Thursday, May 14, 2015

Why Do You Scream?

 “You always scream at me!”

I turned my swivel chair to face my eight year old boy and saw his face turn red, eyes welled up with tears.  I felt sorry but was simultaneously so frustrated that the next best alternative for me was to try to calm down and explain myself to him.

“Do you know why I raise my voice and then finally scream?” 

He murmured, “Because you’re angry?”

“No. It’s because I feel like you don’t hear me.  The reason why people talk louder, raise their voices and then scream is because they want to be heard.”

I wasn't planning on that explanation at all, but since divine wisdom seemed to have decided to descend upon my short-fused and moody self, I couldn't refuse.

We scream to be heard. And we all have the desire to be heard, don’t we?

But each of us ‘screams’ in different ways and it’s not always easy to realize it.

Sometimes we act out in different ways in place of a scream.

We overeat.

We drink too much.

We get addicted to drugs or medications.

We rebel, throw tantrums or exhibit belligerent behavior.

Some of us end up overworking. Some choose to be perpetually tardy at their jobs.

Or we choose to retreat and become depressed.

‘Screams’ also sometimes manifest as silence. We withhold.

I think a lot of the times I’m the silent, withholding type. And I write. Sometimes I ‘scream’ here, on this site. But a lot of the times I just keep my written screams to myself to minimize collateral damage.

If there is anything I deem most important about screams, it is this lesson: 

 That one has to care to hear; one has to have heart to have ear. 



To hear and truly listen to someone’s difficulties, anger, pain, sense of isolation or any other wound one carries, you need to REALLY see the other person, be open and have compassion. Screaming back at another’s screams only creates more noise, produces more useless energy that blocks each person from truly receiving what lies behind the scream. 

I don't advocate screaming, nor am I encouraging parents to scream at your children. There are other alternatives, yes, and I'm not here to justify my behavior towards my son. Instead, I hope that next time I'd be more aware of why I'm really screaming, what it is that I want heard, acknowledged or received. 


What's behind your scream? In what other ways do you find yourself 'screaming'?





17 comments:

  1. LOVE this Joy and I'm resposting this on my RTK fb page.

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    1. Thanks so much, Marie!! I really appreciate it and happy that you loved it :-))

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  2. Hi Joy! I love this because it is so thought provoking. Yes, if I ever scream it is because I don't feel heard and want to be. I agree that we have to care to "want" to hear but I'll bet that most of us think we do care...but we get so distracted with everything else. Lots to think about for sure but it's always good to slow down and really try to figure out what's going on. :-) ~Kathy

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    1. Yeah, Kathy. There's really lots to think about and we do need that pause IDEALLY. Sadly, I don't always pause and give in to the explosive frustration. Thank you for your thoughts! :-))

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  3. Very thought provoking.
    Thinking about screaming, figuratively: when my children were small, I never screamed at them. Then, when the dentist commented that I had been grinding my teeth, I realized I was not doing it at night. I was clenching and grinding during the day, to keep myself from raising my voice! As my kids got older, I began to yell at my kids sometimes (and my teeth are healthier as a result!) I always have felt bad and apologize afterwards, though.
    Literally, you have prompted me to think about how I manifest my screams. Great post.

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    1. Uh-oh...Glad you caught it early enough before causing real dental damage, Susan! It's tough for us parents. We want to always achieve that balance of being 'good' to our kids (e.g. not screaming) while still preserving our sanity. Keeping it all in all the time is not good. And so is giving in to the scream so easily. I normally take deep breaths first but I know that Noah still senses it when the frustration is beginning to build inside me. Then it affects him too and I feel bad. There's really lots to still figure out and it's just nice to know that in the end, most, if not all of us, are really just winging it and doing our best. Thanks for sharing your experience, Susan!

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  4. Your post has given me food for thought, Joy. Although I don't advocate screaming either, there is something therapeutic about "getting it all out." Me, I tend to internalize anger or sadness and that is not healthy, either.

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    1. We need to drink more wine, Helene! hehehehehe.....Does that count as therapy??? ;-))

      Thanks for stopping by and glad it gave you some food for thought!

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  5. I'm Italian and I tend to up the volume when I'm emotional. But I also do what you do and retreat and I think that's worse for me. It's all about WHAT do to what emotion. It's a practice. One day I threw Ryder's toy down in the basement because he was whining something horrible. He told me how wrong I was and that has helped me figure out new ways to "scream."

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    1. And I'm Scorpio, Anela...too intense and definitely not bad when I can't hold things in. Yikes! But your'e right. Completely retreating isn't good for our sanity either. I just hope I don't take my 'screams' out on food, lol!

      Thanks for your thoughts!

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  6. Love this viewpoint. Thanks.

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    1. Glad you loved it, Jessica! You're welcome and thanks so much too!

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  7. I go from talking to screaming too quickly. I think it is all about feeling like you're not being heard. I'm working on communicating more effectively and less abrasively. It's a process LOL

    Alicia
    spashionista.com

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    1. Ah, you're right about that, Alicia, about the whole thing being a process and truly a learning one. Balancing between expressing and keeping things in isn't always easy but I guess that's the challenge. Thanks so much for stopping by :-))

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  8. IF I screen its usually out of frustration or anger. I don't scream much, if at all, these days though.

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    1. Yep, same here, Janine. The bad thing with me is that by the time it really builds up like that, I can get explosive. *sigh* :-(

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  9. Hi Joy! I read this the other day but couldn't get the commenting to work so I came back to it today. I use to be a screamer (boy that doesn't sound good) at the kids out of frustration but with age I've mellowed ALOT but now I scream to be heard. Mom can't hear very good so it seems I am always screeching at her so she can hear me!

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Let me know your thoughts!