When you’re mad at someone and arguing, it may seem natural to just start shouting. While it may make you feel better to let out a few screams, you may be doing more harm than good. Shouting during an argument may not be as effective as you think. We’re going to take a look at a few reasons why as well as other ways to get your point across.
Why Do We Shout?
Before we look at other ways to get your point across than shouting, we need to examine some reasons why we shout in the first place. When you’re having an argument, you may think that the other person can’t hear what you’re saying. We don’t mean this in a literal way. We’re talking about people not comprehending the meaning of your message. We may think that by shouting, they’re not only hearing us more but also understanding us more. In reality, people often understand what we’re talking about more than we may think. We may think that we need to shout to convince others, but shouting can only make things worse.
Shouting may also be a result of thinking that people are less interested in what you’re saying than they really are. This causes us to shout to get their attention. Yelling can also be used by some to dominate or control a situation. By getting loud, we think that we can get someone to do what we want or see our point of view.
Shouting can also be ineffective because it can lead to stress which engages the prefrontal cortex. This is responsible for decision making and planning. When this happens, the emotion centers of the limbic system take over. Instead of thinking critically about a situation, your feelings are in the driver’s seat. This makes it difficult to understand what the other person is saying in an objective way.
While all of these may be reasons behind the shouting, getting loud during an argument can backfire.
Other Ways to Get Your Point Across Besides Shouting
Studies show that shouting is a less effective way of getting people to get on your side, especially when they’re already not agreeing with you. Instead, there are other tactics you can try that can help you better when you’re in an argument.
Instead of shouting, try some gentle persuasion to get your point across. This can include pointing out the differences in opinion between you and another person in a calm way.
Another more effective strategy than shouting is to ask questions. This allows the other side to talk about their thoughts and views. This will get the other person to start thinking about the situation and engaging in a conversation rather than getting screamed at. Yelling accomplishes nothing. Talking through an issue is much more effective.
Verbally Acknowledge the Other Person’s Feelings
Tell the other person that you hear them and their feelings rather than shouting. This helps to provide validation and empathy which can help an argument go more smoothly.
Schedule Your Most Difficult Discussion at Optimal Times
You’ll want to schedule your most difficult discussions during parts of the day when you normally have a lot of energy and are in a good mood. This will reduce the chances of you getting upset and shouting.
The Bottom Line
The next time you’re thinking about shouting during an argument, stop and think about how effective it will be. Once you realize that shouting does not accomplish anything and will not make the other person see things your way, you’ll begin to look for other ways to get your point across.
Other ways to get your ideas across include gently persuading the other person to see your point as well as asking questions to get other people to talk about their thoughts and views. You can also verbally acknowledge the other person’s feelings as a way to start an open discussion.
Remember, when you have the urge to shout, take a deep breath and think of other ways to get your point across. You’ll thank yourself later.