James 3:9-10 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers this should not be.
Hello, I’m Christy Mobley and I am a “yeller ” (or at least I used to be). I grew up in a family of “yellers”. My dad yelled at my mom. My mom yelled back and then yelled at my sister who yelled at me. My dad yelled at my brother and then I yelled at my dad for yelling at my brother. Then my brother yelled at the cat (for crying out loud not even the cat was safe from the verbal abuse). Yes, “yellers”. Now let me clarify here. By yelling, I don’t mean talking loud as when you can’t hear someone on a cell phone, (can you hear me now?). I have been accused of that too. That would be a “loud talker” (totally different subject…later).
My definition of “yeller” is: Someone who raises the volume of their voice in a curt and mean way, spewing hurtful verbiage (almost as good as Webster). May I add, we usually yell more at those we love most!
There are several types of “yellers”. The introvert “yeller” or the closet “yeller”- they are so sweet that no one could ever believe that they could raise their voice. Then you have the extrovert “yeller”- they don’t care who is around when they spew out their venom.
Now many “yellers” have excuses. They hide behind the ethnicities of their families. For instance, I heard a friend say, “I’m Italian so I yell. All Italians yell”. Yeah well I used that one for a long time too until I found out I did not have one ounce of Italian blood in me. Oops! Now what’s my excuse?
Even if you claim not to be a “yeller”, if you have young children, you probably have at least temporarily succumbed to this human condition.
I grew up with cursing and “yelling” and though I have never liked it and it never seemed right to me, it was my normal. Why would you change something that is normal? On top of that, you always sound “way worse” than you think you do. When I hear someone else speak harshly, it is caustic to my ears. What has the sound of my voice done to others over the years?
Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Some years ago The Holy Spirit convicted my heart of my abrupt and often loud tone of my voice. He spoke to the quiet place in my soul and I knew my life could be a better testimony for Him if I had a quiet and gentle spirit, (1 Peter 3:4). Me?, I thought, there is nothing quiet or gentle about me. This is an area of my life that I have prayed over and surrendered. With God’s help I have made great progress. However, when I am stressed it is still always an area of temptation.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful: he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted he will also provide for you a way out so that you can stand up under it.
What about you? Could you be a “yeller”? If you are then take these small steps toward freedom.
1. Practice taking a few deep breaths before you spout off. Visualize a phone ringing that you don’t need to answer …let it ring. That will give you a few seconds to recompose yourself.
2. Ask God to intervene and help you overcome the temptation (you know Jesus was probably tempted to yell at those Pharisees).
3.If you are brave enough, ask a friend or family member to tape you as you grace them with your loudness! If we could only hear how ridiculous we sound sometimes.
4. Laugh a little more. Laughter reduces stress and thus will reduce the temptation to “fly off the handle”.
So are you ready to join me in “Yellers” Anonymous and break some bad habits?
Be careful of the words you say, keep them soft and sweet.
You never know from day to day which ones you’ll have to eat!