I was born and raised a yeller.
I come from a long, proud line of yellers.
Growing up, my favorite movie was Old Yeller.
When my kids yell, I stop them by yelling. I’m continuing the family legacy of yelling. We will all be deaf early in life, but we won’t go unheard because, well…we are all yellers.
All joking aside, I really wish I wasn’t a yeller. Yes, it has been useful at times. You know the saying, “a closed mouth doesn’t get fed.” I can attest that this is in fact true. And I can take solace in knowing my children will never go hungry for lack of yelling.
But, it also is very exhausting. In order to be a good yeller, a truly great one like I am, you have to have a certain degree of passion. Vigor, if you will. You have to be able to get worked up over something in a very short amount of time and then unleash that energy through a very loud and commanding voice.
If you are a fellow yeller like me, then you understand. If you are not, then you have probably marveled at people like myself wondering how they are able to get so worked up over something so quickly. Why do they have to speak so loudly with such intensity? And for goodness sakes, calm down!
Well, I wish I knew the answer. But, I can tell you that it is entirely natural (whether learned or not) and is always my first response. If I were to map out the very short route that begins my yelling, I would have to say that it starts with irritation. Maybe you didn’t hear what I was saying. Maybe you heard but didn’t adhere to the directions. Maybe you looked me in the eye, and did it anyway. Maybe there was too much stimuli already at play and thus the irritation was compounded, like two kids screaming, a dog barking, and the television playing the theme song to Paw Patrol at an undesirable decibel. Any one of these, and especially all three, will likely spark a yelling episode.
My husband is not a yeller. His not yelling has made me even more aware of my own yelling. This is annoying to me and I’m sure to all fellow yellers. We don’t like for our yelling to become the elephant in the room.
Now, this is not to say I’m an angry person. I’m a very happy person and people would actually say that about me. (Side note: I’m also a laugher. This coupled with my yelling, probably makes me look deranged half the time.) I’m often amazed at my ability to go from yelling right back to being a happy person. It’s seamless, really. It’s one of my superhuman abilities.
Some days I wake up and I say to myself, “I am not going to yell today. I’m going to go all day and never raise my voice.” I feel very good and confident about this conversation with myself and hopeful about the day. Two minutes in, literally two minutes in, I am yelling again.
Maybe it’s for the kids to pick up their night time pull-ups that they have every so politely dropped at the foot of my bed. Maybe it’s the pretzel crumbs from the bottom of the bag that my husband left out in the living room last night and my daughter found and decided to dump it all over the couch.
Whatever it is, I will have begun my day with yelling and I will be shocked that I didn’t make it longer than two minutes. And thus I will begin the bet with myself all over again. But not that day. No, that day has already been ruined with yelling. I will save the bet for the next day. A new day.
This article originally appeared on The Messy Christian