Raising your voice only razes your message.

Updated: Apr 15

I was out one day photographing birds and heard this Osprey screeching from atop a tree. It was quite the distraction. It immediately reminded me of a person I recently interacted with who was suprised by a scheduling conflict and "screeching" in a similar fashion. Now, to be fair, I suspect that the person I was recalling was usually pleasant, but when faced with an unexpected scheduling issue that day, they showed an alternative perspective.


Long story short, the person troubled by the scheduling conflict not only complained but complained loudly. And they did so in front of many people. This was despite the scheduling issue being resolved promptly and with a very accomodating alternative. None-the-less, they felt compelled to raise their voice while expressing their frustration..


Interestingly, I was amazing to see the reactions from those involved. I was further amazed at how the underlying message (assuring an effective scheduling system going forward) and the disappointment of the individual, completely disintigrated in the wake of their yelling. Here are the reactions I observed when the person was yelling:


  • Fight or Flight: The individual in the middle of the conflict felt compelled to defend themselves and attempted to articulate all the reasons why the scheduling conflict happened. None of which were their fault.

  • Shut down: The people who were on the other side of the conflict just "stiff armed" the yeller, refusing to listen to their complaint or budge from their position.

  • Reputation Questioned: Several people referred to the person raising their voice as the "screamingi lunatic", immediately forming unflattering opinions about them.

  • Relationships/Bonds were Broken: Going forward, if the person yelling EVER needed a favor from, or had a future request of, the person they were yelling at, they'd be hardpressed to get it.. And those in the vacinity who witnessed the yelling may be hardpressed to want to interact with the person in the future.


If you're faced with frustration, disappointment, or anger over an issue, think carefully about how you communicate those feelings. Count to ten, take a deep breath or otherwise think about how you can calmly address the situation. I'll presume it may be very important for your message and your feelings to be heard and addressed. But, if the person on the receiving end can't hear the message through your yelling, then it's possible that raising your voice will only raze your message.