Is raising your voice abuse?

In this guide, we will discuss “Is raising your voice abuse?”, how we could differentiate between raising your voice and yelling, or if they are the same.

Moreover, we will discuss some tips on how to prevent yourself from raising your voice when having a discussion or an argument with a loved one. 

Is raising your voice abuse?

Raising your voice and yelling could be a form of verbal abuse and can be very traumatizing for young people. Avoid raising your voice and help curb abuse.

Is raising your voice the same as yelling?

No, raising your voice is not the same as yelling, as yelling implies shouting in a loud and sharp voice, especially when temper is lost. However, raising your voice may simply refer to when someone is taking a positive stand against something, or simply speaking in a loud and clear manner to grab attention towards something.

For some people, raising your voice is a form of abuse which can become a very frightening situation. We may have all experienced at some point someone raising their voice at us during an argument or we may have done it when arguing with someone else.

However, let’s consider how verbal abuse can be considered as the way someone who uses words to gain control over someone else.

But you may also wonder if raising your voice and yelling are the same.

Let’s consider how you could have resorted to raising your voice for someone to listen to you, probably your kids or your partner but you didn’t exactly yell at them, just raised your tone of voice.

Subsequently, raising your voice means you have a higher tone of voice when speaking but don’t forget it can actually lead to yelling. 

Some might argue that yelling is used with the intention/purpose to control or dominate the other person.

However, others might say there is a fine line that differentiates raising your voice and yelling where both seem to go hand in hand.

This is why the best thing to prevent shouting or yelling of any kind is modulating your tone of voice when discussing or arguing with someone.

As a practical exercise, close your eyes and recall the last time you had an argument that involved raising your voice or someone else’s.

During an argument or fight with our partner, for example, and how you are able to identify many components, from beginning to end.

Did one or both parts end up hurting? Or angry or sad towards the person that raised their voice or yelled? 

Consequently, if you chose to make a change you can, it is a matter of being willing to.

Here are some tips that can be very helpful to help minimize the risk of raising your voice.

Stop the pattern

Consciously think about why you could be resorting to raising your voice. Is it because your message is not being received or you don’t really know how to communicate in an effective way?

Or is it because that is how you learned to communicate when interacting with your parents or carers?

Do you raise your voice when talking to your children? Are you following the same pattern as your parents/carers did?

Supporting this idea and as mentioned by Dr. Barton Goldsmith, “Among the strongest tools you have for proper parenting is example. If you yell, you are giving your kids permission (and lessons) to do the same. If the cycle has been around for a couple of generations, this may be time to make a change. It’s not as difficult as you may think.”

Subsequently, the first step is to become aware of this behavior which can help you to refrain yourself from doing it.

In addition, you can ask your loved ones to remind you when you are beginning to raise your voice so you can start to calm down.

If you need to, go for a walk, take deep breaths and mentally try to put yourself in a different place.

Think, before you speak

You may have heard this before, several times and it may sound repetitive but it is true. What makes things escalate is when we let our emotions take control and speak for us.

Here is when we seem to lose control when we end up hurting the people around us with our words.

Stop and think about the words that are about to come out and avoid saying them as they come, rephrase them, and by doing so you can prevent the situation from getting worse than it should.

Moreover, consider how when someone is constantly exposed to yelling or shouting, it can cause them to develop a profound fear, stress, depression, anxiety, problems sleeping, behavioral problems, social difficulties, emotional issues, among others.

This is why it is extremely important to be aware of the damage a ‘few words’ or our behavior can have in someone else.

Think about how you would like your loved ones or other people to perceive you.

As someone who is aggressive and only knows how to yell to communicate?

People tend to run away from people like this or simply avoid having to interact.

You should also learn fair fighting rules to avoid getting into a serious quarrel.

Raising your voice or yelling is ineffective

If raising your voice or yelling at someone could guarantee that our message would come across more effectively or how the other person would seem to listen and understand better, then it would be used by everyone, everywhere.

