You yell because they have trained you to yell (and you have trained them to listen only when you yell).

You yell because they have trained you to yell (and you have trained them to listen only when you yell).

I told someone the other day, “I’m a bit of judgmental asshole when it comes to dog training.”

I am.

Just a few minutes before, as I was out hiking, I passed a couple with two VERY cute dogs. They were watching one of the couple intently. It was obvious who had the treats.

After I’d passed, I heard, “Sit? Siiiiiit? No. Sit? Sit down. Siiiii-iiiiit?”

(Want to hear it? )

And THAT is exactly what I mean. In my head, I was saying, “Quit asking your dogs to sit. They don’t want to. They want the treats. Tell them once, then wait for them to do it, then treat them.”

But, of course, they might be perfectly happy with their dogs’ behaviors, so it’s none of my business.

I’m giving you this example because it’s relevant to how we interact in our relationships.

I said, “You yell because they have trained you to yell.”

How so?

Well, if you ask someone nicely for something, and they ignore you or put you off, you might ask again. If they do it again, then you might raise your voice.

THEN, they pay attention. BAM! You have now learned that by raising your voice, you get their attention.

You: Say something.
Them: Ignores you.

You: Say something.
Them: Ignores you.

You: Say something.
Them: Ignores you.

You: Yells in frustration and to get their attention.
Them: Pays attention, finally.

A few more repetitions of this over a period of time, you have been trained to yell.

I also said, “and you have trained them to listen only when you yell.”

It’s true.

It’s not 100% their fault. Sure, you fell into the trap. But it was a trap you could have seen coming and avoided.

Because you can always choose to NOT raise your voice.

You may not get what you want.

Which is a trade off.

For many, the long-suffering victimhood of patiently waiting for someone to have time and attention for them is it’s own sort of reward, and knowing that eventually, they will get to raise their voice (and be perfectly justified) and get the attention they want…it’s pretty damn tempting.

A self-made trap as much as one set by others.

For me, I found that having to yell for someone to listen to me or take me seriously is NOT a part of my life goals, so I don’t.

I speak my mind, and then I simply wait and see who gives a shit when I’m not visibly angry or upset. If they don’t, well, then, I now know that they don’t really care what I feel and think unless they might feel a row is brewing.

Pardon me, but fuck that.

One of my exes caught me in that trap once. Once I realized it, I asked him to stop. Over and over. And eventually, I realized, he didn’t want to. He wanted to enjoy his life exactly as it was and only respond to emergencies.

That’s not for me.

And what about the people who yell to get what THEY want?

They’ve been trained by someone.

And if you want them to feel like you will listen even when they don’t raise their voice, then do it.

My partner laughs regularly about how when he walks into the room, I pause whatever I’m watching on TV, or I set aside my book. I do this, because what he might have to say to me is more important than anything else.

He knows if he asks for my attention, he will get it, 100%, and I will listen.

And we don’t need to yell.

Not often. Sure, we have times when we want to listen, but we don’t understand, and we do get trapped in cycles. Less often, thought. And those are fewer and farther between then they have ever been.

And we’re able to say what we want/need/think and know it will be heard.

And we don’t have to yell.

What is your experience?

Ever been trained to yell? Ever trained someone that you’ll wait patiently while they ignore you until you have to raise holy hell-o to make them listen?

Have you escaped that trap?

Do you want to?

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