Why Am I So Sensitive When Someone Yells At Me?

This guide will answer “why am I so sensitive when someone yells at me”. It will also delve into the related psychological distress and anxiety that yelling brings to you.

Why Am I So Sensitive When Someone Yells At Me?

Often you may wonder, “why am I so sensitive when someone yells at me,” and people often comment that you are overly sensitive, too emotional, or weak.

It is not entirely wrong to shed a few tears and cry when you feel discomfort and emotional pain, particularly when someone yells at you.

People yell when they are frustrated and angry; they don’t know how to manage the situation or put their message across. Some people may cry or get too overwhelmed; they’d do anything to stop the yelling but are too helpless to respond the same way. The reason is not just that you are too sensitive, but it has a deep-rooted cause. It goes back to the parenting style in which that child is brought up. NAMI suggests that “Children do better when they are calm. The calmer and more connected the caregiver, the calmer and more secure the child. And the healthier it is for the child’s brain and body. Knowing this, here are some things all parents can remember to help young brains develop well, by ensuring our children feel safe and secure”. It implies that childhood behaviors result in attachment styles in adulthood. These patterns and behaviors are responsible for our sensitive response when someone yells at us.

Traits of Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

A highly sensitive person, or HSP, is a person with increased or deep central nervous system sensitivity to emotional, physical, or social stimulus. While sometimes highly sensitive persons are negatively regarded as “too sensitive,” this personality trait has both its strengths and challenges.

Some of the traits which are common to highly sensitive persons are listed and described below:

  • Avoid violent TV shows or movies because they can be too intense and leave you distressed and upset.
  • Overwhelmed by the sensory stimulus, such as loud crowds, bright lights, or uncomfortable clothes.
  • Being deeply affected by aesthetics, like art, nature, or human creativity in the form of a good advertisement.
  • The immense need for downtime, it is not only a choice, but it is a requirement to have me-time in a dark, silent place.
  • The rich and vivid inner life, they have strong feelings and deep thoughts that complement their vivacious imagination.

Pitfalls for Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

HSPs also have to face some downside of their condition. They may get stressed easily when faced with difficult situations. Social stress is also considered more taxing to most people as compared to other types of stress. It can be especially hard for people who perceive various ways that things can go wrong in a conflict; for instance, they may perceive violence or tension where others may not see it. Therefore, certain things that can be particularly stressful include conflicts, social comparisons, and personal failures.

Yelling situations bring out all these stressors all at once, making it even more overwhelming. 

Psychological Effects of Being Yelled At

You may experience the various psychological and emotional effects of yelling; they can vary from short term to long term effects. Some of them are listed below:

You may experience the various psychological and emotional effects of yelling; they can vary from short term to long term effects. Some of them are listed below:

  • Low self-esteem and sense of worth
  • Strained relationships eventually lead to resentful behavior and a breakup.
  • Chronic stress and tension
  • Anger issues
  • Increased fight/flight/freeze response
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Personality problems.

Yelling is not healthy for relationships and can yield long-term adverse effects. A person may comply with a yeller at that specific moment to stop them from yelling, but after things are back to normal, they would revert back, as the yelling did not change their mindset in the long-term.

Yelling damages the relationship, it is not healthy to handle the challenging situation with verbal abuse. You should be aware of the psychological consequences of being yelled at to stop the behavior.

Verbal abuse and yelling behavior are experienced in households with domestic violence and toxic relationships; children learn about emotions and reactivity from their homes. The exchange of interactions between the child and caregiver or mothers plays a great deal in understanding the emotional behaviors.

A child can identify yelling through the following cues:

  • The loud volume of her voice.
  • The deadly look in her eyes.
  • The high tone of her voice.
  • The critical and scornful expressions on her face.
  • The length and duration of the session (yelling).
  • The insults and remarks–you’re spoilt, unimportant, unworthy.
  • The unpredictable flipping of the switch turns their caregiver into somebody else.
  • The sense of abandonment that comes from these sessions.

Frequent yelling at the children changes the thinking and feeling process even after entering adulthood and leaving the childhood home. Thus, we can hear the voices of our critical parents in our heads even when they are not even physically there.

How to Respond and React When Someone Yells at You?

