Aug 05

Who Is Yelling Is Losing

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Who Is Yelling is Losing

Who is yelling is losing…


My aunt said this often to me.


The first time I heard it as a child, it sounded like utter nonsense. Adults who raised their voice seemed to be so big and powerful if not outright threatening. At the same time, there is some truth in it: they seem to be so nervous worrying about who will lose. If nothing else, they lose their mind!


Indeed. Truly strong people do not need to beef themselves up in order to make an effect on someone. They ask you to do something in a low voice and you have no doubt you have to comply.


Hysterical people often scream and shout about being right because they compensate their feeling of helplessness.


So, what’s the truth about this shouting business?


A raised voice definitely reveals tension. And where does the tension come from? Dissatisfaction. The feeling of:  “I cannot get what I want.” Here we are: who is shouting is losing: cannot get what s/he wants.


The tension can build up and drain off easily in an everyday argument and does not mean too much. It is useful to keep the expression in check in order not to hurt anybody’s feeling and the good connection with it.


People differ in temperament and in their ability to discipline themselves. Some are easily triggered by certain events while others keep cool even in stressful situations.


Expressing emotions or not expressing emotions?


In a normal situation, communicating our feelings helps to adjust ourselves to our surrounding. My affection will show what I like to do, which people and activity I like to spend my time. My negative emotions show who and what I don’t like. In a healthy environment and in normal development, family members respect each other’s likes and dislikes and behave accordingly.


Naturally, the way we show our emotions make a huge difference. Yelling and shouting is not just disrespectful, it reveals a low level of self-control, a less mature character.


Is the shouter a loser? To a certain degree; yes! His/her ego-development is at a lower level than of the others who are capable to control their emotions.


There is one situation when it is important to conceal our anger which is when we are faced with manipulators who want to get us doing what they want without any concern about our will. The key factor: they don’t respect our likes and dislikes therefor there is no reason to let them know about it.


Even more: we are helping them to reach their goal if we show them when we become uncertain about our next action by showing our frustration through our anger.


Let’s say; He wants me to pick up his mom from the airport. I don’t want to. He begins to apply pressure on me by referring to our friendship, then his busy schedule, then a past event when he helped me out (ten years ago, but since then I hear it back) and then a possible revenge if I don’t do this favor.


Notice: it’s about his mom, his schedule, his convenience – not my schedule, my time or my other duties…


I might try to ward off the responsibility with excuses, but for every excuse he has an argument. As the negotiation goes forward and I run out of excuses, I begin to lose ground. I get frustrated because I think I have no more points so I will say yes against my will. Shouting my next argument shows this inner conflict between yes and no. It gives a clue to him that he needs a few more attempts to win.


Again: My losing ground was revealed by yelling.


Thank you Auntie for your wisdom: since I know this I am armed against yelling. Right after the first wince I realize: He’s about to lose!




Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at

If not with yelling; how can I get what I want?


 How can I talk to my partner about my problem?

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