Why does public transport sometimes bring out the worst in us?

Does your good humor, your empathy and your tolerance fly away as soon as you walk through the doors of a subway, bus or train? Does the slightest lack of civility infuriate you and you no longer recognize yourself, are you even ashamed of your behavior at the end of the trip? Magazine stylist uk took the survey (source 1) and rest assured you are not alone.

“Transient non-social behavior”: when empathy flies away

Those passengers who don’t get off fast enough, who hog the seats, who yell on the phone… sometimes they rip you off a dark look, a curse or a shove ? This is not abnormal and does not necessarily make you a bad person.

“Public transport can bring out the worst in us, as we often face endless queues to board crowded buses or trains at rush hour. it’s stressfulespecially if we are latesays Dr. Sarah Brewer, chief medical officer of Healthspan, for Stylist.

Psychologists speak of “transient nonsocial behavior“:

We are surrounded by strangers whom we do not need to impress and who we will probably never see again, so our natural frustration and anger come out more easily.

In other words, our living space is invaded by strangers and that irritates us. “We converted socially disconnected and he can act in ways we wouldn’t dream of doing in other situations, pushing and shoving to get away from the crowd and find personal space. It also leads us to try to ‘monopolize’ the seat next to us on a bus or train and take steps to prevent someone else from sitting there.

Mark Winwood, Chief of Psychological Services at Axa PPP Healthevoked the concept of “deindividuation” to explain the fact that we lose our sense of identity in stressful situations. Appear unpleasant in transport I’d just be out a defense mechanism “Our stress response is often associated with threat, and our natural response to threat is aggression,” he explains. Therefore, it is easier to “de-individualize” while remaining anonymous. If you push your neighbor, no one will know who you are. “Thus arises the perception that you are above reproach, which can lead to More aggressive and less inhibited behaviors.

Depending on your position and the space you have, several options are possible to channel our moods:

  • focus on a podcast or the latest album from your favorite artist;
  • immerse yourself in reading a book or magazine;
  • play a game or watch a movie on your smartphone;
  • close your eyes and meditate, or practice breathing exercises to lower the pressure;
  • etc.

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