What to do when your partner yells at you when you disagree (2023)

6 minutes

What's behind the kind of people who can't express their differences without screaming? What can you do if the person using these aggressive forms of communication is your partner? Here is some advice.

What to do when your partner yells at you when you disagree (1)

Written and reviewed by a psychologistvaleria sabater.

(Video) The Importance of Not Yelling When Arguing With Your Significant Other

Last update:29. October 2022

They say that the animal that screams the most is the black howler monkey. Its cry can travel more than three miles through the dense South American jungle. However, if it howls, there are several reasons. The first is to protect your territory. The second is to make your group aware of possible risks and threats. In the animal kingdom, everything has a purpose.

However, when it comes to people, this is not the case. So why do we yell at others? in general,Scream is an expression functionwith which we convey surprise, fear, anger or indignation🇧🇷 We also use this mechanism to warn others of danger, just like in the animal kingdom. Shouting is out of place next to these mechanisms.

However, some people seemunable to speak without screaming. When they lose an argument, they attack and raise their voice by a thousand decibels.🇧🇷 This kind of behavior harms those on the other side. It destabilizes, hurts and upsets them. In fact, there can hardly be anything more negative than having caregivers or partners yelling at us.

What can be done in these circumstances?Many will think that the best strategy is to leave these people as soon as possible.🇧🇷 However, it is often a good idea to consider other, less radical strategies.

Behind the screams is a poorly regulated emotional attack. It always ends up hitting those who deserve it the least.

(Video) Fight Smarter: Avoid the Most Common Argument Patterns - Esther Perel

What to do when your partner yells at you when you disagree (3)

Communication and Emotions: The Breakdown of the Mind

if your partneryell at you if you disagreeThey probably think their behavior is not normal. This is understandable as nobody likes to be called names. In fact, we all internalize these ideas from childhood. Therefore, when the volume of the interlocutor increases, you feel stressed, anxious or angry. But is it really unusual that we often raise our voices when we disagree?

In a relationship, it's not uncommon to raise your voicein the middle of an argumentwhen your emotions intensify. As you might expect, you don't approach your loved ones the same way when you're calm and when you're frustrated. In fact, screaming is a form of emotional catharsis and sometimes difficult to control.

Research carried out by the University of Zurich (Switzerland)states that there are at least six types of crying in humans and all are mediated by our emotional charges. Therefore, screaming is classified as "normal" behavior.There are times when our emotions occasionally "hijack" us and the most reflective area of ​​our brain shuts down for a moment..

A problem arises when we share our lives with those who use screaming as a form of communication.🇧🇷 In such cases, a form of abuse is evident that needs to be addressed and stopped.

Several factors can lie behind those who use screaming as a violent form of communication, ranging from educational reasons to post-traumatic stress disorder.

(Video) How To Argue With Your Partner

Why does your partner yell at you when you disagree?

"Could you talk to me without yelling?" is a phrase you hear a lot. However, perpetrators often avoid a reaction. Instead of taking responsibility for their behavior, they blame someone else for what happened. Because those who use shouting as a form of communication do not always see a problem with it.

The reason for not wanting to be aware of these destructive dynamics in a relationship can be due to many factors. For example:

  • Growing up in a family that also resorted to constant shouting.
  • have hadviolent parents.This increases hyper alertness and the risk of "exploding" at any moment. It's because of your latent and unresolved trauma. In fact, sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder are far more likely to respond in ways that bypass reflexive or rational filtering entirely.
  • Low resistance to frustrationand intolerance of contradictions.They see discrepancy as a threat and respond with violence🇧🇷 This is highly problematic.
  • Emotional mismanagement. This is present in several mental health problems such asas borderline personality disorder.
  • People with extremely low empathy are sometimes used to venting their anger on others.Their screams become a resource with which they weaken and impose their power on the other.

Constant screaming when communicating exposes the brain to a highly stressful stimulus. To ensure that these situations are no longer constant, self-regulation strategies must be sought.

What to do when your partner yells at you when you disagree (4)

What Can You Do When Your Partner Yells Too Much?

If your partner yells at you when you disagree, and this practice is constant, your relationship is in crisis.🇧🇷 After all, nobody can live with or endure so much stress, exhaustion and emotional aggression. Constantly raising their voice against you is a form of psychological aggression and therefore something you should not tolerate from them.

(Video) What is your spouse really saying when they are yelling at you?

