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When You Yell at Your Partner or a Child

November 15, 2018

You are angry with your partner. You kinda lose it. Not terribly, but you at least raise your voice, perhaps point a finger, admonish.

Your partner reacts poorly and raises their voice, perhaps telling you that you cannot talk to them that way.

You try to return to your issue, but in a louder voice and maybe that finger is wagging more or is more pointed in your partner’s face.

Does this remind you of anything?

Think back to your own childhood and if you were scolded as a child. Assuming so, think back to how you may have felt as that child being scolded. Consider if your partner may have been scolded.

People often don’t remember what they were being scolded for, but typically do remember the scolding (or worse).

Many folks say they were yelled at, scolded, hit as a child and they turned out all right.

No. It’s not true.

If it were true you wouldn’t be repeating this pattern now in your intimate relationship. This is not turning out all right. This is repeating a pattern that hurts and does not resolve issues but rather makes things worse.

Of course your partner cannot hear the issue when scolded. Your partner is busy reacting to the shame felt in childhood for the same experience and now as an adult is revolting against it.

Rather than scolding either a child or your partner, seek to maintain your calm and explain your upset; explain how you feel; explain your love; explain your hurt; all in a calm voice that does not seek to shame or blame, but merely explain – about the impact of the other’s behavior upon yourself. Then, and most importantly, leave either the child or the partner time to let it sink in.

Do not expect or require an immediate response. Don’t even worry about a response as odd as that may sound.

Leave the child or leave your partner thinking about what you had to say, the impact of their behavior upon you, rather than a delivery that creates for the child or catapults your partner back to the pain of an early childhood experience.

Go about your business after that. Continue to be reasonable. See what happen over time. Be patient, Manage yourself.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW for counseling and support – to build your successful practice

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

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