Anxiety when hearing yelling (5 Great tips)

In this article, we will discuss anxiety when hearing yelling and explain why yelling causes anxiety for some of us, how our body responds and how to deal with it.

Why does yelling cause anxiety and where it all began ?!

Yelling causes anxiety as it is a  phobia that we are born with, the fear of loud sounds. This should have evolutionarily helped our ancestors. A loud sound should have indicated an impending danger. Even after 6 million years after our divergence from chimpanzee lineage, do we still feel anxious hearing loud sounds?! The answer is YES, and we know this from day to day interaction with people around us.

What happens in our brain when we yell?

Studies done by neuroscientists indicate that when we scream or yell the sound goes straight from the ear to the amygdala. Amygdala , the part of the brain that helps us to feel certain emotions like fear and which also helps us to perceive others emotions, processes it and kickstarts the body’s fight-or-flight response(Poepple,2015).

‘Need’ for yelling?

At times we ask ourselves why did I / the other person yell. We yell at times not only when we are angry, but overwhelmed with any other basic emotion could be our need to dominate and to get attention.

Researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, studied brain activity during the processing of various emotional voices. They found that our brain is sensitive to the presence of angry voices. 

This rapid detection of the source of a potential threat in a complex environment is essential, as it is “critical in crisis situations and a great advantage for our survival.”

Symptoms that we experience when we are anxious :

  • Apprehension- You find difficult to concentrate,worries what might happen
  • Motor tension- You fidget around restlessly,unable to relax
  • Autonomic hyperactivity- Rapid heart beating,dizziness,dry mouth,sweating

Situations that we feel anxious when subjected to yelling

Plenty of situations in our everyday life can help us identify the cause and effect of yelling. Imagine you are out to the market to get vegetables with your toddler. 

Suddenly you realise that your child isn’t next to you, he is trying to cross the road upon seeing an ice cream van opposite. Maternal instincts or for that matter human instincts accelerate in us, and we shout at our child, ‘don’t move’, ‘stop him’.  

Even when the child is at a safe distance from the road, as at that point all we see is danger. Why did we yell?? Why didn’t we just run and calmly go next to the child and take them back?? Do we sometimes really have the tolerance to remain calm and composed in the face of any danger?

 All though it’s often said that, in situations that involve danger, for example, a child at the edge of a balcony, do not yell at the child. Yelling in situations like these makes the child panic, instead speak calmly to the child and make them come near to you. What happens when we yell is our Fight and flight system gets activated. And the child gets anxious hearing our yelling, thereby activating their fight or flight action.

Fight and flight response

 Fight and flight is a physiological reaction by our body when we encounter a danger or perceive a threat. This mechanism helps us to either ‘fight’ or ‘flee’ from that situation, through increased blood flow to muscles, increased heartbeat and sometimes ‘freeze’ in traumatic conditions.

The lower part of the brain, responsible for survival, gets activated instantly, and not the higher brain parts. This is one of the reasons we act rapidly in dangerous situation without giving much rationality,our entire body works towards survival. 

  And then the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in to restore the energy, and brings down the rapid heartbeat rate, sweating slows down and the rest of the bodily process such as digestion continues.

To understand more about why yelling causes anxiety often equally between people in the situation, consider any mundane experience and role of voice cue’s assistance. 

Albert Mehrabain in his Silent Messages (1971), stated that words account for 7%, tone of voice 38% and body language 55% of communication, which is in short the 3V’s- Verbal, Vocal and Visual. One major insight that the book shows is that when there is a conflict between verbal and non verbal communication, receivers tend to reduce the dissonance by accepting the non verbal communication.

 Tone of voice, which varies from whispering to yelling this may be the reason for having the highest percentage of contribution in understanding communication in any social setting.

When we are called into Boss’s office, we find a change in his tone, we notice the slight increase in his voice, our sympathetic nervous system gets switched on as we perceive an impending threat.

So how did the Boss’s yelling cause so much change in our physiology? The anticipatory anxiety and the red warning signal of going to his cabin has made our ‘Flight or Fight Reaction’ into action, as we expect some yelling and screaming, making us more anxious, thus disrupting the equilibrium.

Another common example is, remember times when there was disagreements with  your partner , and you feel that he/she is not understanding what you are trying to communicate, and you find your voice going louder, and suddenly all you hear from your partner is –  stop yelling !

Or let’s take the third example.On a tired day your child keeps badgering you to play with her , did you experience a surge of voice getting raised?  What made you yell at your innocent child for just wanting to spend some time with you?

These are everyday happenings we go through. Though most of the time we do not intend to shout at our child, spur of the moment you just explode, and makes us guilty later for having done it. Often when we are experiencing extreme emotions, be it, surprise ,anger , sadness, our tone of voice increases.

Sundberg (1998),called the human voice as the ‘mirror to soul’. Often we can define a personality through the tone of his tone, if the person is submissive, dominant,calm,impatient and so on. Though much of the study has focussed on the effect of facial emotions in deducing the other person’s emotions (Ekman ,1973), our reliance on voice cues are much more common than emotions(Planalp,1998).

Why do we yell?