However, does that mean you should distance yourself and break up immediately? Not necessarily. If your partner usually behaves well and only loses his composure when there are disagreements, then it is worth solving the problem. Here's what you need to do:

1. Yelling does not communicate

The moment your partner raises their voice in the middle of a disagreement, you refuse to proceed.Make them understand that this dynamic is neither valid nor permissible. The last thing you should do is imitate them and yell louder. Avoid this situation at all costs. Use silence even if your tone is aggressive and disproportionately loud.

2. Ask why they are screaming

“Did they yell at you when you were little?” “Why do you have to raise your voice when communicating?” “How do you feel when we disagree?” “Do you see the differences between us as a form of Threat?” Ask them these questions to find out whatwhy they have to yell at you.Try to get her to do a self-discovery exercise.

3. Ask for changes in the way they communicate and encourage their empathy

Nobody deserves to live in a relationship where there is constant screaming. Occasional raised voices during a disagreement are normal, but if this happens frequently, you should demand a change.

Explain to your partner how you feel when they yell at you and try to get them to empathize with you.🇧🇷 Make it clear that you cannot continue like this and that they need to start communicating better.

If they are overwhelmed by such a situation and don't know how to manage their emotions, encourage them to seek therapy.

4. If you don't see a change, be determined

When your partner yells at you and doesn't respond to your change requests or sympathize with your feelings, you have a decision to make.🇧🇷 Understandably, they will find it difficult to move beyond the form of communication they grew up with. However, sooner or later they will have to recognize the harmful effects of this habit.

If they don't want to do anything to control their harmful behavior, then you need to think about what you want in your life.Avoid reinforcing the kind of wishful thinking that suggests your behavior will change.🇧🇷 If you don't do it now, you never will.

(Video) How To Recover After An Argument

It might interest you...
Read more Thoughts Screaming as Communication: Widespread in Many Families Screaming overstimulates our brain, puts us on high alert and upsets the subtle balance of our emotions. Unfortunately, this form of communication is harmful.


What to do when you strongly disagree with your partner? ›

Six Healthy Ways to Navigate Disagreements with your Partner
  1. Acknowledge feelings. It is so important to listen to your partner and acknowledge their point of view. ...
  2. Reassure partner. ...
  3. Take a pause. ...
  4. Meet in the middle. ...
  5. Reflect together. ...
  6. Seek help.

What is stonewalling in a relationship? ›

Stonewalling, one of the Four Horsemen, is Dr. John Gottman's term for one or both partners shutting down when feeling overwhelmed during conflict. Rather than confronting the issue, someone who is stonewalling will be unresponsive, making evasive maneuvers such as tuning out, turning away, or acting busy.

Is yelling toxic in a relationship? ›

Yelling can be a part of a healthy relationship; it only becomes a problem when it's tied in with criticism, defensiveness, and contempt. The goal of conflict discussion, which may or may not include yelling, should be to understand each other's positions and try to find some common ground.

Is yelling in an argument toxic? ›

The experts say that yelling is not OK behavior to use in an argument but conversely, emotional manipulation is not destructive as a tool, it is OK.

Why is confrontation unhealthy in a relationship? ›

However, when conflict is not productive or healthy, it can be harmful to everyone involved. Sustained, unresolved conflict can create tension at home or at work, can erode the strength and satisfaction of relationships, and can even make people feel physically sick or in pain.

What is a backburner relationship? ›

According to the study, a back-burner is “a person to whom one is not presently committed, and with whom one maintains some degree of communication in order to keep or establish the possibility of future romantic and/or sexual involvement”.

What is bulldozing in a relationship? ›

'Bulldozers are people whose aggressive behaviour often intimidates you, the person you wish you could stand up to but feel you haven't got the confidence or the know-how to deal with. People who behave in this punchy, aggressive way are out to get their own way regardless of what other people think, do or say.

What is gaslighting in relationship? ›

What is gaslighting in a relationship? It's a form of psychological manipulation in which one person makes the other partner doubt his or her perceptions, experiences, memories, or understanding of events that happened.

What is the most toxic behavior in a relationship? ›


Veasley says gaslighting is one of the most common forms of emotional manipulation and a toxic behavior you shouldn't tolerate. It's a good idea to identify ways to deal with gaslighting.

