In this guide, we will discuss “Why does my dad yell at me when I cry” and what you could do to tackle this situation.
Why does my dad yell at me when I cry?
If you are wondering “why does my dad yell at me when I cry”, there could be many reasons as to why.
One of the reasons could be, because he does not know how to handle the situation and his response is yelling, thinking this way you will stop crying.
Another reason could be that he thinks this is a sign of “emotional weakness” and it is trying to make you “stronger”.
However, whatever the reason maybe it is not the best way to make you stop crying.
Consider though, that crying is not a sign of weakness. If there was an argument and you ended up crying it means it affected you emotionally and it is your way of showing it to other people.
What you can do to avoid crying when you are experiencing emotional pain is to deal with the emotions you are feeling at that moment.
Consequently, what tends to happen is that this behaviour will be displayed or shown not only when your dad yells at you but when someone else does it in a different context.
It can be another relative, a friend or a partner. Emotional regulation is key, but if you feel that you need to cry then do it.
You do not need to be ashamed or “inferior” for doing so since everyone handles their emotions in a different way and how they see fit.
Some people cry, others get angry and others may just stay quiet.
What is the problem?
The real problem is not if you cry, it is why you are crying.
In many cases, yelling can escalate until the point where it is considered verbal abuse and it can easily turn into depression or anxiety.
Yelling, as opposed to being harmed physically, poses the risk of creating a lot of damage (e.g. insecurities, low self-esteem, etc.) without any physical evidence but still, manages to leave “invisible scars”.
In addition, there are some particular elements of being yelled at that make it so harmful.
Some of the elements may include:
- Why you are being yelled at.
- The volume of his voice.
- The tone of voice.
- The facial expressions.
- The content, such as being critical, humiliating or insulting.
- The feeling of abandonment, not being good enough or less than someone else.
Some of us remember when we were kids and our mom or dad started yelling at us when we started crying after not being able to understand our maths homework or even our teachers when solving a math’s problem at school.
We just wanted they could stop yelling and stay calm when we did not understand something, the same thing happens in other contexts.
When we are frustrated, angry or simply do not understand something, our first reaction is crying.
As NAMI explains, “being frequently yelled at changes the mind, brain, and body in a multitude of ways including increasing the activity of the amygdala (the emotional brain), increasing stress hormones in the bloodstream, increasing muscular tension and more. Being frequently yelled at as children change how we think and feel about ourselves even after we become adults and leave home.”
Subsequently, our brain is capable to develop neuronal paths and wire according to what we experience.
What can I do?
Your personal experiences, wonderful or horrible, lead to how to tend to react to situations.
When someone we love yells at us, it is a normal response to cry since we are experiencing emotional pain and discomfort.
Listen and let him vent
Probably you think it is personal but in reality, they yell at you due to their frustration, financial problems, their car stopped working this morning, they had an argument with a partner or simply it was because of something you did (even if it is because you did not wash your dishes after dinner).
Evaluate what he just said and do not interrupt, he won’t yell at you forever.
After they have finished yelling about what you could have possibly done wrong, it is your chance to talk about your feelings and explain your situation.
Don’t take it personally
If you are completely sure you did not do anything wrong then there is no need to take things personally.
As we talked, there could be a million reasons why they are yelling at you and probably, none is related directly to you.
Crying is your response to emotional pain so do not feel ashamed or embarrassed.
As we discuss, your dad is probably trying to make you understand (nor the best way though) on how to cope with situations, and crying is not the solution they expected.
Breathing is key!
Learn how to breathe through breathing exercises. This will prevent the situation from escalating and also engaging with them, resulting in a fight.
Pay attention to how your body reacts when you are being yelled at.
You may start feeling muscle tension, heart palpitations, faster-breathing pace, sweating, etc.
This is completely normal reactions but if you learn how to breathe, then you can “disarm” and reduce the physiological activity going on in your body.
Validate and recognize your feelings!