There are multiple ways to respond when someone is yelling at you. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Try to drift away from the situation. Think of the happy place and focus on that thought. 
  • Try to dissociate from the environment by drowning out the voices. This will help you not to be as affected by their actions by ignoring the possibly hurtful things.
  • Listen and let them vent. Although yelling is an immature and unhealthy way to put the point across, but at the core, the yeller is just being frustrated with his own situation. Try to dissipate the frustration by asking them to communicate and discuss the issue man to man, like an adult.
  • Recognize and validate your own feelings. Although the yeller is frustrated, that does not imply they have a right to pin their own emotions on others as well. So, it is really important to identify and validate your own feelings. Don’t discount on your well being to entertain the other person. Try to ground yourself and navigate through your feelings.
  • Don’t take it personally. The yeller is mostly in his own emotional turmoil and tries to project their own frustration onto others. In such a case, it is essentially required to not take anything personally. However, it can be challenging, especially when you already have a history where yelling was the norm.
  • Breathing is vital to surviving the chaos. Practice meditation and deep breathing. Focusing on your breath to calm your mind and body will help you get out of the problematic situation. It will help you in reducing the physiological reaction coming from your brain after piercing the danger.
  • Consult a therapist and ask for help. If you think the situation is too overwhelming for you, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Seek a competent counselor to help you manage your emotions effectively. Alternatively, you can express it with your trusted friend or family.
  • If you are facing abuse at home or with your partner and it is impossible to communicate effectively, call a helpline like Victim Connect to get you out of the situation.

Conclusion

This guide answered, why am I so sensitive when someone yells at me. It delved into the related psychological reasons behind the overwhelming response due to yelling.

Yelling behavior is shown as a need for control. People usually yell in situations where they feel helpless and stressed. Helplessness can be a powerful yet confusing feeling, where the brain reads the ‘helpless signal’, and it will do anything to minimize it, usually yelling.

Some people can be triggered by the yelling environment and can behave sensitively when faced with this situation. This behavior is frequently faced by the Highly Sensitive Persons (HSP), which is why they avoid noisy places and social gatherings. To stop the yelling behavior, verbally acknowledge the willingness to stop this pattern. Be open to effective communication and discussion of the problem. Develop a code of conduct to encourage healthy communication; take time out when you feel helpless or triggered.

Yelling can be an early sign of domestic violence. If the yelling behavior is getting unmanageable and out of control, consider consulting a counselor or therapist. A therapist will discuss the presenting problem with you and your close one, delve into the early history to find the root of the problem, present different strategies to finish the old unresolved business from the past. This will help you manage your emotional responsibility issue and hopefully regain the trust and confidence of your relationship with the yelling person. Moreover, the therapist will also work solely on you and find a possible coping strategy to deal with when such an overwhelming situation arises.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why Am I So Sensitive When Someone Yells At Me?

Why do I cry when someone yells at me?

You may cry when someone yells at you out of frustration and fear. The yelling can be overwhelming for your senses and mind. The threatening situation causes your amygdala to respond through crying as a defense mechanism, to stop the other person from yelling. The reason for crying in this situation could be due to the sensory overload the person feels due to their discomforting environment. Other times, people also cry while the other is yelling at them, out of helplessness and lack of control over that situation.

What is the fear of being yelled at called?

The fear of being yelled at is called phonophobia, sonophobia, or ligyrophobia. A person averts from loud noises and sounds due to these conditions. Some of the emotional responses could be crying, freezing or running away.

What happens to your body when someone yells at you?

Yelling can have damaging consequences on your body, mind, and brain. Yelling can increase the amygdala’s activity since this part of the brain controls emotions. It increases stress hormone resulting in increased muscular tension and blood pressure.

How do you not cry when someone shouts at you?

Some of the ways you can stop yourself from crying when being shouted at :

  • Try deep breathing
  • Take a break and be away from the situation
  • Try to stop the thought that is making you cry; it will require some practice to master. 

Is it normal to cry when someone yells at you?

Yes, it is normal to cry when someone yells at you. Some people are more sensitive to loud voices than others. They experience emotional pain and discomfort, causing them to cry when somebody yells at them.

References

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolution-the-self/201508/does-your-partner-have-rage-attacks-heres-what-do

https://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-a-Boyfriend-Who-Is-Mean-when-Angry

https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2018/The-Problem-with-Yelling#:~:text=Being%20frequently%20yelled%20at%20changes,increasing%20muscular%20tension%20and%20more