Every time someone yells, I find myself shrinking into my protective little world.

“Stay quiet, avoid eye contact, make yourself small, and if you are lucky, you might not be the one that takes the brunt of it all.”

I know my feelings are irrational, that the adrenaline rushing through my veins and my racing heart are conditioned responses to explosive anger. Every time I feel this way, I feel stupid for letting myself be bullied, and angry at others for subjecting me to it all over again.

At times, I am simply a bystander, listening to people yell at each other because that is they only way they can communicate. Sometimes, I am a listening ear that receives the yelling because it has no other place to fall. And I know, that there are plenty of times that I am the place that the blame should fall, thus the yelling is deserved in others eyes.

Each time I react – I used to always hide. Yet, now when someone yells at me – directing all their stored up aggression in my direction – I tend to get a wee bit perturbed. I used to take it all, but somewhere along the way I learned that there are things I don’t deserve. Being the focal point for someone’s inability to cope is not my lot in life. I am a person – and thus a rational being (contradictory to the third sentence I know…). I am capable of conversation, and of understanding the finer points of others feelings without the need for raised voices to deliver the punch.

So I ask you for one last time: Do not yell at me, and I will not yell at you. I respect you that much. But if you must insist on yelling, you will spar only with yourself.