You’re Not Listening

Angry Talk (Comic Style)

I AM NOT YELLING!! I’M TRYING TO MAKE MY POINT. DO YOU HEAR ME?

What happens when we yell? What happens when we get yelled at? I cower, run for cover, or if backed in my corner, I get defensive.

Why do we yell?

We want to make a point. We have an issue or a gripe and we want you the listener to hear us. If we yell, then you know without a doubt we mean it. Right? Stomps foot! Or do we turn off? Walk away? Put up our hand? Some might start crying. Some might yell back. But NO ONE listens. We can’t. It goes against every little fiber of our being to listen. Yelling hits us at our nerve core and radiates up our spinal cord until-ding, ding, ding-you ring our fight or flight bell. Every time. 

So why do we do it? We are scared. We are afraid of you, the one we are yelling at. You may have hurt us or you remind us of someone who hurt us in the past. We have to square off first. Like the bird ruffling up his feathers or the cat with all hairs on end. I’m bigger than you. Bigger, badder, meaner. Don’t mess with me. But I thought I was scared? I am. I’m hiding my fear underneath these scary, ugly, loud snarls.

yelling.
yelling. (Photo credit: J-Urban-Hippie)

So what happens when we yell? We turn off what we want to turn on. We push what we really want to pull. We scare those for whom we care. Mostly we make ourselves tired and weak, because we’ve wasted a lot of energy.

Electricity is a wonderful thing. It’s power is amazing. We, mankind, have harnessed it. I love my computer. And my washer and dryer. Electricity helps me be comfortable and entertained on Sunday afternoons watching Netflix. Or listening to Vevo. Watching silly videos on YouTube. But electricity without being channeled through the right wires, circuitry, and breakers would kill me. Zap! Ka-bing!

Fire is the same way. Wintry evenings by the fireplace and a warm blanket, mmmm. That’s a great place. But fire raging across the plains of Texas or the mountains of Colorado or coming towards my house, makes me want to run. To cower. Or to fight back.

You know where I’m going with this. Me yelling at you, has the same response as the fire coming towards you. Or a lightening bolt. Run for cover or run for your life. There must be a better way. I have to tame my fire. Harness my anger. Yelling uncontrollably feels right. I’ve vented.

I am big.

I am bad.

And I am one tough cookie. Don’t mess with me. But who got burned in the end? Even if they deserved it, razing the enemy doesn’t heal my pain.

We need an expression that works. Stop before we yell. What is the point I want to make with the person in front of me? Can it wait? Maybe this moment isn’t the best moment to make it. With some, those you’ve told a thousand times, the point may never reach them. Those you walk away from and let them be. Others may need something beyond words. Remember tough love?

Yelling makes us feel like we’ve accomplished a task. We made our point. We vented our anger. Open your eyes. No one’s listening.

The Rescues-You’re Not Listening (Live at the Troubadour)

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