Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?
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Thread: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

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    Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    I really find this right up there with being afraid of spiders (look at the scale of a spider compared to a human). If someone is yelling they are making a lot of noise, are usually highly agitated and emotionally involved with anger and/or frustration.

    Ultimately, yelling is just noise. It really is. It is usually unreasonable due to the emotion. Yelling almost always means the whole issue needs to be put aside until the steam has been let off and reasonable, conscious thinking can be pursued.

    Assuming the yelling is not followed up with physical violence, why are people so afraid of being yelled at? Why don't we just walk away when that starts? Even when the yeller is your boss or other authority figure, why do we get so distraught at what amounts to noise?

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    Tabula rasa!

    ETA: WHY CAN'T I WRITE ALL IN CAPS doG DAMN IT!

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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    Now I AM trembling in Fear... LOL

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    Senior Member Xeph's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    Well, let me start by saying that I am terrified of spiders. Their size is irrelevant. The way they MOVE and they way they LOOK scares me. When I was little, it was urine inducing (no, I'm not kidding, and yes, it is important to know). Just in the last few years have I been able to suck up a spider in a vacuum...and that was with crying and wild shaking...now I only shake, but I drop the vacuum hose like it's on fire once I know the spider is in it.

    Secondly, I am one of those that is afraid to be yelled at. I hate conflict and confrontation in general. There is a difference between debating and all out yelling, and most people are afraid to be yelled at because of the EMOTION behind it. It's uncomfortable, maddening, and in some cases, terrifying.

    If I am yelled at, I am not so inclined to make something better, or work harder. I am inclined to shut down. I might yell back, but internally I am having a MAJOR meltdown, and it is not how I was raised, it's my own genetics...my personality. I have been this way since I was little. So being yelled at is something that always has and always will bother me. Can I adjust my overall response to it? Yes. But I'll always feel a knot in my stomach, and nausea, and overall I won't want to deal with that person...sometimes for days.
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    Senior Member ThoseWordsAtBest's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    I have been known to get loud in certain situations, but if anyone raises their voice to me I usually just stare at them until they've stopped/taken a break and ask them why what they're saying is so important they can only yell it at me, especially when I'm two feet away.

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    Senior Member Crantastic's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    I think of yelling as a sign of weakness from someone who can't express him or herself properly. It doesn't bother me very much. If I'm arguing with someone and they start to yell, in my mind they have lost the argument. I always respond to yellers in a normal, calm tone, and if they're being really irrational I'll just walk away. The only way I'd be afraid is if I thought they might actually hit me.

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    Senior Member waterbaby's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    I'm not sure that being afraid of yelling is a logical response, but if I were to make up a logical reason I would say that people who are yelling have lost emotional control and are much more unpredictable in that state. So yelling is a cue that something bad might happen. I would even go so far as to say it's a conditioned response.

    Many dogs are decidedly uncomfortable when people around them yell, even if the yelling isn't directed at them...

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    Senior Member RaeganW's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    I have a long history of hiding things (usually consequences of minorly stupid things I did as a teenager) from my aunt, whom I lived with through middle school and college. It's because EVERY. TIME. her first reaction was to yell at me. She is a very emotional person and when she gets news she does not like, she just has an emotional reaction, instantly. Zero logical thought. She has never hit me, deprived me, and despite all the stupid shit I pulled (for the record it could have been so much worse - never did drugs or got pregnant, jus' saying) always fed me, clothed me, and put a roof over my head (although she did take my door off it's hinges one day) and tried to be fairly supportive.

    I still don't tell her things if I think I'm going to be yelled at. I agree with Xeph, it's isn't the volume of the voice, it's the emotion behind it.

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    Senior Member Xeph's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    Yeah...if Raegan came up to me and started yelling "OMG GUESS WHAT MARSH DID TODAY!? IT WAS SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME!!! HE TRIED TO RUN THROUGH A DOOR WITH A STICK IN HIS FACE AND GOT STUCK!!!!!" I would probably be confused that she was yelling, but I'd also laugh, because, come on...Marsh got stuck in a door with a stick in his face.
    Last edited by Xeph; 04-01-2011 at 03:21 PM.
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    Senior Member RBark's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    Because it is usually followed by an harmful aversive. If you beat your dog after every click, it's going to be afraid of a click even though it's just noise. In this case it's usually ingrained into ourselves by the time we have the ability to logically respond to it (parents yelling at you being the marker that you are going to get spanked/beaten/sent to your room/no ice cream/grounded/whatever). So people react severely to it before they can register whether it's logical to be scared or not by the time they are adults and more emotionally and mentally capable of defending against it. As such the response of most people is to shut down when being yelled at.

    But yeah, you walk away from your boss when you're yelled at, you lose your job. People are afraid not of the yelling, but of the consequence that the yelling is leading up to.

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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    My DH is GREAT with handling customers who yell at work. (He manages a car store). He will usually tell them "I can let you yell and vent or I can attempt to solve your problem, but I can't do both. Which would you like?" And they stop yelling, so he can try to help them.
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    Senior Member lil_fuzzy's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    I hate spiders, and I also hate being yelled at. I guess I am 'soft' in the sense that a dog is soft. I don't really care if a stranger yells at me, although that would be rather awkward and uncomfortable, but if a family member or friend or hubby is upset to the point of yelling I really hate it. I guess it's not so much that I hate being yelled at either, but the whole emotional situation that is involved in being yelled at.

