Screaming at people you love: How to manage feelings of anger
Screaming or yelling are behaviors that may accompany anger or disappointment. Studies show that prolonged rage or anger and screaming are unhealthy for your relationships and your health, potentially leading to high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. Yelling is a behavior, and anger is an emotion. Yelling can be tackled through anger management techniques.
If you’ve recognized that you’re having trouble controlling your behaviors when angry or want to learn how to stop yelling in a relationship, you may choose to make positive changes in your life. Talking about your anger and learning techniques for managing frustration in a healthy way can be vital for your mental health and the proper functioning of your relationships.
How to manage anger healthily
If you notice that controlling your anger has become an issue, coping skills, good habits, and supportive routines may help. For example, you may notice that high stress levels or feelings of depression and anxiety could be a catalyst for your anger, potentially leading to a screaming match. If these emotions worsen, consider taking action to avoid outbursts and any negative consequences that follow.
Examplesof supportive routines and coping skills for managing anger could include:
- Stepping aside when you start to feel angry and taking a few deep breaths
- Having an outlet, like physical activity
- Managing stress through lifestyle changes (lowering overall life stress, meditation practices, etc.)
- Seeing a therapist regularly
- Attending anger management support groups
Different techniques may work differently for everyone, so find what works most effectively for you. Part of controlling your anger can be discovering whether there is another health concern to address. Reaching out for professional help in recognizing problem areas is often vital to healing.
What makes you angry?
Understanding and identifying the triggers that cause you to feel angry may be valuable. If you are yelling at your spouse or other people you love, the cause may be internal, particularly if yelling has become a repetitive behavior or theme in your life. Many find their anger feels uncontrollable, but it is possible to overcome it with self-awareness and actionable steps.
Anger, like fear, can be a natural response to real, or perceived, threats. It may pair with feelings of being overwhelmed, emotional suppression, unmet needs, and other emotions. At times, anger is a secondary emotion to others, such as fear, sadness, or disappointment. You may have unresolved concerns, or it could be that you don’t feel comfortable navigating these feelings more productively yet. Often, genetics may play a role in why people yell.
Anger isn’t inherently “bad.” Instead, behaviors motivated by anger, like yelling, hitting walls, ignoring others, verbal abuse, or physical abuse may indicate a need for change. Although anger can be challenging to talk about, finding new ways to manage and navigate it are possible.
Are external factors to blame?
Have you ever blamed anger on what’s going on outside of you? At times, anger may arise due to external stressors or situations. These situations may cause you to feel angry or distressed, which may cause you to want to yell to release the emotion.
External factors, like stressors, sadness, traumatic or distressing events, feeling overwhelmed or overloaded by obligations in life, and relationship concerns may prompt or worsen symptoms of anger. Reducing stress and lightening your load can be part of anger management. However, these factors do not necessarily excuse inappropriate or unhealthy reactions. To some extent, anger management can be about modifying how you respond to external factors, helping you learn to address them in a calm manner. Stressors may come and go. How you react to them can change with time and effort.
Try to approach anger with curiosity rather than blame. Acknowledgment of your actions is an essential first ingredient for change. If the anger affects your family or loved ones, working to rebuild and develop a healthy relationship with them through family therapy and other means may be another vital step in anger management.
Anger management techniques to stop yelling
You can try several anger management techniques at home or out and about with loved ones when you feel the urge to yell.
Acknowledge your anger
Studies show that labeling your emotions is beneficial in healing them. First, acknowledge without judgment or blame that you are feeling angry. Acknowledge any urges you have, whether it’s yelling, slamming a door, or another behavior. Then, make the conscious choice to partake in a healthy coping mechanism instead.
Reach out for help
You may want support as you move forward in resolving your anger. Once you acknowledge that you face difficulty with yelling, and/or other anger management-related concerns, you may decide to seek professional help by reaching out to a reputable local, or online, anger management program. A web search may be able to help you locate these resources.
You can also talk with your primary care physician, who may be able to tell you about resources in your area or help you find affordable mental health professionals such as a therapist or counselor.
Finally, contact a therapist, counselor, social worker, or psychologist directly. Explain your situation and ask if they are taking new clients. If they aren’t, they may be able to provide a referral to someone who is. A web search or contact with your insurance company may help you locate a provider who offers individual, group, or couples therapy.
