When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other, in order to cover that great distance.
We are all guilty of having shouted at someone, in anger or frustration. We have also been victims of someone who shouted at us, once or repeatedly. While some people are aggressive by nature, and tend to shout more at others than get shouted at, others are less aggressive, meek and rarely shout themselves but get shouted at. The world seems to have an equal balance between those who shout and those who get shouted at.
When we are guilty of not having done something properly, or guilty of having forgotten something that we should have done, or of having done something that displeases another, or if have erred with our health, money relationships, education, job etc. it is natural for someone close to us, like a boss, spouse, friend, relative or neighbour, or our client, to shout at us in anger. Being shouted at can make us feel very upset, hurt, embarrassed, ashamed, disgusted, sad, tearful, and downright depressed. We then react by shutting down, keeping quiet, sulking, and withdrawing, or by shouting and fighting back.
If one person is aggressive and another is passive, the shouting or anger is directed in one direction. However, if both people are aggressive, the shouting quickly turns into a two way duel, and can go on and on. It could also move from words to actions, to violence, and both parties could land us injuring each other. Depending on who has more aggression, time, and patience, the winner of the shouting match is decided…although many times, it becomes a deadlock.
Why do we shout and what is the purpose of shouting?
If we want to inform, remind, make aware, impart knowledge, teach or train someone that what he or she has done is wrong or unacceptable to us, we can tell them without shouting, and get across our message.
If an employee has erred, as a boss, we can correct him with words which are firm and filled with information and knowledge, but not filled with anger and noise. If our spouse has made a mistake, we can have a decent chat, and try to communicate to them why their actions have upset us. In all these cases, the feedback or message or learning can be imparted without resorting to shouting.
If a student has made a mistake, a teacher can get across her point, with explanation and patience, rather than shouting. If a kid has being mischievous, the parent can explain and counsel the child. We often shout, when we are irritated. That is because, when someone does something wrong, or does not do his duty or job, or commits an error, we often take is personally, as an attack on us, as a disrespect to us. We all also have sense of righteousness and judgments, which get battered when someone goes against them, triggering an anger response in us.
We have realised that talking softly and firmly to someone, patiently explaining or teaching someone is time consuming, and needs a lot of energy, awareness, and composure. Shouting, on the other hand, catches the attention of the other, and stops them from doing whatever they have been doing, instantly, most likely by inducing fear or shame or guilt. Shouting is often a short cut, to get results, where normal, pleasant communication would be time and energy consuming. Shouting is surgically removing a part of the body; talking calmly and communicating effectively is like administering medicines and waiting for the slow results to show, but saving the part at the same time.
Shouting at someone in anger does not achieve its objective.
- Especially in children and students, the act of being shouted at often creates a “brain freeze” where the person is so shocked that his brain literally freezes, and he hears only noise, and not the words that we are trying to communicate. The message is often lost, and the child or person shouted at only remembers that he got shouted at…the content often goes missing.
- Shouting at someone hurts him, demeans them, hurts their own self of self-esteem and self-worth, makes them feel abused and victimised, and generally makes them miserable. Even if they don’t retaliate, they silently start hating and resenting the person who shouted at them, and love in the relationship is slowly but steadily reduced.
- People, who are shouted at, especially children, learn that shouting at another is an easy way to get things done, since mummy or daddy have shown them this way. Angry parents often give rise to angry children, and then wonder why the child is angry and aggressive.
We need to create a softer world, not a harsher one, and that training must start when speaking to a child, taking care not to abuse the kid in any way.
When someone shouts at you, what can you do, in order not to feel bad?
- Realise that the shouting is based on who is more aggressive.
- Shouting is based on righteousness and judgment, and it is often a matter of opinion as to who is right and who is wrong.
- If you realise that the subject matter of the shouting can be conveyed without shouting, you will realise that the person shouting at you carries too much anger inside them, and you can actually start feeling sorry for them, which dilutes your own hurt and resentment.
- Realise that you are getting hurt only because you understand the language. If you mentally ‘mute” the person who is shouting at you, then you just see a person who is angry or agitated, without knowing what the matter is, and therefore you can avoid taking it personally.
- If you have been shouted at often, you know how miserable it is, to be shouted at.
You should never ever shout at someone else, for that would really be perpetrating very bad karma, for yourself.