How to Be a Good Navigator

Being a navigator during a car trip is no easy task. But it's also not the end of the world. So please don't forget your manners while yelling at the driver for missing that turn off the expressway.

Richie Frieman,
March 17, 2014
Episode #288

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For example, when the driver misses a turn, don’t say, “Yeah, well it would have been good had you turned right there, but going past it for another mile is fun too.” I mean, you shouldn’t say this at all, but if you’re truly an obnoxious person and can’t get around it, at least try something like, “Yeah, well it would have been good had you turned right there, but don’t worry, there is another turn up here we can make.” 

Tip #3: We’re All in This Together

The one thing that gets to me is when two or more people are trying to get someplace and they get mad at each other for being lost. It’s as if we forget that every passenger in the car has the same goal. That ceases to matter - instead, we go head to head over who is right, who is wrong, and several rounds of “You missed the dang exit!” 

How is this helpful?  

Being a navigator is stressful.  I am not the best with directions and I hate (I mean hate) being late. However, there are ways to cope. For one, being a navigator is a job to take seriously.  You can’t be on your phone texting to friends while trying to pay attention to the road. As well, you can’t mumble comments about being late under your breath if you’re not willing to actually help out with the situation.  

Instead, embrace the team mentality from the minute you get into the car. “Alright everyone, let’s do this together and make it there early.” Be positive and reinforcing. "This traffic is terrible but don’t worry, I’ll look up a quick alternate route on my phone, while you watch the road for a minute, cool?” As well, remember that when you finally do arrive, you want to be there in good spirits, not stepping out of the car mid-argument. “And another thing, you drive like my grandmother! And she hasn’t driven since the 1990s!” That may cause a scene and again, what do you win?

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.

Do you have any recent graduates in your circle, or perhaps someone who is looking to start a new career, check out my book, Reply All…And Other Ways to Tank Your Career for great tips and advice on job success. It's available now!

Couple driving image courtesy of Shutterstock.



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