Expressing frustration, disappointment, or hurt feelings in response to a situation that would naturally generate such emotions is as normal as the wind speed increasing in response to the heating of land surfaces and expansion of solar energy. When expressed through communication to another in response to a situation — if earnestly done with sincerity and good intentions — it is natural, responsible, and healthy. But if someone has been the victim of violence, abuse, or trauma; and if they have not yet fully healed from these wounds; then any amount of such expression could be perceived as a threat and reacted to with a panicky desire to run away, a defensive need to argue and interrupt to try to gain control over the situation, or other variations on a fight or flight theme. Even if they themselves are yelling, interrupting, attacking, calling names, and spiraling out of control at an intensity many times that of the other; they may still perceive them as a threat and fight or run away (verbally, attitudinally, or behaviorally). In other words, they might experience the natural increase of volume, pitch, or intensity of a voice — especially a big voice — as a threat, because of their past experiences; and because they were triggered into Survival Mode (fight or flight). And this could happen unpredictably for them — sometimes triggering and sometimes not, based on the presence or absence of simultaneously occurring influences. And if there are other stressful aspects to the situation, then this increases the likelihood that the emotional expression will be misinterpreted as yelling or even verbal abuse — when it is still just a normal expression of such emotion. And the bigger a voice, and the more passionate a person; the more likely they are to be misunderstood at a time like this.
Holding On To the Truth Of What We Know
When we know someone — really know someone — they don’t suddenly change when our thoughts or emotions do. No matter how much our historical triggers or ego might try to make it seem like they have; the likelihood is that it is our perspective that has changed, not them. If we have been triggered into Survival Mode — where it seems like there is a threat we need to fight against or run away from — we are unable to access the broader perspective of Safe Mode or the higher awareness of Spiritual Mode that would remind us of the truth of who they are. And if we make the mistake of contacting others while we are under the influence of Survival Mode — seeking their assistance and support, then, by doing so, we may set wheels in motion that are hard to turn around — especially if involving a relationship partner. Such things should be kept between us and our partner, as described in “Keep It To yourself, The Importance of Privacy In Relationships.”
Photo Credit: Pezibear