I meant to do that

I know I have made plans to cry from time to time.

When I knew the audience I was working with, and I had a goal in mind, I would plan to let the tears go.

To be fair, I have definitely cried when I didn’t’ want to, and had to excuse myself to return to the topic– when I have lost my composure and most certainly was not behaving with intention.

Emotions are not under my control. Unless they are. And then I can use them. Like, when I knew it would help to cry. And I could work up the tears to get what I needed out of the situation.

But one thing I haven’t learned how to do is yell with intention. If I yell, it’s a loss of control. I probably feel like I’m in control, but those might be the same times when I think I’m not yelling.

My daughter has a fine-tuned sense of when I am yelling. And it is not always associated with an increase in volume.

But really, when I get yelled at by someone else

a friend

my husband

a boss

Volume isn’t the biggest factor.

It’s the emotional content.

Crying is emotional too. No doubt. As I think about it, however, crying in front of someone is only about myself. It’s admitting that I feel something. It’s an exposure of something inward. If I cry, it’s being vulnerable and exhibiting something about me.

The emotional content of yelling is a push. It is expressing a judgment of someone else. Judgments are sharp things.

I suppose done properly, voicing a judgment that lifts up rather than puts down is a force for good.

Come on! Don’t give up, you can do it!

If you push just a little harder you will achieve it

That might be called cheering rather than yelling.

But judgements most often don’t work that way. And yelling is for the most part a hurtful expression. It most often happens inside my own head too.

I yell at myself so often it doesn’t even require words anymore. And it’s not very helpful.

We were discussing this at my diet support group. We encourage one another to persist, and to keep going in our path to good healthy choices.

The leader said, “I’ve been doing this for more than ten years. I’ve never heard anyone say they hated themself to success.”

Hmm. That leads me back to the question that started this essay. When would it make sense to yell with intention?

or to restate

When would it be useful to cut someone with a judgmental statement?

When I say it like that, the answer is unequivocally never.

But to cheer someone on, to state things baldly and with positivity, I would like to do a lot more of that on purpose.