I hate being yelled at, what should I do

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In this blog we will discuss “I hate being yelled at” and  what you can do if you hate being yelled at. 

We will also briefly seek to understand why people yell and how it affects an individual. 

I hate being yelled at, what should I do: Tips

Being yelled at by other people- be it partners, parents, teachers, and strangers is an unpleasant experience. It can leave you stressed out, angry, hurt, and anxious. 

Here are a few steps you can take when someone yells at you:

  • Remain calm 
  • Assess the situation
  • Do not agree with the yeller
  • Calmy address the yelling
  • Validate their emotions
  • Ask them for a time out
  • Address the situation after the yeller has calmed down

Remain Calm

When a person is yelling at you the best thing you can do is not to react to them. Understand that their yelling has nothing to do with you and it is their own inability to cope effectively. So remain calm and do not feed into their behaviour by yelling back.

Assess the situation. 

Next, take a moment to assess the situation so as to determine a course of action. Make a mental note of whether their yelling is because of something you might have done, unintentionally to offend them, or whether it is simply them throwing their frustration on the next person that they come across. 

If it is the latter, walk away, ignore them, and remove yourself from the situation. This is usually effective when a stranger is yelling at you in public. 

Calmly address the yelling. 

If avoiding and ignoring the person does not work or does not sit right with you, you can choose to calmly address their behaviour by letting them know, in a clear and calm voice that you will not tolerate being yelled at. 

Say this politely and calmly, without any expectations and give them the space for them to be heard if they are trying to make a valid point however, if they are not- use this opportunity to move on from the situation. 

Acknowledge their emotions

If they are trying to communicate something to you, acknowledge how they might be feeling in the situation. Let them feel heard as you attempt to understand them. Ask them to speak more calmly so that you can understand them better. 

You do not have to agree to what they are saying or apologise, but simple letting them know that you hear them and their distress is enough.

Ask for a timeout

Ask for a time out from this individual for them to calm down as well as for you to calm down so that both of you can think more clearly as well as allow you to communicate more effectively. 

Separate yourself and the individual in this situation and take deep breaths to calm yourself down from the shock of having been yelled at by a stranger. 

Address the situation

Once both of you have calmed down and you both are able to think clearly to settle the situation, it is vital that you and the yeller take turns to address their own point of news as well as yours. 

Take charge of the visitation by letting them know that you are listening and would like to address and settle the situation provided that there is no yelling and instead there is clear communication from them.

Call the police

If the individual has no intent to calm down and settle the situation, you can choose to call for law enforcement to help assist the situation as well as to protect your rights and also to protect you from further violence and aggression.

Why Do People Yell?

When someone, even a stranger, is angry and they are yelling, there are a variety of reasons that they are behaving as such. These reasons include:

Poor emotional regulation

The most obvious reason as to why they are yelling is because they are frustrated and might be feeling undervalued and insignificant or feel like there is an injustice that has been done to them. 

They yell because they are unable to express their feelings in effective ways as well as unable to regulate these feelings and emotions that overwhelm them. 

Poor coping skills

Many people yell because it is the only way they know how to cope with their feelings, the stress, and the challenges that come their way.

It is usually because this is the only way they know how to cope and it is the only way they have learned how to cope and they rely on this emotional outburst to express how they are feeling and what they are thinking. 

Fear of losing control 

People who yell when they are confronted or in various other situations often do so because they feel like they have lost control of the situation and as an effort to regain control over the situation, they seek to assert dominance by yelling at someone else. 

Feeling threatened

Sometimes people who tell often do so because they themselves feel threatened and as a way to cope with the feeling of being defenceless, they use verbal aggression and yell as a way to stand their ground and defend themselves. 

Aggressive tendencies

Some people yell because they have easier tendencies towards aggression, It is their way to express their emotions and their aggression. 

Learned behaviour

Some people become yellers because they grew up in a household where their parents were also yellers and they were exposed to it early on and quite frequently. 

So these people think that this is the only way to communicate and carry this into their adult lives and their relationships. 

Feeling neglected

Some people yell in anger because they feel the other person is not listening to them and thus they feel neglected and under-valued.

They might resort to yelling in anger because the other person has not listened to them, or does not pay attention to them. For example, when Parents feel their kids aren’t listening, they choose to yell instead of repeating themselves. 

Another example is within a relationship when one partner feels like they are not being listened to or are being neglected by their partner, they might repost yelling to communicate their needs. 

