Is Louder Better?
Photo by Lemuel Butler on Unsplash
Do you ever wonder why people raise their voices when they are making a point? Do they think we'll understand it better or pay closer attention? Even commercials appear to be louder than the normal broadcast. Some people repeat themselves or bombard us with rhetoric either orally or in writing because they are convinced that others will value their point if it is pounded home. Unfortunately, social media has created another outlet for people to vent their feelings and scream their opinions. Our society has accepted loud, disrespectful, and inappropriate interactions in most mediums with little to no recourse. We have resorted to anger and attacks as a means of expressing ourselves. Personally I shut down and detach from those types of communication and don't hear the message at all. So why have we decided that aggressive, inappropriate, and nasty tirades are effective forms of communication?
People may have learned early in life that the way to be heard is to yell louder than the next person. Or they may have insecurities and self-doubt that contribute to their strong, intense expressions. They may feel they have to convince others and maybe themselves that they are in the right. Some people overcompensate for their insecurities with arrogance, aggressiveness, and insensitivity. They value making their point at the expense of alienating others. Sometimes they convince themselves that the knowledge and information has such great value that the way it's expressed doesn't matter. Do you know anyone like this? Do you listen or ignore their message? We might agree with the message, but the way it is delivered may be such a turn off that we tune out the point. Some people enjoy expressing a provocative or offensive message that stirs people's anger and fears. The intention may be to motivate people to take action and seek change. However, this may not be the best approach. We tend to listen to messages that are relatable, interesting, and informative.
So does being loud work? Certainly it doesn't work in relationships and pushes people away. Being loud is sometimes used it to manipulate, intimidate, and control which can work short-term, but usually has detrimental effects over the long run. In some cases, if this tactic is used by a boss or someone who has power/control over you, you can feel trapped in a dysfunctional situation. Most of us want to be treated with respect and kindness especially when it comes to our personal lives. We may tolerate anger and irritability for a while, but it will grate on us over time and result in detachment and disconnectedness. So what can be done? Of course we can be assertive and let the other person know that their anger and loudness create distance and resentment over time. We might also encourage them to figure out why they communicate loudly and find alternative ways to express themselves. In some cases an objective therapist can be helpful to offer strategies to modify their behaviors and help them understand their communication style. Living with chronic anger and loudness can have detrimental effects on physical, emotional, and relational well-being. If this applies to you, decide to make a change today.