Day 18: He Who Yells First, Loses

I heard a guy at Target the other day YELLING his fool head off at someone (a very small person, presumably a child) in the backseat of his car.  Outside of the fact that it really hurt my heart,  I thought to myself, "Buddy, you aren't doing a bit of good right now.  You've lost control.  You lose."

I have a rule I live by when it comes to yelling in anger; "He who yells first, loses."

I'm not opposed to yelling, don't get me wrong.  There are clearly appropriate times to raise your voice.  For example, let's say you are, oh, I don't know . . . at the park with your 3 year olds and they want to pet the nice pit bull that some crazy person is walking around with at a PLAYGROUND!  Yelling is okay then (at the kids, not the crazy person . . .)  Or let's say that said 3 year olds want to climb on the outside of the 10 FOOT HIGH SLIDE!  Yelling might be okay then.  In fact, I find that stressful, panic-driven situations often elicit a raised voice in me.

But raising your voice in anger typically means that you have lost control.  And if YOU aren't in control, then most likely the other person is.  And if the other person is your child, you are in trouble.
If you lose control, you lose the battle.  Lose enough battles, you lose the war.

So, when you are mad as all get out at your kids (or your spouse, or your boss) trying having an incredibly calm voice.  I find that it is very disarming to folks, folks of any age.  They really don't know how to handle an angry person who is calm.  I think maybe they fear you might erupt into a rage or something, so they tend to retreat or acquiesce.

All that to say, when you find that you are getting angry, try to talk softer and see what happens. Because remember, he who yells first, loses.

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