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Why do You Yell?

why do you yell?Why do you raise your voice and begin to yell when you are angry?

Yelling happens when you hit your thumb with a hammer, when you are frightened, or when you are excited. Although more frequently, yelling is a sign of aggression.

You, like so many people, automatically increase your voice so that you can create a situation in which you become the dominant speaker. Yet, by doing so you are damaging your ability to communicate and secure cooperation.

People telegraph their needs and feelings, whether they are aware of it or not. Probably over half of the meaning that others attach to your spoken messages comes, not from the words, but from your tone of voice.

Research shows that the feeling conveyed in your voice makes more impact and is remembered longer, than the words spoken. For example think of a recent argument, you may not recall the exact words spoken, but more then likely you can clearly remember how you felt when they were heard. The tone (its pitch, volume and clarity) all combine to give the listener clues about the way the message needs to be interpreted, conveying mood and meaning to the statement.

Yelling or raising your voice can be a method used to control the situation and dominate another person. You get loud to force the other person into submission to listen to what you have to say. This in turns tells them to comply with what you want or there will be punishing consequences. However listening rarely occurs during a submissive state. Rather the ‘listener’ is waiting for the speaker to pause, in order to lash out with a rebuttal to defend against this verbal attack.

For many, shouting justifies the use of force, as they respond to a verbal assault with physical force in an attempt to preempt the threatening behavior by another person. Therefore, it is important that you regulate your voice to a volume or tone that does not imply aggressive behaviors or dominance over the other person.

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Why do You Yell?

Aaron Karmin

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APA Reference
Karmin, A. (2018). Why do You Yell?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 10, 2018, from


Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Jul 2018
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