-Dick Smothers, in a talk at Chautauqua Institution
We all know how uncomfortable it is to be on the receiving end of yelling. Either you want to run away or your rage at the injustice of that yelling boils over. That’s the ‘fight or flight’ instincts setting in.
But there is another part of yelling that we don’t think about as often. That is the part that Smothers was referring to – where your own yelling interferes with your own understanding.
It has been my experience that yelling is not just a release of anger, but a red flag that says “something needs attending to here!” We all have a right to our anger – just as we have to all of our feelings – but why are you yelling? What do you need to hear that you aren’t able to in that moment?
You won’t be able to ask yourself that question right away. But later, when you have time to reflect, what might you discover? It is when we are brave – when we ask “what do I need to hear coming from inside myself or from my partner?” – that we learn and grow.
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