Feel, name and validate your feelings. Tell yourself “what I am feeling is normal and it will soon pass”.
When we go through difficult situations, we get filled up with a lot of overwhelming emotions that need to be felt, named and addressed.
As human beings, we tend to search for validation, especially for those we care about.
If you are not finding this validation and understanding from your dad, seek someone else that can help you when you are feeling emotional discomfort.
In addition, you could try simple self-compassion tips such as:
- Positive self-affirmations
- Breathing control and relaxation imagery exercises
- Compassion meditation
- Gratitude journaling
- Music meditation
- Problem-solving skills
If you can’t handle the screams and the yelling, and you see the yelling is likely to continue, or they will not respond calmly any time soon then you can opt by saying something like “I understand you are frustrated and I would like to clear up this problem, but everyone is too flustered to have a conversation about it”.
In addition, you can say something like “I would like to be excused to go to my room to think”.
Avoid suggesting your parents to calm down since it can seem very rude and have the contrary effect.
Also, if you are going to leave the room due to the excessive yelling, try to read the context and not leaving if they are still talking directly to you.
How to address the issue?
If/when your dad stops yelling, and he is calm, then you can start the conversation by asking him why his response is yelling when you are crying.
You can start saying something like “Dad, I am sorry you were so angry about…and I hope you are feeling better, so we can have a nice conversation about it”.
In addition, remember to use a measured tone of voice and reflect a calm body language.
Also, try to keep your answers simple and polite, avoiding any sarcasm or aggressiveness in your tone of voice or gestures.
It is OK not to agree completely to what their reasons were to yell in the first place but try to use statements such as “I understand” or “I see”.
In addition, if you think crying is affecting not only your relationship with your dad but with other people as well, a counselor or a therapist can help you discover why you cry under certain situations and ways to cope with it.
However, if you do not feel comfortable talking to a counselor or a therapist, you could also try talking to a friend or someone close to you.
Why is this blog about “Why does my dad yell at me when I cry” important?
This blog about “Why does my dad yell at me when I cry” is important because as we have discussed, crying is a normal emotional reaction to emotional pain and discomfort.
Breathing is very important and embracing how you feel at the exact moment when your dad is yelling at you can help you understand what is going on with your body so you can address it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about “Why does my dad yell at me when I cry”
Why do I cry when someone yells at me?
Crying is a natural response when we are feeling overwhelmed, scared or unpleasant.
When someone yells at us, we could be feeling emotional pain about why this person is yelling at us for.
We could be feeling so many things at the same time that the normal response would be crying since we do not quite understand at the moment how many emotions we could be feeling.
What do you do when your dad yells at you?
If your dad yells at you over the same thing, then the best thing to avoid the yelling is modifying your behavior or committing to not doing the same thing over and over again.
If he yells at you about everything and it is not clear to you as of the Why, then it is important you ask to clarify when he is calm and you can have a normal conversation.
How do you stop crying when your mom yells at you?
If you want to stop crying when your mom yells at you try to concentrate on your breathing, close your eyes and think about something nice that can take you to your safe place.
Avoid confronting her or interrupting when she is yelling and are too upset.
Can yelling cause trauma?
Yes, yelling may cause trauma and this type of situation tend to occur in other contexts where your response could be the same.
If you feel you are not in control over the situation or your response, then it could lead to depression.
In addition, yelling could be considered as verbal abuse that has the ability to cause deeper psychological issues that you could carry on until you are an adult.
Is raising your voice disrespectful?
Raising your voice during a conversation could be perceived as disrespectful.
No one likes or enjoys being yelled at, and especially if it is someone we love or care about.
If someone has the need to raise their voice to be heard it is because there is a lack of communication skills to get your message across
- Handbook of Emotion Regulation
- Emotional Regulation: Theory and practice
- The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did): THE #1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
- Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood
- Emotion Regulation in Children and Adolescents: A Practitioner’s Guide