The reason for our sudden outburst of emotions, often in the form of yelling is because we feel frustrated, annoyed and thwarted and in that moment, all we want is to release that pent up energy.

 It might rupture relationships, so we need to be aware of our incoming emotions, or if it was so sudden that it just blurts out, apologise for it. Or if you really want to yell and scream to feel free, go to some place , away from people, yell and scream it out, which provides catharsis. 

What happens to someone on the other side ?

To someone on the receiving end of our yelling, what happens is also quite destructive. Being frequently yelled at changes the brain and the body in a multitude of ways including increasing the activity of the amygdala (the emotional brain), increasing stress hormones in the bloodstream, increasing muscular tension, and more.  This could lead to emotional abuse, which is as harmful as any other abuse.

Steps to deal with coping and reducing anxiety

Anxiety and yelling at times can become a feedback loop. Anxiety cause yelling, and yelling makes one more anxious.

Being aware of one’s behaviour, listening to one’s tone of voice and choice of words, and watching one’s body language, all help keep us in check.

 Taking a step back and evaluating yourself, having the knowledge of what is happening with you now, helps us to deal with the situation more effectively.

Have a healthy diet, sleep adequately, exercise regularly.

The least we could is- breathe in and breathe out slowly.

 Always know-  Yelling is never a solution!

FAQS: Anxiety when hearing yelling

Does yelling lead to trauma?

Yes. Yelling can account for trauma, as it becomes an emotional abuse especially for children, who frequently sees their parents abusing and screaming at each other.

How do I control myself when people don’t get my point ?

Situations like these can be frustrating. But always be mindful. Know your emotions. Once you are aware, your emotions then are in your control. Help them understand your view by showing patience.

Does exhibiting anger make me a bad person?

Emotions are part of what makes us different from other species. Controlling emotions is like riding a horse. Always make sure you have the halter in your control that you can guide the horse to the direction you want to go.

Can being yelled at cause anxiety?

Yelling can lead to depression

Many other studies also show a connection between emotional abuse and depression or anxiety. These kinds of symptoms can lead to worsening behavior and can even develop into self-destructive actions, like drug use or an increase in risky sexual activity

Why does screaming give me anxiety?

Being frequently yelled at changes the mind, brain and body in a multitude of ways including increasing the activity of the amygdala (the emotional brain), increasing stress hormones in the blood stream, increasing muscular tension and more

Why does the sound of wind give me anxiety?

Causes. Ancraophobia is never present at birth. The fear of wind most often arises as a result of a negative experience in the person’s past. This experience may or may not be recalled in the conscious mind of the person but this has been imprinted on the subconscious mind.

Does yelling help with anxiety?

Theoretically, screaming can prove to be effective in the reduction of anxiety. It can be potentially beneficial for you if you have kept quiet or are silenced by continuous intimidation or torture. It can further help in reducing aggression, feeling of grief or depression


In this article, we discussed anxiety when hearing yelling and explained why yelling causes anxiety for some of us, how the brain reacts to it and finally how to deal with it.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.


Neuroscience News. 2020. Being Yelled At: Our Brain On Alert In A Flash. [online] Available at: <>     

David, S., 2020. Recovering From An Emotional Outburst At Work. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: <,by%20a%20sense%20of%20threat.>  

Enneagram Type 5w4 (A complete guide)

In this article, we will discuss Enneagram Type 5w4. We will cover their fears and desires in detail along with describing them. We will also discuss their strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and sources of stress. We will suggest suitable professions for them and explain the role of childhood in their development. In the end, we will answer frequently asked questions related to type 5 wing 4 personalities.

Enneagram Type 5w4

People with type 5w4 personality share characteristics of both type 5 and type 4 personalities. These people are private yet inquisitive and creative in their behavior and self-expression. They like spending time alone to recharge and think about themself. They can connect with their emotions and express their thoughts in an articulate manner. They thrive well in new environments especially since they are driven by their curiosity to explore it. They continue to enhance their knowledge and skills to feel capable and competent. 


Enneagrams are a map or typology of human personalities. It was developed by George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Oscar Ichazo, and Claudio Naranjo. It has nine personality types that are split across 3 triads i.e. Feeling triad, Thinking Triad, or Instinctive Triad

It describes a person’s fundamental psychological orientation based on the triad quality i.e. emotion, intellect, or instincts most characteristic of his or her personality. 

Enneagram Type 5w4: The Thinker

People with type 5 wing 4 personalities occasionally feel like there is something missing in their life. To find it, they withdraw from others to their inner world in order to live a fulfilled life. Sometimes, they undergo periods of self-doubt and ambiguous identity. This affects their decision-making and troubles them while making relationships. They also struggle with being grounded. They are equipped with social skills to interact with others. 5w4 can be described as sensitive and knowledgeable people who make excellent writers, choreographers and artists. They also do well in academia due to their analytical and systematic manner of dealing with things. They can do good work in social sciences rather than hard sciences, as it allows them to use their skills of intuition and comprehension. They like objectivity and uncovering new areas of knowledge.

