Y is for Yelling

500 Words On…Yelling.

Yelling was an everyday occurrence, within my family of origin. With four children and two parents who hadn’t learned how to contain or rise above their rage, there seemed to always be some reason to yell at someone.

There were  times when my father went from child to child, asking questions that seemed designed to find us in some wrongdoing he could yell about. If he went through all of us without success, sometimes he would go through the process again – and, eventually, he either found or created a reason to vent whatever frustrations had driven the process.

There is much less yelling here, and what there is is generally short-lived and soon moved past. Nearly all the yelling there is is done by the children – when you are seven, or even ten, life can get too frustrating to take, very quickly, and yelling is a safety valve that prevents an explosion of a far greater magnitude.

I do the best I am able not to take the yelling personally – getting reactive and yelling back never helps, and usually makes things far worse, and it hurts my head, throat, and soul, besides.

Besides, it isn’t personal.  It’s just a young person, still relatively inexperienced at life and conflict, who is dealing with more than he or she can handle. The anger or hurt or frustration pour out, and sometimes the words that get used are hurtful – not because the child truly hates me, or their life, but because that is how they feel in this moment in time, and that feeling is too intense to allow them to realize, just then, that there will be love, peace, and joy again – and that they might only be moments away.

I’ve realized, over the last year or so, that, when I can remain in a place of love and calmness, neither feeding or ignoring the emotional chaos, but instead letting it pass through me like a stone through a deep still pool, it’s sometimes enough to help calm the tempestuous energies of the child, as well.

It’s a quiet way to say that I feel their emotional discord, and I still accept them. If the yelling was directed at me, I might say, softly but firmly, “I didn’t deserve that.”

And then, I go about my business, which seems to reassure both children that things are going to be all right – that they might be better than they thought.

Usually, the yelling child will take themselves to their room, to fling themselves on their bed.  Often, fatigue was the impetus for the yelling, and the child will be asleep within moments, to wake up happy and better-rested.

Other times, they will settle, and find a diversion. Miah might turn to a book, his 3DS, for games or a show on Netflix; Lise likes books, Littlest Pet Shop characters, and caring for her stuffed animals.

I don’t handle every episode as well as I might, but I keep learning, and each success grows the peace in our home.

Sometimes, I still yell – my ability to control myself is not yet as all-encompassing as I would like it to be.

I no longer excuse myself, not blame myself,  for that.

Instead, I keep learning, and healing – because I prefer loving, trusting peaceful life, and yelling isn’t a means to that end. =)


  1. It’s very odd to read another person’s perspective on things like this at times. I grew up with love/hate relationship with yelling. For me, it was always judged by tone. Having spent years surrounded by grandparents and great-grandparents who had faulty hearing and the (those days even more) faulty hearing aids, yelling was something that just “was” to function and be heard. But tone… Tone of voice, expression, nuances that I had extra trouble processing because of who I was… Those created an atmosphere of eggshells.

    One thing quite different in my own experience. Quiet… I mistrusted any quiet. If the television was turned off or Dad stopped playing records… If they used soft voices. I knew something was wrong. (This may sound contrary to the fact Dad worked 3rd shirt, but really, he slept best if there was a steady drone of “white noise” such as the news being on. It was sudden sharp changes in noise that disturbed him. I still wasn’t allowed to have other kids over, but I know that both Mom and Dad used his sleeping as an excuse, not the full reason.)

    So… Moderation. Everything is moderation.

    Your ability to see the way children just “are” is wonderful to watch, Shan. I know that sometimes it can be challenging to break patterns from the past. We both know that. I’m truly glad for my chance to witness your discovery of peace and self-love.

    • Eden –

      i agree that there are different types of yelling – both kids yell, pretty regularly, while they are playing, and it’s often true that people who do not hear well talk much more loudly than those who do….

      For me, those subtler signs you mentioned, the ones that tripped you up because you couldn’t interpret them easily, are very telling. I read them without even realizing it, as a child. If I had known what I was doing, and that it wasn’t natural for you, maybe I could have helped….sigh.

      We don’t have much angry yelling here, and I seldom yell (although I did, briefly, this morning; the day got off to a rocky start).

      It wasn’t until I started consciously attending to my own voice level, tone, body language,and words, and we shifted toward this place, that I became aware of just how much vitriol was a part of my growing up, or how very stressful all that volatile emotional energy was for me to live with.

      I’m glad we’ve learned a kinder way of being,here….and I am profoundly grateful.

      • I’m beginning to find a kind of beauty in any learning that involves real understanding. Both of myself and others…. I cannot speak for your own truth, but I suspect that you feel somewhat the same.

        And yes, there will still be “yelling” and misunderstandings… Those those occasions will be rarer and rarer as time progresses, there will be days of lapses and days of “oddness” and there will be just “days”… But we’re just humans. Which is fine. That’s plenty when one thinks about it. 😀

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