Yelling Does NOT Get What You Want

If I had a dollar for every time a frightened woman said, “It’s when he gets a certain look in his eye that I become really frightened,” well, then, I’d be rich. The unconscious mind picks up body language even when we are not consciously aware that it may be threatening. That is why some people make us uneasy: On the surface, they say the right things, but somehow, they manage to convey a vastly different message. Surely then, how very uncomfortable we feel when someone overtly and obviously uses scary body language. Scary Faces So how many ways can someone make a face that is frightening: angry eyes grim mouth baring teeth taut muscles or tendons at the neck or forehead flaring nostrils And that’s just the face. How about the voice? There are harsh tones, there’s yelling, and one little girl (correctly) pointed out that there is a difference between yelling and screaming. Which do you think is worse? Why? See what I mean?–You do know the intricacies of body language. And then there is the rest of the body: Tense muscles, rapid heartbeat, sweat. A lady once told me that even when her husband is joking she knows that he is angry if his neck gets red! Which proves my earlier point that a “joke” is frequently not a joke. High-Conflict Men Here’s a fascinating piece of information: Neil Jacobson, a brilliant researcher for decades, put all kinds of monitors on men who were in his lab having conversations with their wives. These couples had volunteered for the research because the men were verbally abusive. What...
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