Sidewalk Rage Is Real and It’s Spectacular


It was really nice of scientists to confirm that “sidewalk rage” is real and go to the trouble of mapping out a Pedestrian Aggressiveness Syndrome Scale and diagnosing extreme instances of anger as a psychiatric condition known as “intermittent explosive disorder.” But we didn’t need their imprimatur, nor did we need to know that the Facebook group “I Secretly Want to Punch Slow Walking People in the Back of the Head” has almost 15,000 members to tell you that the feeling is legit. If you’ve never been stuck in the rage cage that is walking during rush hour through midtown, Times Square, Penn Station, near ground zero, or behind a sweet old lady that you’d give your seat to if you were on the subway, but you’re not on the subway you’re on the sidewalk and why can’t she just move faster, aggression expert Professor Leon James identified some signs you have witnessed and/or experienced sidewalk rage for The Wall Street Journal. They include: “muttering or bumping into others; uncaringly hogging a walking lane; and acting in a hostile manner by staring, giving a ‘mean face’ or approaching others too closely,” as well as having denigrating thoughts about other pedestrians and “feeling enraged at other pedestrians and enjoying thoughts of violence.” If you ask us, uncaringly hogging a walking lane is actually a trigger, not a symptom, but it’s time to listen to our doctor-recommended Soothing Sounds of the Amazon tape, so we’ll have to get back to you on that.

Get Out of My Way, You Jerk! [WSJ]