How does yelling affect you?

The effect yelling or verbal abuse has on children as well as adults is very less understood or known because of the misconception that yelling is not a form of abuse.

However, with plenty of research that has been done on yelling- by parents on children or random strangers on to other people- it has become much clearer that yelling does have an effect on the individual not just in terms of psychology but also in brain activity. 

The NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illnesses, explained that when an individual is being yelled at frequently there is a potential of the brain being affected. Specifically, the activity of the amygdala being affected leading to a rise in stress hormone cortisol. 

When there is a rise in the levels of cortisol in the body, the effect of it is noticeable- it impacts the individual in terms of physiologically, mentally, and emotionally. 

If an individual is being constantly yelled at by their manager in the workplace or by their peers it can lead to more stress, lower self esteem, and feelings of wothlessness and even anger. 

These effects also manifest in children in the way they think, feel, and behave towards themselves as well as towards other people- and this often persists into adulthood. 

Yelling by parents onto children often leads to the threats of two of the fundamental psychological needs according to Abraham Maslow, a humanistic psychologist- the need for safety and security as well as the need for love and belongingness and this can also be the case for adults as well. 

It is this that impacts an individual’s healthy development into individuals that are well rounded and secure in the way they lead lives. 

These negative experiences of being yelled at also form negative cognitive schemas and beliefs about one’s self that often leads to the individual struggling with self esteem issues, issues related to attachment that manifest in adult relationships, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. 

Yelling does not guarantee the message is being understood or the message being communicated across clearly. It is far from that, instead the only message that is being sent across are negatives about the child themselves. 

According to a study done on the parenting styles of an international population and it’s impact on child behavior, it has been observed that yelling and other forms of corporal punishment in parenting had dire impact on the child.

A culture of yelling, according to Ralph Heibitzki for Chron mentions, can become abusive leading the individual to feel demeaned and can even affect productivity and morale of the team and individual employees in general.

When the yelling includes put downs and criticisms related to the child’s character, abilities, worth etc such as “You are stupid.” “you are good for nothing” etc- it counts as emotional abuse and there has been plenty of research that illustrates that emotional abuse has a direct impact on psychological health. 


In this blog we discussed “I hate being yelled at” and  what you can do if you hate being yelled at. 

We have also briefly sought to understand why people yell and how it affects an individual. 

FAQ related to “I hate being yelled at”

Why do I get upset when I get yelled at?

The reason why being yelled at makes you upset is because it is scary and at times, uncalled for.

You also get hurt because of what they say when they yell at you, you might feel like they hate you or the insults they send your way hurt you and oftentimes, along with this hurt comes the fear of not knowing what will trigger them off to yell at you again. 

Why do we not like being yelled at?

We do not like being yelled at because it is upsetting and resembles threat- it can lead to an increase in stress hormones leading you to react as you would when you are under threat- and this could mean distress which is why it is an unpleasant experience. 

Can you get anxiety from being yelled at?

When the yelling includes put downs and criticisms related to the child’s character, abilities, worth it counts as emotional abuse and there has been plenty of research that illustrates that emotional abuse has a direct impact on psychological health leading to disorders like anxiety and depression. 


Gershoff ET, Grogan-Kaylor A, Lansford JE, Chang L, Zelli A, Deater-Deckard K, Dodge KA. Parent discipline practices in an international sample: associations with child behaviors and moderation by perceived normativeness. Child Dev. 2010 Mar-Apr;81(2):487-502. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01409.x. PMID: 20438455; PMCID: PMC2888480.

Heibutzki.R. Yelling & Acceptable Workplace Behaviour. Chron. Retrieved on 3rd March 2022. https://work.chron.com/yelling-acceptable-workplace-behavior-18554.html

Hendell.H.J. The Problem with Yelling. NAMI. Retrieved on 13th Feb 2022. https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2018/The-Problem-with-Yelling

Ginta.m. The Long-Lasting Effects of Yelling at Your Kids. Healthline retrieved on 3rd March 2022.. https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/yelling-at-kids

Battles.M. The Best Way to React When Someone Is Shouting at You in Anger. LifeHack. Retrieved on 3rd March 2022..https://www.lifehack.org/627394/the-best-way-to-react-when-someone-is-shouting-at-you-in-anger

Exactly How to React If a Stranger Yells at You in Public. Dr.Oz. Retrieved on  3rd March 2022.. https://www.drozshow.com/stop-argument-safety-tips

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