In this guide, we will discuss “I hate being yelled at”, how to react to being yelled at and how you could effectively react to it.
I hate being yelled at
If you are thinking “I hate being yelled at” it is just natural and normal. Let’s think about who would like to be yelled at?
Probably, no one. Being yelled at is considered to be verbal abuse and can have detrimental effects such as developing depression anxiety.
If you have lived or you are currently living with your parents or your spouse/partner and you are constantly interacting in a harsh environment then it can actually be traumatizing.
If you currently cry when someone yells at you or feel frightened, start sweating, you have muscle tension, a faster breathing and heart rate, etc., you can be experiencing an anxious reaction to being yelled at.
This is normal, many people actually react this way, we are humans after all and our brains go into self-preservation when they identify there is a potentially dangerous situation or threat.
This could potentially be one of the many reasons you hate being yelled at.
Moreover, we need to understand how yelling can be considered verbal abuse and due to its “invisible” nature, compared to physical abuse, it is said to have the same traumatic effect.
Lets mention some characteristics of yelling according to NAMI:
- How loud (volume) someone can scream or yell.
- The shrill tone of voice.
- Body language.
- The content of the yelling, meaning, being disrespectful, insulting, humiliating, etc.
- The duration of yelling.
- The feeling of abandonment.
In addition, they suggest how “being frequently yelled at changes the mind, brain and body in a multitude of ways including increasing the activity of the amygdala (the emotional brain), increasing stress hormones in the blood stream, increasing muscular tension and more. Being frequently yelled at as children changes how we think and feel about ourselves even after we become adults and leave home. That’s because the brain wires according to our experiences—we literally hear our parents’ voices yelling at us in our heads even when they’re not there.”
Besides knowing how you hate being yelled at, you could also be wondering what is the best way to react when someone is shouting at you or how to make them stop yelling. As Dr. Magdalena Battles explains “Yelling is a topic relevant to every person on this planet because everyone has raised their voice in anger during their lifetime. Some people yell on a regular basis, but we are all guilty of yelling at some point in life. There are ways to react to a yeller that will help diffuse them, rather than continue to escalate the situation.”
We have all been there at some point in our life, either yelling or being yelled at.
But why do we do it?, Or why my dad/mom yells at me?, Why does my boyfriend/girlfriend yell at me?
Or why do people yell in the first place?
Those questions do not have a simple answer, but we can actually identify anger as a reason why someone would yell.
Why do people yell?
When we are angry, it seems that the easiest thing to do is yell. Is it to release our frustration or as a way to manage our emotions?
There are really no good reasons for yelling or acceptable reasons to be yelled at.
Yelling could be an indication that the person has anger management issues, a lack of effective communication skills, feeling threatened, problem-solving skills or coping mechanisms in difficult situations.
What can I do when someone is yelling at me?
When someone is yelling at us we can feel frightened, threatened and most likely will tend to mirror their behavior which only perpetuates the cycle.
As Dr. Magdalena Battles from Life hack indicates “The situation escalates when both people engage in yelling. There are other reactions that can escalate the situation which should also be avoided and include: baiting the yeller, challenging what they are saying, acting defensive, and criticizing the person during the confrontation.”
Subsequently, we can think of better ways to deal with a yeller, and we mention some tips.
- Remain calm and avoid mirroring their behavior
We know it can be very tempting and easy to just start yelling as they are, but we know the outcome already, not a positive one.
Remember that the person that is yelling is the one having a problem with the way they handle their emotions, stress, frustration, way of communicating, etc. “Be a part of the solution and not the problem” by using a soft and calm tone of voice and not feeding into their anger.
- Detach yourself from the situation to step back and look at the bigger picture
Before you actually consider taking any action, pause for a minute and assess the situation.
This will help you if you should stay in that situation listening to the yeller vent or if you should consider walking away.
However, always consider that you do not have to tolerate being mistreated or abused under any circumstance.
- Agreeing with them to make them stop yelling will only encourage future yelling
Asking for forgiveness or simply agreeing they are right just to make them stop won’t actually have the desired effect long-term.
Ins um, it will only help you temporarily but the yelling is not guaranteed to stop. Remember to stand your ground and disagree in an assertive way.
- Address the yelling, listen and validate
Someone that resorts to yelling may feel frustrated, misunderstood, neglected, angry, sad, threatened, etc. and just need to be heard.
By calmly addressing the yelling, listening and validating the yeller’s emotions will make a huge difference.
However, you could take the time also to set your boundaries in a polite and calmed attitude.
Let them know you do not accept being yelled at, that you understand their frustration or being angry but it is not the appropriate way to make their point.
