Who Are We Yelling At?

I can be a yeller. You know, the parent that remains calm, cool and collected and then finally gets pushed over the edge and lets it rip? Yeah, I can blow it. I’ve done much better over the years and have found a new sense of momentum, but I wanted to share something with you I’ve learned the hard way about yelling.  

The fact is, the person who yells is often times yelling at themselves; not you, not the kids, not even the guy who cut them off.

We’re yelling at ourselves for doing what we’ve done.

We’re yelling at ourselves for NOT doing what we know we should have done in the first place.

We’re yelling because we feel out of control and our typical first instinct is to try to control things.

I typically yell loudest when I feel out of control. It’s this powerlessness which makes me resort to old behaviors and old desires to try to regain control and not have to trust. I really do hate it and I really get angry at myself more and more.

The problem with yelling, as with infidelity and addiction, is that it’s seductive. It feels good to yell. It feels somewhat cathartic to yell at our spouse, both unfaithful and betrayed alike. We want to be in control.  We want to control our spouse. We want to control their behavior and the outcome because we feel we know what is right and are seeing all the angles and absolutely know what things should look like.  We think we can be God and want to be Gods of our own situation.

But we can’t, and we’re ultimately not in control. The best we can do is surrender and remember we’re not in control of much except our own actions, behaviors and perspective. When I pursue the right perspective, I then help diffuse my need to always be in control and bully people and have what I feel to be the “right” outcome happen all the time. With kids, with Samantha, with finances, with sports, with health, you name it: I want to be God over all these situations and I’m simply not. I’m not good enough or smart enough to know what is the ultimate best for my life or those around me. In essence I’m stuck in my humanity and in my flesh, and I feel yelling is the way to regain control. It’s a sad routine to turn to.

I hope you’ll think deeply about why you’re yelling, if you often do find yourself in the throes of a yelling fit.

Don’t get me wrong, there is time to yell. I’m an expert at yelling at the wrong time though. I hope you’ll consider reevaluating why you’re yelling and what outcome you’re searching for. 

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