In this guide, we will discuss “what to do when your boyfriend yells at you”, understand how you may be contributing to it without being aware and how to take action.
What to do when your boyfriend yells at you?
If you are wondering “What to do when your boyfriend yells at you?” it may have happened to you not once, but several times already.
Imagine a scenario where you are going out with your boyfriend on a Friday night, he asks you to go to this nice restaurant you keep hearing about and finally agrees.
Now, you start getting ready and you think you will surprise him with that sexy and revealing dress that has been sitting in your closet for a few weeks now.
Then, he arrives and you feel like the most beautiful and sexiest woman in the world.
You are really putting an effort to surprise him, you open the door and his face drops and there is an awkward silence. You notice how his face starts turning red and his eyes about to pop out of their sockets.
Now you know he is angry, but he hasn’t said anything yet, then he starts yelling at you, calling you names and disrespecting you.
Subsequently, your confidence drops, you feel horrible for disrespecting him, ashamed and probably guilty and thinking that all you wanted was to surprise him, but it went terribly wrong.
He keeps screaming and yelling at you asking to change your outfit. What do you do then?
Change your clothes because he demanded you to or just, so he can calm down and stops the yelling?
If you were this girlfriend, or if something similar has happened to you think for a minute what you would have reacted.
If you decide you would go and change, then you are (without really being aware of it) feeding this type of behavior and it is likely to be generalized and applied to other contexts because it is something that is working for him to demand whatever he wants from you.
Does this mean you have to agree to everything he says to keep him happy? No, you do not have to agree to everything he says or wants you to do.
What could have I done differently?
Let’s consider the scenario we have presented but you may have thought already in many occasions where yelling could have been present.
If this is something you are not really familiar with, still we invite you to put yourself into her shoes.
Imagine you open the door, your level of confidence is sky-high, and he reacts the same way.
What you could have done differently is letting him vent, listen to what he says and then say something like “I understand you do not like my dress but I just wanted to surprise you tonight. However, I feel really comfortable with it.”
He will probably try to manipulate you by saying “OK, so if you do not change your dress, we are not going out.”
Again, agreeing to it and doing what he says means he has control over you, do not let him.
Instead, try to negotiate and get into an agreement being a role model on how to communicate effectively without arguing or resorting to yelling.
When we encourage those behaviors in our partners then we lose our identity, our self-esteem and self-image are impacted negatively.
Take action as soon as possible even if you truly believe you love him, always put yourself first.
In most cases, our behavior is molded by previous experiences either when we were just a child or previous relationships.
This means that we could have been raised in a harsh environment where we saw how our mother used to do everything our father said when he got angry and started yelling.
Fear is a powerful emotion and it is actually helpful to prevent us from being harmed or being in threatening situations.
When someone yells at us, our brain reacts by sending a signal known as the “Fight or flight” response.
Consequently, hormones are released into our bloodstream and our muscles get ready to fight the threat, run away from it or simply freeze hoping the threat will go away on its own.
Be aware and take action!
Without being conscious or aware, we tend to mimic our parent’s behaviours.
If you had a submissive mom and an aggressive dad, it is very likely you will adopt this type of toxic relationship with your partners.
What do you need to do? Break the cycle.
You have your own way of thinking, your own personality, you decide what to wear, what you’d like to eat and so on.
On the other hand, if he is willing to change his behavior, commit and learn to be respectful using effective communication skills then carry on, but if he keeps having the same behavioral pattern and no willingness whatsoever, then you need to think if you are willing to tolerate every single anger outburst over anything.
In many cases we tend to make excuses for them such as “Oh he is too stressed” or “he loves me, but he just has a bad temper”.
Making excuses is a way of justifying his behavior and giving him a free pass whenever he decides to yell at you because, in the end, you will just forgive and try to forget it happened. In reality, you are allowing him to yell at you.
Subsequently, set clear boundaries about what you are and what you are not willing to tolerate, but stand your ground.
If you are flexible with the rules then he will continue to yell at you and have full control over the relationship.
How can I stop the cycle?
Recognizing and naming this type of behavior under the category “verbal abuse” is not easy.
The first time he yells at you, you will simply try to forgive him and make excuses to justify his behavior.
