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by Amy Temperly
Why the heck am I yelling so much?
A few years ago we adopted a sweet, Australian Shepherd puppy and named him London. Most of the time London was a joy, but sometimes he was a complete terror. We worked hard to train him but from time to time, I found myself yelling. “London, come here!” “London, leave your sister alone!” “London don’t eat that!”
As I watched him play in the yard one morning, splashing in his water bowl, bringing me his monkey to fetch, digging in his favorite hole, I wondered “Why the heck am I yelling so much?” He doesn’t seem to care one way or the other and just carries on in his own little world.
We all have choices – every day
Every day we have choices about how to deal with the world and people around us. There are stresses and challenges and things that really tick us off, but how to face them is up to us. When I yelled at London, I felt angry, my blood pressure went up, I was frustrated and quite honestly didn’t enjoy the experience of being a dog mommy. What if I made a commitment to be calm? Could I get more positive results in his training by staying centered, being firm, establishing rules? Would London and I both have a more positive experience in the same moment where just seconds ago I was out of control?
When you begin to realize everyone comes from their own frame of reference and that there is NO possible way they can come from yours, you begin to experience life in a different way.
London wasn’t doing those things to make me mad. He was a puppy. He was just being true to himself and quite honestly probably not that concerned about how I felt about it. People in our lives behave this way as well. I realized years ago that life is all about perception. I used to think the people in my day were purposely doing things to hurt me. The woman in the grocery store was grouchy because she didn’t like me. The job I didn’t get was a direct result of something wrong with me versus there possibly being a candidate that had more to offer. When you begin to realize everyone comes from their own frame of reference and that there is NO possible way they can come from yours, you begin to experience life in a different way.
There’s always another viewpoint
Does that mean things won’t upset us? No, of course not. Does it mean we go through life smiling and let people hurt us? No, it doesn’t. What it means, is that there is always another viewpoint. And when we step back, act calmly and carry on, we can to address the bad behavior – like the barking going on in the yard right now – but not make ourselves sick over it. When you find that you react in a negative way to a person or situation, try the following:
6 ways to keep calm and carry on
● First, take a deep breath and count to 10. Yes, I know this sounds silly but honestly it really does work.
● Remember that you don’t know everything. Quite honestly, most people don’t go around trying to make others angry. Consider that the other person might have their own reasons and perspective.
● Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What might their motivation be? How do they view this situation?
● Don’t forget the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. How would you like to be seen/reacted to in this instance?
● Reframe. What is another way that you could respond? What would happen if you didn’t respond at all? Is there a way to view this situation in a more positive light?
● Oh, and then breathe again. It’s not all about you.
It’s not about you
We all come from our own backgrounds and experiences. We are all just trying to get along in the world. London was just being a puppy. It’s all he knew. His motivations were different than mine. I might be able (eventually) to teach him or share my perspective but he still comes from his own frame of reference. When I try to understand that, I am less angry and we are both happier. I still have a lot of work to do. Even at age 7, London can still get me screaming “Why are you doing that?!!!” But when I stay calm, and try to understand his point of view (not always easy since he’s a dog), I find that I don’t yell quite so much and my world (and his) seems to run a lot more smoothly.
Keep calm and carry on folks!
About the Author:
Amy Temperley is an entrepreneur and innovator with a passion for creating change in communities. She owns two businesses, Aging is Cool and Temperley Consulting and lives in Kyle, Texas with her English husband and 4 dogs.