband, but he is legitimately a BAD driver. He doesn’t see stop signs all the time and swerves because he’s daydreaming a lot, too.
That would be super difficult. 🙂
Amanda Love says
I need to use these tips because I’m a horrible back seat driver. My husband would constantly say “do I say anything when you’re driving” lol. I really should stop because he’s a much more careful driver than I am. 🙂
Michelle @ Sunshine and Hurricanes.com says
I’m not a backseat driver or a fan of driving if I don’t have to! So, I’m pretty quiet about people’s driving bc I’m content not having to drive. 🙂
I don’t like being the driver either. I think that is why I had to figure out how to stop putting my 2 cents into the way he was driving since I would prefer him to drive. Makes no sense for me to chose not to drive and then try to tell him how to do it. 🙂
#3 works for the best for me! I try to bring knitting with me if I know we are going to be in the car for awhile because I’m a terrible backseat driver.
Terri Steffes says
I am a huge backseat driver but that is because my husband is reckless. I often have to say, do you love whom your with because it doesn’t feel like it! I usually drive. He’s comfortable with my driving so that works for us!
Hey…you came up with another solution I should have added…just take over the driving. 😉
I think I’m worse when I’m sitting in the passenger seat! LOL! Sometimes when my husband is driving I just close my eyes or browse my phone to keep from shouting out my driving opinions.
I never realized I was doing this. One day I figured out it was driving my husband nuts and I learned to let go.
Heather @Country Life, City Wife says
I was in a head on collision that almost took my life; I was in the hospital with chest tubes and had to learn to breathe again on my own (the other driver hit me head on…). It is very, very difficult for me to relinquish control to any other driver. Heck, it took me two years just to get back behind the wheel myself. Luckily my husband is very understanding of this, but I do try. The funny thing is, we ride Harleys and I totally feel more comfortable on the bike than in a car. Go figure. Anyway, sorry I went off on a tangent. I think these are great tips and hopefully someday, I’ll get there.
I just realized that I commented on your blog earlier today about signing up for Social Fabric and that I signed up for your email list. I am sorry about your accident. I had chest tubes and had half my lung removed in my early 20s due to totally different circumstances but I bet we both had to do they same type of breathing rehab. Who would have guessed I could bond with a fellow blogger over breathing rehab?? 😉 Anyways I can totally see why you would have difficulty being a passenger.
Blythe A says
I try not to be a backseat driver because I know how insane it makes me when I’m driving. I only say something if I absolutely have to, otherwise I remain silent.
I usually just push the invisible break on the passenger’s side. 😉 I don’t really comment that much.
Bernadette Callahan says
It is very rare that I am not the one driving but when I am not I usually am not the backseat driver. I dont need to cause any distractions lol
lol. this post made me laugh because it’s SO me! HA. My poor husband has to hear me doing this ALL the time! 🙂 lol
I try not to do any backseat driving, mostly because I know how antsy I get if anyone else is chiming in with “pointers” as I drive. I like your three ideas on how to stop, especially the one about waiting until a certain landmark to make any comments.
Cara (@StylishGeek) says
OMG! I am a backseat driver so the solution to this is that I am giving up my seat at the front passenger side and sitting way in the back, where I can fall asleep and not worry about the driving!
jill conyers says
I’m not a backseat driver but my 2 kids are. It all started right after they got their driver’s license.
That’s a whole new ballgame having teen drivers. Wow! 🙂
My husband is definitely a backseat driver and it drives me crazy. I always tell him that his advice actually makes me more nervous than anything else. I’m not sure that he is ever going to change in this department.
Eileen Kelly says
Oh gosh! I am the worst. I have actually taken a xanex, seriously for family trips because I can’t deal with the lack of control. I do bring my laptop and write recipes and ideas so I don’t look at the road. You have me pegged
Oh man I should look into something like xanex just for drives because I seriously try not to make mistakes but they just competely slip out because of illogical anxiety and cause my hubby a TON of stress!!!
I am a terrible back seat driver, but mine is due to a very serious accident when I was in high school…my husband luckily understands and just tunes me out 🙂
Renee @ The Good Hearted Woman says
Backseat drivers can definitely be a pain in the posterior; however, I think if you have ever been involved in a serious injury accident, you know that it can change you as a passenger for a very long time. One of my daughters spent nearly a month in the hospital, much of it in ICU, after we were t-boned (I wasn’t driving) and since then, it’s been very difficult for me to completely trust anyone behind the wheel. (Luckily, my husband is one of the few that I trust completely.)
Oh man…your poor daughter. Yes, I agree if you have something traumatic happen it just isn’t the same. I hope she was able to recover fully.
Hannah A says
I can be a backseat driver sometimes for sure. I don’t know if I can stop though. It’s about trust, and sometimes I’ve been with drivers who drive all crazy and I just don’t trust 100%
Ana De- Jesus says
Lol luckily I don’t drive and am not a backseat driver thankfully! But know some many people that make comments on other peoples driving and I am sure it is frustrating!
Rebecca Kelsey Sampson says
When someone tells me to watch out for something, it makes me nervous about being judged and I feel I drive worse – which yields more comments! It’s a hard battle. Thanks for sharing these tips, they do seem actionable for those that have trouble with it.
Omg this use to be me!!! I was so bad at being the passenger! These days I don’t know what changed, but I’m definitely less of a control freak when others are driving.