Were you yelled at when you were a child?
Being yelled at never inspired me to do better, except perhaps out of fear, which is nothing close to being inspired.
Mostly, being yelled at just made me think that there must be something wrong with me if people who loved me were that upset with me.
The other parents I’ve asked about this concur.
Last year I taught a series of parenting classes in which we did role plays so that parents could experience some of things we typically do from our children’s shoes. We wanted to understand why certain parenting techniques are effective while others are not. The parents unanimously agreed that they didn’t like being yelled at.
They shared what they remembered feeling when they were yelled at as kids:
…the list goes on and on. The point is that nobody reported any positive motivation as a result of being yelled at. In fact, everybody in the room wanted to know how not to yell.
How to Keep Your Cool, even when you’re Mad:
It’s difficult not to snap when you’re stressed or overtired, and you’ve been pushed that one bit too far. Even if you believe, like I do, that nobody ever deserves to be yelled at, it takes a lot of consciousness not to yell. So the question is: how do you stop yourself from reaching that tipping point of upset where you end up yelling?
Frankly, I’ve had to work to develop this skill.
One thing that really helps is to give yourself some moments to cool off any time you feel your temper rising. I actually interrupt what’s happening in my family and excuse myself to go cool off.
If your kids are too young to be alone, create a cool off corner in your home and model going there, explaining why you did once you’ve cooled off. You can invite your kids to come with you to the cool off corner…they probably will! Chances are if you need to cool off, they do too.
The cool off corner is a great idea but you still need enough presence of mind to go there when things heat up. In order to do this, you need to separate the fact of being angry from what you do with your anger, and break the destructive but habitual cycle of taking your anger out on those who trigger it.
I go into depth on this subject in my free eBook 5 Biggest Mistakes Good People Make About Anger. There are suggestions of healthy ways you can release your anger on page 9. I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you stop yourself from yelling and taking anger out on the people in your life. How do you do it? Please share your techniques below.
Thanks! Here’s to no yelling!