Don’t yell at me: 8 ways to react properly when you get yelled at
“Anger is an acid that does more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to those on whom it is poured out .” Mark Twain.
An angry man’s only weapon is his shouting. He believes that is how he can win any argument.
The more you respond to a man’s yelling, the more deplorable the situation becomes.
To stop the yelling, it is useful to know a few tips that will help you stay calm and quickly resolve the conflict.
But before you talk about responding to the other person’s yelling, it’s worth understanding why they are doing so.
Why does the person yell?
It is worth admitting that in most cases there is not enough reason to yell. However, yelling indicates that the person is experiencing psychological problems that have nothing to do with the person being yelled at .
Their screaming is a reflection of inner emotional instability, although it seems that the screamer is demonstrating his power and authority. What could be the reasons for this?
1. An inability to control oneself
Many people only yell because they do not know how to handle difficult situations. If a person screams because it is their only way of coping, they need help to learn to regulate their emotions.
Screaming is an unhealthy method for either the person who screams or the person who is a victim of screaming.
2. Loss of Control.
The person may begin to scream because he feels a loss of control over the situation. He is overwhelmed with emotions, thoughts and feelings, there is confusion in his head, and he screams to regain control.
Because he doesn’t know how to deal with stress in other ways, he takes his anger out on those around him, and you just get caught in the hot seat. The sense of control the person gains is temporary, and their problems are not really solved.
3. the sense of danger
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Aggressors are people with a very sensitive emotional gut that they are trying to protect. Every time they feel that there is a threat to their safety, they respond with the only known method: yelling.
4. A tendency toward aggression.
Some people are simply more aggressive by nature. They can yell, and their aggression escalates into the use of physical force. You will rarely see a fight that doesn’t start in high tones.
If you are yelled at and you don’t know the person well, you should be careful, because it can escalate to a physical altercation and a fight. In this case, it is especially important not to mirror their behavior or respond in the same way.
5. Acquired behavior.
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Some people only yell because they grew up in a family where their parents yelled at each other all the time. They have learned to raise their voice in case of conflict. Screaming is their instinctive response to any stress.
6. Feeling abandoned.
There are also those who start screaming when they feel that the other person is ignoring them. They repeat what they want to say several times because the listener has not responded in any way to their message.
This often happens to parents when they feel that the child is not listening to them. Instead of repeating it several times, they start yelling. However, this method does not work, because yelling frightens the child and has the same harmful effect as physical violence.
How do you respond to yelling?
The worst thing you can do when you are yelled at is to copy the behavior of the yeller. If you do so, the situation escalates even faster, and it can lead to dangerous consequences.
You should also avoid teasing the aggressor, challenging his words, defending yourself, or criticizing him during a conversation.
There are more effective ways to respond to yelling.
1. Don’t say anything.
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Remember that when a person yells at you, it’s his problem, not yours.
One of the best ways to stop the yelling is to stay calm and say nothing. Look the person straight in the eye and sit in complete silence to show him that his behavior is unacceptable and offensive. He will notice your behavior, his ardor will subside, and he will realize that his approach to the situation is fundamentally wrong.
Explain why his behavior bothers you.
It is of course very difficult to remain calm when you are being yelled at, but it is necessary to explain to the person why his behavior is bothering you.
You can talk about how yelling prevents you from concentrating on exactly what he is saying and understanding the meaning of his words. This will help him understand what he is doing wrong and perhaps even apologize for the inappropriate behavior.
3. Touch the person.
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Caution: this method is only appropriate with someone close to you. With strangers, your behavior may be viewed as inappropriate or even hostile.
If your friend or close relative is shouting, lightly touch his arm to show that you care about him and that he means a lot to you. Such a gesture works because it is very difficult for a person to yell at someone who is friendly and kind to them or shows how important they are to you.
If a stranger or someone you don’t know yells at you, and you have the opportunity to leave, just walk away. You don’t have to put yourself under psychological pressure and mistreatment if that person has no role in your life.
Of course, it is worth stating that this method will not work in the case of your boss, parents or husband/wife, as they will take your leaving as a sign of disrespect and will become even more angry.
On the other hand, when you leave, you give the person time to calm down and reconsider the situation. However, it’s worth making sure that you don’t hurt their feelings in doing so.
5. Ask him to stop.
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Another fairly simple way to defuse the situation is to calmly ask the person to stop.
You can say that you’re uncomfortable and you can’t concentrate intently on what the person is saying. Some people just don’t realize how they are acting. You just help him or her become aware of their behavior and realize that even if they are upset or angry, they can control their anger and behave appropriately.
6. Take a break.
You can also quietly ask to take a break. You need to calm down, too, because yelling causes an adrenaline rush and you don’t know how much longer you can hold back.
When you talk about taking a break, it should be a statement, not a question, especially if it’s not your boss.
With someone you know and are close to, this approach will be more acceptable, and you can ask for an exact time (5 minutes, a day, or any other time) to think things over and respond calmly.
7. Keep your voice down.
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This may seem silly, but it actually works. When you speak softly in response to a yell and the person asks you to speak louder, it distracts the yeller from what’s bothering him or causing him stress.