What is unacceptable behavior in a relationship? ›

Behaviors such as disrespecting, cursing, name-calling, and anything else that makes the other person feel bad about themselves reflect contemptuous intentions. Contempt from the person with whom you are supposed to feel secure and protected could put the future of your marriage in doubt.

Is yelling at someone a form of disrespect? ›

Yelling is demeaning, hostile, and threatening with the intent of chastising. Yelling is condescending and demeaning, whereas a firm voice can be reassuring, but directive in style.

Is yelling loudly abuse? ›

Shouting is a form of emotional abuse

Raising your voice might not seem like an act that could constitute abuse but the experts believe it is. "Yelling is as bad, and sometimes even worse, than physical abuse," Sihweil says.

Is yelling all the time abuse? ›

Signs of Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse involves using words to name call, bully, demean, frighten, intimidate, or control another person. This can include overt verbal abuse such as yelling, screaming, or swearing. Such behaviors are attempts to gain power, and the goal is to control and intimidate you into submission.

Is yelling a form of trauma? ›

Can you be traumatized by yelling? Yes, over time, verbal abuse can be traumatizing for children and adults alike. To protect yourself from the psychological harm of being yelled at, talk with a trusted healthcare provider, social worker, or teacher about how to address the situation.

What kind of person avoids confrontation? ›

“A conflict-avoidant personality is a type of people-pleasing behavior where someone avoids conflict or disagreements at all costs and fears making others upset or angry,” explains Babita Spinelli, a psychotherapist licensed in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.

What could destroy your relationship? ›

Not respecting Each Other's Space

If you don't know how to respect each other's space, then forget to have a healthy relationship. You cannot boss your partner. Let the other person have a breathing space. If you don't give him/her that, you will likely lose the person.

What is unhealthy confrontation? ›

The unhealthy consequences of conflict are a loss of love, rejection, separation, embarrassing, and fear of refusal. A readiness to excuse and forget, without holding irritations or anger. An inability to finding the middle ground or listen to the other person's opinion.

Why a man turns arguments around to make it your fault? ›

Now you know three reasons why your man constantly shifts the blame to you: He's insecure and protecting his low self-esteem. He wants to control you. He doesn't want to admit blame or he's hiding a secret sin.

What to do when your partner doesn't make you a priority? ›

What To Do When Your Spouse Doesn't Make You A Priority
  1. Ask, 'What Does Being A Priority Mean To You? '.
  2. Find Out Where His/Her Commitment Lies.
  3. Talk To Him/Her About It.
  4. Try To See Things From Their Standpoint.
  5. Help Him/Her Understand Why This Matters To You.
Aug 22, 2022

How do you deal with an emotionally unsupportive partner? ›

When your partner does not respond in the way you need, try not to respond with anger, frustration, or other surface emotions that could make your partner react. Instead, talk with your partner and give him/her some tips on how he/she could respond in ways that would make you feel more supported.

What is Breadcrumbing in dating? ›

Breadcrumbing is the act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal social signals (i.e. "breadcrumbs") in order to lure a romantic partner in without expending much effort. In other words, it's leading someone on.

What are the signs of a one-sided relationship? ›

Signs of a One-Sided Relationship
  • You don't feel a strong, deep, meaningful connection. ...
  • You feel exhausted by the relationship. ...
  • You are the only one who ever apologizes. ...
  • You're the only one who sacrifices or gives. ...
  • You make all the plans. ...
  • You make a lot of excuses for your partner's behavior. ...
  • You are the “big decision maker”
Sep 30, 2022

What is submarining in a relationship? ›

“Submarining,”—also referred to as“paperclipping”—is when someone randomly messages you after ghosting you first. They pretend like nothing happened even though they previously acted like they weren't interested. The name comes from the fact that a person disappears underwater for a while before coming back up again.

How do you know when to end the relationship? ›

There's No Emotional Connection

One of the key signs your relationship is ending is that you are no longer vulnerable and open with your partner. A cornerstone of happy, healthy ​relationships is that both partners feel comfortable being truly open to sharing thoughts and opinions with one another.

What is emotional dissonance in a relationship? ›

Emotional dissonance originates from the conflict between expressed and experienced emotions. In organizations that require the expression of positive emotions, high negative affectivity individuals may experience conflict between expressed, positive emotions and felt, negative emotions.

What is a weak partner? ›

A weak man is someone who has settled in with his flaws and isn't willing to make an effort to strive for more for fear of dealing with what it might feel like if things go awry. This person is not afraid to force their opinions on others or cross boundaries if they need to.

