My family are yellers. It's what we do. When there's something exciting going on, we talk in a loud voice that some call yelling. When we're upset about something, we speak loudly then, too. People also consider this yelling. Naturally then, when we're frustrated, we yell. My family points this out to me often so in honor of them, here are 10 alternatives to yelling when frustrated:
- Walk away. This is extremely hard to do in the heat of a battle, but it's also extremely effective. When you walk away, though, you also need to put some new perspective on the argument at hand.
- Grab a stress ball or something for your hands to keep you busy. If your focusing on twirling a pencil, twisting paper or squeezing a stress ball, you'll have somewhat less energy to yell.
- Breathe deeply. My daughters know it's serious when I stop talking and start doing some deep breaths. It lowers my heart rate within 3 deep breaths and I can focus again.
- Pause the conversation. Again, this is very hard to do when your adrenaline is rising, but if you can just pause the conversation and come back after both parties have some perspective, there's less likely to be yelling.
- Think 'whisper' in your mind. I do this, too. If I am thinking whisper, my yell comes out at a more normal voice.
- Slow down your speech. It's very hard to yell if you're talking slowly.
- Laugh. Laughter therapy is all the rage right now and rightfully so. It lowers your heart rate, your blood pressure and brings adrenaline back down to normal. Caution: do not laugh at the person you are in a conversation with. You need to use this in conjunction with a Pause or walking away.
- Listen to a song that calms you. Do you see a theme here? You'll have to pause or walk away again, but this will help calm you, too.
- Go outside. People are more self-conscious about their yelling if they think they're being heard and where are you most likely to be heard? Outside.
- Write down what you want to yell. Even if you write it in all caps, write it down. There's no noise when writing and it still allows you to be heard.
There you have it, 10 alternatives to yelling to use with your kids, your husband, your wife, your boss, co-workers or friends. If you have additional alternatives that work for you, comment below!
Karen Becker is an author, speaker and personal growth coach. She has a Master's Degree in Counseling and applies these skills when coaching clients. She has years of experience coaching clients in all areas of life: parenting, co-parenting after divorce and in personal growth/wellness. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.