Psychological and Behavioral Tailgating


The other day I just happened to be driving behind one of my own kids. She was so close to the car in front of her, that I actually called her on her cellphone (yes, she has bluetooth) and told her to back off.

Of course the first question she asked was “Where are you??” To which the only good mommy answer is “I’m everywhere…” Bwaahaha!

Tailgating…’s always been one of my biggest pet peeves. In a world where we prize the cars, offices, homes and plane seats that offer the most room, we turn right around and purposely remove that separation-that very space- we supposedly crave.  As I have explained to my kids, when you tailgate, you deny yourself critical time to think, react and respond appropriately and effectively.


There are many kinds of tailgating-style behaviors that occur in life.  This morning I watched a group of CNN guests verbally tailgating each other for an entire news-block on the subject of guns. You just know they weren’t listening to anyone at all because they were too busy formulating their next talking point and cutting each other off mid-sentence. Verbal tailgating is beyond annoying and even though I’m not as bad as the pundits on TV, it’s an area I know I need to work on.


Relational tailgaters are the pushy, control freaks who simply aren’t happy unless others bend to their will. This encroachmment and violation of others’ personal autonomy almost always leads to ‘bent fenders.’


Then there’s material tailgating- when the stuff we own is squished bumper to bumper in rows and in piles and on hangers.


I stand before you totally guilty of that infraction so I’ve been going room to room, closet to closet getting rid of the clothes we don’t wear, the videos we don’t watch, the games we don’t play, the books we don’t read, the decorations I don’t hang, the make-up I don’t use and the boxes with nothing in them, creating SPACE

Sweet, liberating, calming, balancing..


to breathe, think, move and live in!

This is the concept I want to apply more often in the New Year..

the idea of creating more SPACE..

physically, mentally, emotionally..

more space between the thoughts that spill out of my mouth..

more space between the morsels of  food that go into it..

more space to enjoy the present moment before rushing on to the next,

more space to consider decisions,

to evaluate purchases

to dodge the drama

and to appreciate relationships..

(yes, healthy relationships need space.)


Space represents time, peace, freedom and gives us the room we need to more comfortably, thoughtfully and successfully maneuver through life.

Who wouldn’t want that?






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6 Comments Add yours

  1. hmunro says:

    Beautifully said! I love your extension of the “tailgating” metaphor to so many areas of life. I’d never thought of it this way, but … yes. Yes to more peace and freedom and space! Thank you for this thought-provoking piece, Cindy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy says:

      Thanks Heather! I’m loading up my car right now with more stuff for GoodWill I’ll never miss..things that could brighten up someone else’s life while lightening mine as well. 🔆

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So with you in theory, but find it so hard in practice to get rid of something with even the tiniest memory attached.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy says:

      I totally get that. I received a few things from my sister after she passed away a few years back..basically knick knacks. I finally decided to keep a few Christmas ornaments and hang them in her honor, and a perfume bottle..that’s really it. I am a lot more sentimental about photos..but I tell ya, I have to keep the clutter at bay or else I am visually and mentally overwhelmed.


  3. kimwilbanks says:

    Love! Unfortunately, I am guilty of all forms of tailgating. I need to back off! Like you, I am craving more space and less clutter. Maybe 2016 will be the year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy says:

      Took my last trip to Goodwill today. (We leave tomorrow) I know when I come down to Florida again I will let more feels so good..after you get over feeling so bad about it.


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