He shifts his attention to your conversation as he tries to understand the meaning of your words, and this may gradually calm him down and force him to use a different tone.
8. Don’t snap back.
It is very difficult to resist the temptation to respond to your abuser in the same way, especially when he is yelling at you, but try to hold back and not sass him. This can make him even angrier, and he just will not listen to what you have to say. Just keep all the comments to yourself and look for other ways to handle the situation.
Most of the time when we get yelled at, it hurts our emotions and we feel the need to respond in the same way. Shouting back, criticism, and other negative reactions only make the situation worse.
Try to do what you can to take control of your emotions. Let the person know that you do not tolerate being yelled at no matter the problem or situation. Say it politely and calmly, and you can expect a calmer response.
It can be very difficult for us to restrain ourselves when we are yelled at, but it is possible. With a little practice and patience, you will learn how to respond appropriately and control yourself in any situation without hurting anyone’s feelings.
What to do when you get yelled at?
When someone starts hitting on you, shouting, stomping and spitting, you want to run away or, conversely, yell back, so that the situation would change faster. But it won’t change because the person is “attacking” for a reason, Alexander Orlov writes in his book “The Jedi Techniques of Constructive Communication”.
If the person yells at you, he thinks that you do not hear him. Sometimes he emphasizes this: “That’s the third time I’ve told you…” That is, the first two times you said it calmly, you didn’t hear it, now you will definitely hear it… If you tell the person off/ yell at him louder/ throw him out of the room, his problem (the same reason he is making noise), will not go away. And it is a problem he will still have to deal with. Most likely with other people. And this is a process you will no longer have control over. You can bring the conversation back into a constructive direction with the help of special techniques. Jedi techniques for constructive communication
To begin with, show that you are ready to hear the interlocutor. These techniques will help reduce the degree of communication.
– In response to a scolding e-mail, call or come in person;
– If the person walks into the room and immediately “runs into” you, offer to leave and work it out;
– ask if you have time for a coffee: while you are going, it will be difficult for him or her to shout;
– start taking notes with the words: “Now we’ll figure it out. What’s the issue?” – it is very difficult to yell at someone who is taking notes behind you;
– offer to illustrate the problem: “I don’t really understand what comes from where and where, can you draw a diagram?” By drawing a diagram, the person puts their thoughts in order and brings activity back to the logical hemisphere of the brain; the emotions go away.
If you don’t understand the reason for the shouting and the hit-and-run, you need to find out what made the person you are talking to angry. After you have called the interlocutor for coffee or taken a notebook to take notes, ask the right questions. Alexander Orlov offers a checklist of “5 questions to clarify criticism.
Question #1. What happened?
Question #2. In what way is it expressed?
Question #3. What is wrong with it?
Question #4. What do we want? How do we solve it?
Question #5. How will you know that this solution works?
Critique clarification questions are not an algorithm, they are a checklist. Ask only those questions that are appropriate for the situation.
For example, if your boss comes to you with the words: “Guys, I’ve tried to run our product and I got the error 505. Could you please fix it so that everything works for me?” – You don’t have to meet it with a thoughtful, “What’s wrong? What does it look like?” The person can really explode.
The most powerful question is: What do you want?
You might say that five questions is too many. In that case, Alexander advises you to remember just question number four: What do you want? He illustrates the power of the question with an example.
– And this is what you’ve been working on for a year? I am disappointed… – I opened my mailbox in the morning and habitually started with the client letters. After receiving the certificate in a cute new design, our regular customer was not holding herself back.
That’s what happened with those certificates. After promising them to all clients, it took us a long time to fulfill the promise, because we did not have a permanent designer. As a result, the production of the certificates was delayed and delayed. A year later, tortured by conscience, we found a sensible certificate design: a yellow background with what looked like milk spilled over it. “Is that really milk?” – my spouse said sarcastically. Colleagues suggested making certificates oval (to be creative!), but my gut told me that this is too much.
After making certificates for all clients and sending them all out, we went to bed. And in the morning there were about ten “thanks” and five angry rants in the mail about how we know how to make certificates:
– What is this? I’m embarrassed to show this to my employer… And this is what you’ve been working on for a year? I’m disappointed…
My first impulse was to explain to the girl how little she understood about design. By some miracle, I managed to restrain myself and in just ten minutes I composed a correct answer:
– Obviously, this certificate has cheated you of your expectations. Tell me, please, what kind of certificate would you like to get?
We are lucky, we work with a technical audience. So when asked “What would you like?” we often get the specification:
– a serious design; – in English; – the certificate should have a stamp and signatures; – the number of hours attended; – dates; -.
With this specification we came to a freelance designer with the words, “We would like this…” He gave us the layout. Who do you think we sent the layout to for approval? Exactly those five dissatisfied clients! Everyone complimented us, “There! That’s much better!”
In the end, we made a new certificate design, sent it out to clients again, got dozens of thanks, and have been living with this design for the past six years. It was just asking, “What do you want?” at the right moment.
There is meaning in a person’s words and actions. Try to find it, despite the unpleasant form of expression and emotional presentation.
This article was written on the basis of the book “Jedi techniques for constructive communication. Under the cover – tools, algorithms, examples and techniques on how to constructively solve problems with people, achieving results and improving relationships.