Healing anger may start with feeling able to control your actions before you make them. You may want to learn how to identify an urge and know what the urge is before it happens. Often, anger can feel out of control and automatic. However, learning that your behaviors are active choices may benefit you.
Mindfulness may help you get to a place where you can identify your emotions and urges. Mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment, relaxing your nervous system, and observing yourself without judgment. You can practice guided meditation or mindfulness through an app, video, or audio recording. Or, you can look up breathing techniques and mindfulness practices online to try for anger.
If you can mindfully identify your anger or practice mindfulness in place of anger-motivated urges, you may be able to avoid yelling. A therapist, counselor, or anger management program may be able to work with you to develop your mindfulness skills. They may also help you address any relevant co-occurring concerns that could be causing anger. You don’t have to go through the process alone.
Work on repairing your relationships
Although you can address and modify your behavior, it will not automatically excuse or repair the effects of past behaviors. When someone’s partner yells at them—especially if their partner, wife, or husband has anger issues—it could affect them long after the incident. When working on anger management, you may also choose to apologize for what has happened in the past and recognize how it has affected others, such as friends, family members, or partners.
Apologizing can be a healthy form of communication when you have wronged someone. If anger or yelling has affected your family, you might sign up for family therapy to discuss these issues. Similarly, if a romantic partner has been affected by your anger, couples therapy could benefit you if you wish to remain in a relationship.
Family or couples therapy can also help those in your life understand how to support you and help you employ anger management techniques. For example, a spouse may not understand why you want to take space before a conversation and could feel hurt. A therapist may be able to help explain and get you both on the same page. If issues went unspoken in the past, like feelings of depression, therapy could be a safe and comfortable space to open up about those concerns and effectively communicate your feelings.
Take pride in working on your anger
Reaching out for help and admitting you want to change a behavior can be something to take pride in. It’s not always easy to admit you want to change, and some go their entire lives allowing concerns like yelling to impact themselves and others negatively.
Try to be proud of yourself for choosing to break the cycle. Remember that these changes do not always happen overnight and that it may take time or various avenues of support to get to your final destination. Show yourself kindness and recognize your wins along the way.
Counseling for anger
As with many things in life, increasing anger management skills and learning to manage your emotions healthily can be an ongoing process. Therapy may be highly beneficial if you’ve experienced concerns related to anger management or have been on the receiving end of acts like screaming.
In some cases, barriers to treatment may prevent you from seeking support. If you feel out of options, consider online counseling. Online therapy can be as beneficial as traditional, face-to-face options for addressing various concerns. One study assessed the effectiveness of internet-delivered counseling and found that the intervention successfully reduced feelings of anger and hostility for participants. In addition, individuals saw an increase in their quality of life, reporting more significant satisfaction levels. For those ready to use them, online therapy platforms like BetterHelp provide a convenient and available method to speak with a therapist.
Online therapy often allows you to use several modes of communication, such as live chat, videoconferencing, messaging, and voice calls, allowing you to connect with a professional from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. Talking about your anger issues can feel shameful, but therapy may allow you to confide in an unbiased party safely.
If you need someone to talk to right now, or if you find that specific concerns, like a substance use disorder, contribute to your anger, you may consider reaching out to a hotline, such as the following:
- SAMHSA (Substance Use): 1-800-273-8255
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233 or text “START” to 88788
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call or text 988
- Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741741
Recognizing you’re dealing with anger can be the first step toward dealing with it. Often, underlying mental health concerns may need to be addressed to reduce angry feelings and prevent yelling at those you love.
With the help of a qualified therapist, you can learn new coping skills and anger-management techniques. These might provide traction for improving your quality of life and relationships. Change can be possible with beneficial tools and support.
Why do I yell at the people I love?
Figuring out why you yell at your loved ones can be challenging, since everyone is different. That said, there are various possible reasons, such as:
- Low emotional self-control (the ability to control one’s emotions)
- Misunderstandings about the most effective ways to communicate
- Feeling overwhelmed or stressed
- Childhood experiences and learned behaviors
- Certain mental illnesses, like intermittent explosive disorder or borderline personality disorder
When you’re angry or frustrated, the urge to yell can be natural, but it may not be the healthiest way to communicate your feelings. If you are having trouble controlling your anger, it may be worth talking to a mental health professional.