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    Senior Member sassafras's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    Yelling isn't just noise, it's words -- usually hurtful words delivered with hurtful intent that elicit negative emotions. Easy to develop negative, anxious associations to IMO.

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    Senior Member Xeph's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    Sometimes I think we as people are just as subject to conditioning as our animals are. I do not know a single person in the world that associates yelling with a positive outcome.

    I can be kind of hot headed, but I'm the type to bottle her feelings. I'm still learning how to deal with negative emotions (my coping skills have always sucked).

    Today I found out that my entries for the Futurities had gotten screwed up....but even I realized that yelling at people would have solved nothing. I calmly e-mailed a few people, and got the issue resolved (and a bunch of thank yous from everybody that helped me, because I am POSITIVE they were expecting to be screamed at).

    However, I do think yelling is a normal thing with humans. It wouldn't exist if there weren't a need for it. Our problem is that we just are not judicious with its use.
    Last edited by Xeph; 04-01-2011 at 05:12 PM.
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    I want to chime in on the spider thing. I hate them. They make me freeze in fear. I don't want to be that way, but I hate them. Once, one ran in from outside when I let the dogs out. It ran over my foot. I was so scared I couldn't do anything but scream for my husband. He was sleeping--he had to get out of bed and save me.

    I don't like being yelled at. I am used to it, and I am used to being attacked verbally (I teach--I get it from parents and students), but I don't like it.

    But spiders....they freak me out. Spiders and clowns.

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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    This is interesting. I agree that when you are a kid the yelling is usually followed by some aversive (and yeah.. I got smacked more than once myself). Being yelled at USED to bother me a LOT.

    That being said, somewhere along the way I just stopped caring. It is just noise. Seriously. It is. Even if a boss yells.. you stand there and there is noise. Funny thing about it is that I can stand there with someone yelling and completely tune them out until the "You got that?" and I come up with "Yes" even tho I have not heard a single word. I sort feel like I am in a Peanut's Movie and the yelling sounds like the adults in those movies.... just sounds.. nothing intelligable. I tune it out and wait for them to take a breath (ha... sort of like breaking a dog of incessant barking).

    Yelling is an emotional response and the person it is directed at can choose to have an emotional response in return or not. I think if the person doing the yelling is someone the recipient loves or cares for deeply then the tendancy for an negative emotional response TO yelling is more likely.

    That being said, I find I really just don't much care anymore. I sort of get into the, "Yeah Yeah.. you're unhappy with me and noisy about it. You are currently at the head of the line.. and there are a bunch behind you and they all got numbers.. and there were a bunch before you so you aren't the first. Are you done yet?"

    It does not happen often that I do get yelled at anymore. I still make plenty of mistakes so maybe they just look at me now and say, "Well, you know.. she is getting up there.."
    When I do get yelled at maybe it is just that I don't care that deeply about any single person enough that whatever they are roaring about has an impact.

    Anyway.. to me it is just more noise. And spiders are very small things that my foot or hand can eliminate (tho I find them far to interesting to kill, so I don't). This does nto mean I do not understand irrational fears.. as I am not real happy about heights.

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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    Those that yell and get bent out of shape will just have health issues from maintaining so much stress and hatred lol I just smile and go about my way. No one is worth yelling at IMO

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    Senior Member katielou's Avatar
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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    I'm not afraid at being yelled at. I find it incredible pathetic and immature and shows a lack of communication skills but i am not afraid of it.

    I was never yelled at as a child so maybe thats why.

    Whenever i have been yelled at i simply walk away and tell the person i no longer need to communicate with them

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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    I'm only afraid of being yelled at by spiders. And now probably clowns. And geese.

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    Re: Why are People so Afraid to be Yelled at?

    Quote Originally Posted by winniec777 View Post
    I'm only afraid of being yelled at by spiders. And now probably clowns. And geese.
    ROFLMAO!!!!

    My father used to yell all the time when we were kids and could get very heavy handed at times. I was a VERY shy child yet had my father's stubborn streak. One day I decided I wouldn't flinch and run like my brothers and sisters did when he started yelling. I stood tall (which is hard when your father is 6'8") and stared him in the eye the whole time he was yelling. Amazingly he stopped yelling a lot sooner than usual and walked away. After that I truly believe I became his favorite. He was always there for me right up until the day he passed away. And I never backed down from someone yelling since that day.

    As far as the spider thing....I'm not really afraid of them. I'll mush them and get rid of them for everyone else. I'll even play with daddy-long-legs ever since seeing "Honey We Shrunk Ourselves". LOL The thing that creeps me out about spiders is THAT they are so small. They can crawl up your pant leg or in your ear or mouth while you are sleeping (at least I imagine that). I would rather deal with a large beast than a small spider that I lose track of.
    Last edited by FlashTheRottwuggle; 04-01-2011 at 09:04 PM.
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