These people look at things from a different perspective. They like independence and dislike restrictions on them. Since their orientation is internal, they focus on their thoughts and withdraw from their environment. Even in relationships, they do not get emotionally invested and understand things from a rational point of view. They can especially be sensitive to criticism by others since they take great pride in their work. They also engage in activities like reading and intellectual tasks that can improve their skills and self-expression. These people may be vulnerable to aggression, depression, and turn to drugs to deal with their pessimistic worldview.

Famous people with type 5 wing 4 personality include John Lennon, Emily Dickinson, Kurt Cobain, Tim Burton

Basic fear 

Type 5 wing 4 personalities fear being helpless and incompetent in handling different situations. They try to overcome this fear by spending the majority of their time gathering new knowledge, expanding their intellectual capacities, and getting new skills in order to feel useful, competent, and worthy. 

Basic desire 

Type 5w4 are driven to be competent, capable, useful, and helpful to others around them. This explains their passion and need to understand the world around them. Furthermore, it explains their tendency to explore new environments.  They have a philosophical side based on which they give explanations of complex phenomena. They dislike engaging with a lot of people and withdraw from others. However, this is a defense mechanism they adopt to protect themself. It may lead to them feeling lonely.

The Strengths of Type 5w4

Type 5w4 has many strengths. These include the following:

  • They are creative people who can think innovatively. They also express their ideas in an original manner.
  • These people are confident and can work independently.
  • They are quite observant and notice small details that other people usually overlook.
  • They have the capacity for high attention and can remain focused deeply.

The Weaknesses of Type 5w4

Type 5w4 also has many weaknesses. These include the following:

  • At times, these people get sensitive and feel things a lot.
  • Sometimes, they overfocus on themselves and have a tendency to think about themselves too much.
  • They frequently withdraw from others and create distance between themselves and others.
  • They usually think of big ideas and have trouble thinking in a practical or realistic manner.

Source of Stress 

Type 5w4 gets stressed by the following:

  • These personalities do not like spending a lot of time with other people. Being around crowds and people can overwhelm them and drain their energy.
  • Whenever things get too much for them to handle, they feel overwhelmed and doubt their ability to handle situations competently. This can stress them out.
  • Situations, where these people are unable to express themselves in an adequate or satisfactory manner, is quite worrying and distressing for them.
  • These people do not do well upon receiving criticism from others.

Workplace and job

People with type 5 and wing 4 personalities are quiet in nature. They have a vast imagination where they use their creativity and abstract knowledge to understand the world. They have a tendency to think philosophically about the world and apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems. Work environments that encourage them to think, learn new things, and grow as a person can be good for them. Especially if it allows them personal space to think and autonomy to make their own decisions, they can function at their best. Jobs that are well-suited for type five wing four personalities include authors, novelists, composers, inventors, and engineers, etc.


They are energized by the following:

  • Whenever Type 5 wing 4 personalities learn a new and valuable skill, they feel motivated and good about themselves.
  • Situations, where these people develop an understanding of the world, is quite energizing for them.
  • Getting time to reflect and think about themselves and the complex phenomena in this world, can be good for boosting their energy.
  • Whenever these personalities are admired, appreciated, and accepted by others, they feel whole and happy.

Type 5w4 Childhood/development

During their childhood, type 5 personalities had ambivalent feelings towards their parents. They were unsure about their role in the family and where they belong. They felt like outsiders in their families and rejected to get nurturance from them. It is possible that their parents may have been alcoholic or abusive. It could also be that they did not understand them or made some remarks which made these personalities feel misunderstood. Because of this, type 5 personalities felt unwanted and needed. To cope with feeling like an outsider, these people withdrew from others to overcome feelings of rejection. They spent their time in their rooms and focused on developing mastery over different subjects and areas. They thought that this could help them find out where they belong in their family as well as society. They were careful to choose subjects that could make them unique from their siblings.

Type 5 personalities resent demands being made from them and intrusion in their creative work. They especially find affection as overwhelming and bothersome. According to them, if they are given time to develop expertise in subjects of their interests, they will feel competent while interacting with others. They usually distance themselves to avoid feeling negative emotions and focus on their thoughts. Their tendency is to mistrust the world.

 FAQs: Type 5w4

What is a Type 5 personality?

Type 5 personalities are thinkers. They desire to be competent. So, they spend their time trying to master various subjects and improve their skills. They are independent, skillful, and withdrawn people who often get detached from others.

What is Type 5w4?

Type 5w4 or Type5 wing4 is an enneagram personality subtype. It has core characteristics of type five personality and complementary characteristics of type four personality. 

What is Type 5w6?

Type 5w6 or Type5 wing6 is an enneagram personality subtype. It has core characteristics of type five personality and complementary characteristics of type six personality.


In this article, we discussed enneagram Type 5w4. We found that people with type 5w4 personalities share characteristics of both type 5 and type 4 personalities. These people are private yet inquisitive and creative in their behavior and self-expression. They like spending time alone to recharge and think about themself. They can connect with their emotions and express their thoughts in an articulate manner. They thrive well in new environments especially as they are driven by their curiosity to explore it. Similarly, they continue to enhance their knowledge and skills to feel capable and competent. 

I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊


Personality Types – Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Don Richard Riso with Russ Hudson

The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Huds