Do You Hear Yourself?
By: Kathy
February 12, 2012

I work really hard with people on how to not take angry outbursts personally and to respond in a healthier way – but this one is for you – those with the angry retorts, venomous responses, belligerent requests, or full-blown outbursts.  People don’t like to be snapped at – and this is no way to communicate with those around you! Why do some people snip and snap at people on a daily basis and, more importantly, how do they stop before they run off their loved ones?

Let me tell you something – this angry and terse style of communication is simply not okay!  When someone asks you an innocent question or makes a simple observation, it is not okay to jump down their throat!  It is flat-out disrespectful!  This is not to say that you are a bad person or that no one can stand you, but seriously, you have got to hear yourself and figure out why you do it before you lose what matters the most!!

LEARNED STYLE – One primary reason for this behavior is that it is a learned way to communicate.  If you had an angry and abrasive parent whose primary source of communication was abrupt and cutting – that is what was modeled for you about how to converse.
PRE-DEFENSIVE – Growing up around someone who speaks this way puts us on the automatic defense.  Anticipating that those around us will be attacking and argumentative, we stay armed and ready for a battle.
NOT HEARD – Another reason for this behavior is that you’ve learned that to get heard, you have to yell, scream, cuss, raise your voice, whine, or whatever.  While this may have produced results for you in the past, it does not work long term and it hurts the very people you want to hear you!
UNMET NEEDS – When our needs go unmet, we get irritable.  Perhaps growing up you experienced that your needs weren’t important, so now you angrily ask for your needs to be met assuming that you’ll have to fight and claw to get what you want.
WORTH – Often angry responses are tied to how we feel about ourselves.  When someone asks a question or has a different opinion than yours, it does not mean that they think you are a moron.  If you constantly feel you are being judged and evaluated, this is more about your self-worth than it is about those around you!

This article is meant to help you understand why you behave this way, not to justify it.  If it is causing some pretty uncomfortable feelings inside of you right now, you’re probably hearing the truth about yourself.  The good news is that you are not a horrible person!  The bad news is that you really need to pay attention to how you come across to people and work to change it!  You are an adult and you are surrounded by people who can communicate with you.  Have you ever been told that you’re short with people?  Bite people’s heads off? Do people avoid you? You may not hear it or think your tone and demeanor are a problem, but if you have heard this kind of feedback, chances are you need to take a good listen – to yourself!