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'SHOUT' Should be a Four Letter Word

Every time you shout, you change the conversation...

We all do it. Our voices tense up. Especially when we want to make a point, or want to make sure the other person understands our point. Or worse, we speak even more loudly when arguing. We try to be louder than the person we are trying to convince. We shout..  we tense up. And that in turn makes us tense up our vocal cords. We know it doesn't work, but we still do it. The instinct remains.

We shout.

The problem with shouting is that it pushes people away. WHEN YOU SHOUT IN EMAIL, IT SEEMS ANGRY. When you raise your voice, it seems disrespectful. Shouting creates a wall between us and the person at the other end. It changes the conversation.

It changes the conversation from the subject at hand to focussing on the deliverer. We feel speech and words long before we hear the words, and we hear the words long before we understand them. When we feel that we are being attacked, or disrespected, or being overpowered, we resist. We stop listening to the words. The conversation changes. And it is usually lost in the mire of "why is she shouting at me? who does he think he is to rasie his voice to me? why is she raising her voice?"

Shouting destroys intimacy, and it hurts our impact, the impact that comes from authenticity. It moves from dialogue and discourse to feelings and defensiveness. And it just plain doesn't work.

Shouting doesn't give you power, it takes it away.

I think I have regretted every time I've raised my voice. Perhaps you have too. Yes, those are in the past - can't be changed, but we CAN learn, and...

...just never do it again.

Here are some tips on how to do that:

  1. When things start to feel tense, smile. It will relax your vocal chords.
  2. Focus on the power of your words, not the loudness of your voice.
  3. Walk away. Clear your head. Ask to continue the discussion at a later time.

Just remember, the convincing is in your words, not your loud voice.