What happens when Egos in cars clash? I observed a sad, silly and ultimately stupid example of the Tyranny of Certainty last week.

I was heading to our local village, Holywood, down a long, steepish hill. There were cars legally parked on the right hand side of the road, leaving somewhat limited space for two cars to meet and pass each other on the driving part of the road. Normally this is not a problem – I’ve often pulled in here to allow the oncoming car to pass by me, and vice versa.

But on the ‘Two Egos’ day……a hot, sultry, sunny day. The two cars were facing each other, the two drivers gesticulating to each other ‘go back, you’, I’m not going back’.  No words, just hand gestures.

There was a car some distance above the two ego-cars, waiting to go down the hill. And another car further down the hill, also wanting to get past the blockage.

There was plenty of space, in between the parked cars, for either of the Ego Cars to reverse into, in order to allow the other car to head on its way.

I walked slowly by the two cars, wanting to see what would happen, not quite believing my eyes. Gradually walked on down the hill, looking back regularly; it took about eight minutes to reach High Street.

Each time I looked back, yet another car was reversing to change direction and go around a different way to get to where they wanted to go. The Two Egos were still facing each other off. I wondered if I should call the police, but decided it would be a waste of their resources – surely these two people would sort something out?? There were an increasing numbers of tooting horns to go along with the stand-off.

As I got to High Street, at the limit of my being able to see what was still happening up the hill, I saw a number of people around the two cars. I’m guessing the two original drivers, along with other drivers. So it took at least the eight minutes I’d observed, plus however long they’d been in place before I arrived.

Why am I writing about this? As I wrote earlier, this was a silly, sad and stupid example of bullish egos. There are all sorts of theories about how we treat our cars as our ‘territory’. I admit, I’m far from being a saint! I’ve been guilty, particularly in my drinking days – to a lighter degree – of this.

What was it that made these two men – yes, it was two men – with a small child in each of their front passenger observing and hearing everything – get stuck in this silly behavior? Don’t get me wrong, women do it as well. But why?

Tyranny of Certainty

Why do we get so bound up in our egos, so trapped in being right? I call it the Tyranny of Certainty : “I’m right, You’re wrong.”   This tyranny seems to be part of our current culture, not just here in Northern Ireland, but throughout our media and daily lives. It seems to have become part of our world’sDNA.

Don’t get me wrong – I admire people with confident, strong, evidence-based views. I am just aghast at the overflow of irritation, self-righteousness and objectionable opinion-making that is becoming more prevalent.

Why can’t we just recognize the tyranny for what it is – a self-damaging habit, one which we can easily change, if we just recognize it.  We can’t change it unless we recognize it as being part of our default behavior. And when we do acknowledge it, we can make a choice for the future.


Next time you feel yourself caught up in the tyranny of certainty – take a breath, recognize what’s happening for you, take another breath and ask yourself “Is this really how I want to be?” If not, make a choice. Your choice.  Use your courage.  Step away from the aggravation.

Give yourself some rest from the tyranny and self-righteousness.

Thankyou for reading.  I’d love to receive your thought on this note. Do you agree, disagree?  Looking forward to hearing from you: Trudy@trudyarthurs.com

With love, t

I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this, and any of your questions.     Email me: trudy@trudyarthurs.com; alternatively visit me on Facebook:     Trudy Arthurs, the Compassionate Confidence Specialist.

Visit www.trudyarthurs.com to subscribe for my regularish free E-Notes – you’ll receive a free Compassionate Confidence e-book when it’s published. Looking forward to connecting with you, really soon.

© Dancing Leopards Ltd 2018

About Trudy:

I’m based in Northern Ireland, and with the help of the magic of technology, work with private and organizational clients around the world. Local executive coaching work includes the Police Service of Northern Ireland and several major local business in hospitality, manufacturing, retail and not-for-profit sectors.

I’ve walked and lived the path of recovery from alcohol addiction and a diagnosis of terminal cancer in 2000 – and am still here. It’s my learnings and experiences from these that are making me realise where my real joy is. Working with individuals and groups to encourage the blossoming of compassionate self-confidence.

Having delivered two tester programmes over the past four months, I am now upping my game.  The dots and t’s are currently being added to a brand new series, open to women who want to be more profoundly compassionately confidence, to themselves and others – both personally and professionally.

To priority-register for details of my  programmes, simply email trudy@trudyarthurs.com for info.