Shouting won’t get someone to listen to what you are saying in a better way, take you seriously or respect you, on the contrary, they will fear you and try to avoid coming in contact with you.

Moreover, in reality, these types of behaviors are completely ineffective and there is a biological and physiological reason.

When we perceive we are in a threatening or dangerous situation, we don’t really pay attention to what the other person is saying but prepare ourselves to fight or flight from the scene.

It is how our brain perceives and responds to danger, so it is expected if we develop fear and/or symptoms of anxiety.

Parents seem to be especially hard on themselves when they raise their voice or yell at their kids, we get it, parenting can be challenging.

However, if done occasionally it won’t have major effects, and even more so, if the parents are aware of their behavior and are able to apologize and correct their behavior it would actually make them a positive role model. 

Moreover, if you tend to raise your voice, scream or yell at your kids for them to pay attention or do what you tell them to do, try to change it by giving warnings/reminders without sounding threatening, telling your child what to do instead of what not to do, setting some ground rules and consequences for disobeying/misbehaving. 

The ‘Can’t help it!’ excuse

Many times we have heard the ‘Can’t help it!’ excuse. The truth is, people ‘can’ help it, it is just they don’t really want to because it takes effort and energy to do it.

Think about the following scenario: your husband started to raise their voice or yell at you but someone they really respect comes into the room, wouldn’t they be able to stop and make it seem like nothing happened? Sure they will.

If instead of using excuses such as ‘I just lose it sometimes’ or ‘You knew I was like this when you met me’ or as we have mentioned ‘Can’t help it!’, we were to analyze our behavior, see how we could improve our communication, seek for help if we must, everything would be different, right?

We need to stop making excuses and looking for solutions.

Moreover, if you are the one being subjected to these types of behaviors, make sure not to feed into the excuses and believe them as true.

You should not, under any circumstances, have to endure the abuse of any kind.

Why is this blog about Is raising your voice abuse important?

When answering ‘Is raising your voice abuse?’ we need to analyze the context of the situation where someone raised their voice.

However, consider how raising your voice can lead to other behaviors such as shouting, yelling, or screaming, and where the content or use of certain words can affect the other person deeply.

Moreover, we have seen how raising your voice, yelling, or screaming at someone is completely ineffective and won’t guarantee your message would come across faster or better.

On the contrary, it can be very detrimental for relationships where instead of being respected or taken seriously, people will start fearing us or trying to avoid interacting with us.

Changing this way of communicating is not easy but it is also not impossible.

We need to be aware of our behavior so we can consciously start to change it or modify it, but it will take some time and effort.

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Is raising your voice abuse

Is raising your voice disrespectful?

Raising your voice can be considered disrespectful and it can send the wrong message.

Moreover, raising your voice can indicate difficulty expressing yourself, communicating your feelings and thoughts.

Is raising your voice the same thing as yelling?

Raising your voice and yelling are different, where yelling means shouting in a loud tone of voice when someone is feeling angry, frustrated, or has lost their temper.

Raising your voice is speaking loudly but can be clearly understood, where the person is most likely trying to point something out usually when there is a discussion.

How does verbal abuse affect you?

Verbal abuse can have short and long-term effects on your mental health.

Enduring verbal abuse can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and even chronic pain. Even if verbal abuse can’t leave any physical marks, it is as harmful and physical abuse.

Is yelling violent?

Yelling can easily escalate or lead to physical violence.

When someone uses yelling, it may come with screaming, shouting, name-calling, swearing, sarcasm, belittling, humiliating, etc., which can be considered as verbal abuse.

Can being yelled at cause anxiety?

If you are constantly being yelled at, it can lead to anxiety and depression.

When you yell at someone, they can feel deeply hurt, scared, and/or sad.

This is one of the reasons why researchers have found a connection between emotional abuse and depression and/or anxiety.


Goldsmith, B. (2009, Sep.) Don’t lower yourself by raising your voice. Retrieved from

Lewis, R. (2013, Feb.) What effect does yelling have on your child?. Retrieved from

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