- If necessary, ask for a break
If you have tried the previous steps and the person is still yelling and screaming at you, then ask them to take a break so you can both have time to think and breathe.
However, remember that you both have agreed to take the break, the time agreed (a day or a week) needs to be respected and the conversation needs to be resumed and addressed.
Otherwise, it will create more conflict in the future due to unresolved issues.
Whose fault is it really?
The worst thing you can do when someone is yelling at you and there is an argument is blaming them.
The idea is not to point fingers but to find a solution to the argument, also because it adds more fire to it since it keeps the cycle by not engaging and feeding the anger.
This is why it can be helpful we start the conversation with statements in the form of “I…”, instead of “You…”. This helps you speak from your perspective without blaming, judging or accusing them.
In addition, try to adopt a different perspective not taking things personal.
Keep things respectful even if the other person may not, you are modelling the correct type of behavior.
Blaming and pointing fingers will only make the situation worse, no one wants to be responsible and it takes a lot to accept our part in it.
You will feel hurt and angry if you’re being yelled at without reason, but it’s important that u learn how to forgive. This will make your own life very easy and happy.
Benefits of not being yelled at
There are many benefits associated with not yelling, (especially for the yeller) starting by being more in control of our emotions and displaying resilience during challenging situations.
In addition, we will acquire better communication skills meaning, a healthier way of communicating.
Also, remember how we are role models not only for kids but for the people we interact with every day. Instead, try practising the following:
- Active listening: when we are having a conversation with someone, it is easy for one or both parts to disengage or misinterpret the message. Try committing to the conversation and do not interrupt the speaker, you will get your turn.
- Be empathetic: this is one of the hardest things to do for many people. When we need to deliver a message and want the receiver to understand what we are feeling or thinking, we forget how important it is to acknowledge what the other person is feeling or thinking.
- The tone of voice: try to have a tone of voice that reflects you are calm. It is very easy to raise your tone of voice and the volume so you can be heard at any cost, but by doing this you are not guaranteeing the message will be received as you expect.
Moreover, if you have identified how yelling can make you feel frightened and uncomfortable due to the intense emotional response that it produces, then not being yelled at will certainly have the opposite effect.
However, it is not about doing whatever it takes to avoid being yelled at but learning to manage your emotions and coping with your anxiety.
Why is this blog about I hate being yelled at important?
As we have discussed, there are many reasons why you could hate being yelled at and there are also many ways on how to react more effectively to it.
Moreover, being yelled at and mirroring the behavior will only result in more yelling and not changing this behavioral pattern will only result in problems with our overall health and emotional well-being.
Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about I hate being yelled at
What is the fear of being yelled at called?
More than the fear of being yelled at, there is a term that refers to the fear of or aversion to loud sounds.
This term is phonophobia also called ligyrophobia or sonophobia, a type of specific phobia.
However, there is no specific term that refers to the fear of being yelled at but it is usually linked to anxiety and/or depression.
Can being yelled at cause anxiety?
Yes, being yelled at can cause anxiety since our brain is wired in a way it perceives loud noises as a signal of alert.
In this sense, yelling can be perceived as threatening and activate our flight or fight response, getting our body prepared to fight the threat or run away from it.
What being yelled at does to you?
Being yelled at can be considered as an expression of anger or/and frustration.
Yelling usually comes with verbal and emotional abuse in the form of insults, verbal put-downs where it has been suggested that long term effects could include low self-esteem, poor self-image, anxiety, depression, and increased aggression.
Is it OK to yell at your child?
Yelling at your child is not an effective parenting strategy, the other way around.
Your child may do as he/she is told at a specific moment in time but does not mean yelling will prevent the behavior from reappearing.
Moreover, yelling at your child has been suggested to increase their disruptive behaviors and aggression.
Why do people scream?
There are several reasons why people scream. One of the purposes includes adverting about a dangerous situation or asking for help.
However, it also induces fear in the person listening as a form of manipulation or getting your point across in a very ineffective way.
When we feel frustrated we scream, when we feel we are not being heard we scream, when we feel threatened we scream, among other similar scenarios where we could resort to screaming.
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
- The Power of Now
- Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions
- Emotional Regulation: Theory and practice
- Handbook of Emotion Regulation, Second Edition
Jacobs, H. (2018, Feb.) The Problem with Yelling. Retrieved from Nami.org.
Battles, M. (n.d.) The Best Way To React When Someone Is Shouting at You in Anger. Retrieved from Lifehack.org.
Brown, A.D. (2017, Apr.) Please yell at me. Retrieved from Psychologytoday.com.