Having the ability to say “you are disrespecting me and I won’t tolerate it” or “what you just did is not OK” is the hardest thing to do.
In addition, you may be asking yourself all the time if you made a mistake and will tend to say “I am sorry” or “I didn’t mean to”, even though deep inside you know you didn’t do anything wrong.
Again, you are rewarding this type of behavior and ensuring it will happen again.
Being aware of how it is not your fault and how you didn’t invite him to take his frustrations out on you is the first step.
It is really his choice to let anger take over him and act the way he does.
Then, just convince yourself verbal abuse doesn’t work on you and by getting mad or getting embarrassed then you are giving up control.
If he bursts in anger again and starts yelling just say “I can understand you are angry, but we can’t communicate at this moment”, you can even ask him for a time out so you can both have a few minutes to breathe and calm down.
After this reflection time, you can resume the conversation.
If he keeps screaming at you, try to remove yourself from the situation explaining the reason why you are doing it.
Why is this blog about “What to do when your boyfriend yells at you” important?
As discussed, there is no valid reason for your boyfriend to yell at you. It does not matter if you actually did something wrong or not, justifying and rewarding his behavior will keep the cycle going and reappearing in any other context.
Speaking up clearly about what you are willing and you are not willing to tolerate will set the boundaries and will establish the course of your relationship.
Understanding and being aware of the cycle is one of the first steps, even thinking about the pattern you are used to, to choose a partner based on previous experiences or relationships can help you to stop the cycle.
Please feel free to comment in the comments section!
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 What to do when your boyfriend yells at you
Is it normal for your boyfriend to yell at you?
It is not normal for your boyfriend to yell at you under any circumstance.
Yelling is an ineffective form of communication.
Your boyfriend is trying to communicate with you but is lacking communication skills.
If the situation is too overwhelming, it is recommended to get professional help through couples counselling in order to improve the communication between you and your partner.
What do you do when your boyfriend yells at you?
If your boyfriend starts yelling at you the best thing to do is to stay calm and avoid engaging into the argument.
In addition, try taking a mental step back and assessing the situation using a different perspective, calmly address the yelling and if necessary, ask for a time out to think and calm down.
Is it okay to yell at your partner?
It is not okay to yell at your partner, this only induces fear in them.
In addition, it could be damaging your partner’s self-esteem and if you have children, it can affect them too.
Also, the relationship must keep respect as a top priority and when there is yelling, usually there are words said that hurt and disrespect the other person.
Once the damage is done there is no going back, no matter how many times you say sorry, deteriorating your relationship with every negative interaction.
Is raising your voice disrespectful?
Raising your voice every time you try to communicate disagreement or out of frustration can be considered as a sign of disrespect.
No one wants to be yelled at or disrespected all the time, especially if it comes from someone you care and love.
Is yelling when angry normal?
Yelling when angry is not considered normal, it is actually considered a sign of being aggressive, abusive and disrespectful.
If you tend to yell when you are angry it means you lack effective communication skills.
- The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships
- Overcoming Low Self-Esteem, 2nd Edition: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques (Overcoming Books)
- The Seven Secrets to Healthy, Happy Relationships
- Healthy Relationships: Discover How to Build the 5 Fundamental Pillars of a Healthy Relationship With Your Romantic Partner
- Love Hurts!: Funny Lined Journal for Women Going Through Anger Issues After a Break-up! Great for Anti-Valentine’s!
What we recommend for Relationship & LGBTQ issues
- If you are having relationship issues or maybe you are in an abusive relationship then relationship counselling could be your first point of call. Relationship counselling could be undertaken by just you, it does not require more than one person.
If you are dealing with LGBTQ issues then LGBTQ counselling may be a great option for you. Maybe you are confused as to your role and identity or simply need someone to speak to. LGBTQ counsellors are specially trained to assist you in this regard.
Waterman, A. (2019, Apr.) What to Do When Your Boyfriend Yells at You. Retrieved from yourbrilliance.com
Seltzer, L.F. (2015, Aug.) Does Your Partner Have Rage Attacks? Here’s What to Do. Retrieved from Psychologytoday.com