Is yelling and screaming a normal part of relationships?
In general, yelling and screaming are not considered healthy behaviors in relationships. Although people may raise their voices from time to time when they are angry or frustrated, yelling and screaming in relationships can be unhealthy for both you and your loved ones. This is because yelling often has problematic, or even toxic, effects on relationships, such as:
- Fostering resentment
- Making it harder to resolve disagreements
- Making partners feel unsafe
- Making partners afraid to say the wrong thing or bring up issues that might be bothering them
- Contributing to anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges
In addition, frequent yelling and screaming can also expose married partners to high levels of stress. Over time, this may contribute to physical health conditions like high blood pressure, illness, and inflammation.
Can yelling at someone traumatize them?
Although it can depend on the situation, yelling at someone can cause trauma. It is not uncommon for people to experience yelling as a threat or form of aggression. If the yelling makes them feel unsafe or powerless, this can be traumatizing. If the yelling happens in the context of an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, it may also come to be associated with other abusive behaviors, leading to distress and fear. For people who have previously experienced trauma, yelling may trigger symptoms of PTSD or cause them to relive the experience.
Is yelling a form of communication?
Although yelling is technically a form of communication, it is often not the most healthy or constructive way of communicating. In fact, yelling may make communication harder because it can restrict both parties from being able to make their point heard. It can also cause feelings of anger, fear, and frustration in the other person, which may be counterproductive for solving problems.
What does yelling say about a person?
Yelling may say different things about different people, depending on several factors, such as their personality and past experiences. For example, for someone who rarely ever raises their voice, yelling may be a signal that they are extremely angry, or that they are under extreme stress. On the other hand, if someone always yells when they get angry, this may be a sign that they struggle with emotional control or conflict resolution.
Yelling may also be a symptom of certain mental illnesses, such as:
- Intermittent explosive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Substance use disorder
That said, it can be important to remember that yelling may mean different things for different people.
What are the psychological effects of being yelled at?
Being yelled at can have various psychological effects, both immediate and long-term. Examples of these may include:
- Fight-or-flight symptoms, such as panic or fear
- Increased stress
- Physical symptoms, like sweating, shaking, or nausea
- Mental illnesses like PTSD or generalized anxiety disorder
In addition, yelling can also have negative effects on the relationship between the person being yelled at and the person doing the yelling. These might include making it harder to communicate, creating challenges with trust, and fostering imbalanced power dynamics.
What emotion is yelling?
Yelling is considered a behavior, not an emotion. However, yelling can often be a response to certain emotions, such as anger or frustration.
Is yelling a coping mechanism?
For some people, yelling may be a coping mechanism for responding to stress, anger, or other intense emotions. For people who struggle to manage their emotions, yelling may be a way of trying to get their point across. For those who are under extreme pressure, yelling may be the result of built-up stress. Others may yell as a response to fear or panic when they feel overwhelmed or triggered. Even children may resort to yelling as a way to make themselves feel heard.
Although yelling can be a coping mechanism, it is often not a healthy one. This is because it can interfere with productive problem-solving and may damage relationships with others. In some cases, yelling may even make others feel threatened, potentially contributing to mental health symptoms. For this reason, working to develop healthier coping mechanisms, either on your own or with the help of a professional, may be a good idea.
How do I stop yelling at people?
If you often find yourself yelling at people and want to reduce this behavior, a few tips may be helpful. These include:
- Calm yourself with deep breathing exercises, like box breathing, if you feel yourself getting angry
- Regularly practice mindfulness or meditation, even when you’re not upset
- Step away from the conversation and come back to it later if you feel the urge to start shouting
- Figure out what triggers you to yell and come up with a game plan for responding to those triggers
- Practice healthy coping methods when you’re stressed, such as exercise
- Practice alternative ways of communicating, such as active listening and collaborative problem-solving
These strategies may be helpful for reducing yelling. That said, in some cases, changing this behavior may also be a mental health matter. Certain mental illnesses can make it difficult to manage anger, which is why, if you’re struggling to control your yelling, it may also be worth talking to a mental health specialist.
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