Tell Don’t Yell!
Recently, a close friend was experiencing some exasperation with her partner. What began as a conversation concerning his alleged lack of respect and consideration, rapidly deteriorated and finally escalated into her screaming, “F#!* you, ____!!”
It was obviously ineffectual communication. Personally, my ears slam shut at even the thought of an argument. If you scream, I will not listen. In fact, screaming makes me listen even less.
Long ago, my then four-year old nephew remarked that his “ears closed” when he heard his dad yelling at my sister. Pretty astute awareness for a little boy. And I concur. All that happens when someone raises his or her voice is that my ears immediately become guarded, and in some instances, slam shut. My ears, like those of my nephew, are not open to receiving any sort of anger or loud noise. Especially at issue are words shouted in anger (which is a thin mask for pain, by the way).
A few decades ago there was a commercial that said, “If you want to get someone’s attention, whisper.” Where whispering may not be the answer to healthy communication, I know this for certain: yelling is NOT the way to get anyone’s attention.
Clear, assertive communication is the key to getting a message across. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t whisper and don’t yell. Just state what you are feeling and let it go. Give the receiving party time to digest the information and respond on his or her terms. If you really want to get someone’s attention, try listening.
Wars are started and fought over miscommunication. Relationships are ended, and friendships are slashed over poor communication skills. Again I say, if you want something, if you are feeling something, state you feelings using “I” messages: “I feel” is much friendlier than is “You %&!!!!.”
Starting any conversation by expressing one’s feelings, instead of accusing/attacking another is much more effective. And in the end, isn’t what we all want is simply to be heard with respect?
I am compelled to add a caveat here: yelling as in primal screaming* to release harsh emotions is not in the same category as yelling at someone in frustration. By all means, if primal screaming will release anger and frustration, go to the place where that emotion can be harmlessly released and primally scream until your lungs collapse. Please though, don’t yell at another human.
~With love, light, and gratitude.
PS ~ Remember, Chapter Six on Passive Aggression from Escaping the Chrysalis, is available only until April 17th at Midnight for only a .99 cents donation. This tax-season special ends abruptly at midnight. To order, click the link to the cover picture below and instantly enjoy!
As always, thank you, often. With love, light, and especially, gratitude!
*To learn more about Primal Screaming, read Blessings in the Mire: A True Story of Miracles & Recollections.