What are the two signature moves of gaslighters? ›

“Gaslighters have two signature moves,” she wrote. “They lie with the intent of creating a false reality, and they cut off their victims socially.” They spread gossip, they take credit for other people's work, and they undercut others in furtherance of their own position.

What are some gaslighting phrases? ›

Here are seven common gaslighting phrases, along with some expert-sourced methods on how to handle them.
  • “That's not what happened” ...
  • “This is your own fault.” ...
  • “I did that because I was trying to help you.” ...
  • “It's not that big of a deal!” ...
  • “You're overthinking it.” ...
  • “It was just a joke!” ...
  • “You're too emotional.”
Aug 10, 2022

How do you outsmart a gaslighter? ›

Here are eight tips for responding and taking back control.
  1. First, make sure it's gaslighting. ...
  2. Take some space from the situation. ...
  3. Collect evidence. ...
  4. Speak up about the behavior. ...
  5. Remain confident in your version of events. ...
  6. Focus on self-care. ...
  7. Involve others. ...
  8. Seek professional support.

What are 3 signs of a toxic relationship? ›

What are the signs of a toxic relationship?
  • Lack of support. “Healthy relationships are based on a mutual desire to see the other succeed in all areas of life,” Caraballo says. ...
  • Toxic communication. ...
  • Envy or jealousy. ...
  • Controlling behaviors. ...
  • Resentment. ...
  • Dishonesty. ...
  • Patterns of disrespect. ...
  • Negative financial behaviors.

What are the stages of a toxic relationship? ›

Toxic relationships generally follow three stages: idealizing, devaluing, and discarding. Learn about each of these stages and the impact it has on you.

Why do I tolerate disrespect? ›

Conditioning dulls our senses through familiarity and previous stimulus and choices made to avoid unpleasant experiences. Conditioning is one of the biggest reasons for tolerating another person's unkind words, disrespectful behavior, or an unhealthy habit that we know isn't good for us.

What are signs of disrespect in a relationship? ›

Some behaviors of disrespect in relationships include nagging, criticism, stonewalling, lying, put downs, pressuring the other, disloyalty, and threats to end the relationship or marriage.

What are signs of toxic behavior? ›

Here are five red flags you're in a toxic situation you may need to address.
  • They gaslight or lie to you. ...
  • They don't apologize properly. ...
  • They don't understand how their behavior makes others feel. ...
  • They think they are superior to others. ...
  • They see themselves as a victim of their own behavior.
Jan 12, 2022

What should you not forgive in a relationship? ›

Controlling Tendencies. If your partner is trying to control your thoughts and actions, likes and dislikes, and your circle of friends, among other things, it could be unforgivable, as it shows a lack of respect and a scary, over-bearing nature.

Is yelling a form of manipulation? ›

When someone's angry at you, for example, they might show their anger using yelling, harsh gestures, hurtful words, all as a way to not only convery their anger, but also as a way to manipulate you into reacting a certain way.

What is the root of disrespect? ›

disrespect (n.) "want of respect or reverence, incivility," 1630s, from dis- + respect (n.).

What are the 5 signs of emotional abuse? ›

5 Signs of Emotional Abuse
  • They are Hyper-Critical or Judgmental Towards You. ...
  • They Ignore Boundaries or Invade Your Privacy. ...
  • They are Possessive and/or Controlling. ...
  • They are Manipulative. ...
  • They Often Dismiss You and Your Feelings.
May 23, 2017

What are the 5 cycles of emotional abuse? ›

The five cycles codified—enmeshment, extreme overprotection and overindulgence, complete neglect, rage, and rejection/abandon- ment—were first published in Annals, the journal of the American Psychotherapy Association, in the Fall of 2002.

Why is yelling traumatizing? ›

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 blood stream, increasing muscular tension and more.

What yelling does to a relationship? ›

Yelling doesn't actually help any situation of conflict in a relationship. When our partner yells it can escalate our fight-or-flight response and put us into defensive mode. It actually makes us stop listening and try to find some control or safety in the situation.

What words are considered verbal abuse? ›

Common verbal abuse signs may include any of the below.
  • Name-calling. Excessively using insults or calling someone names is an example of abusive behavior. ...
  • Criticizing and judging. ...
  • Degrading. ...
  • Threatening. ...
  • Screaming/yelling. ...
  • Gaslighting. ...
  • Manipulating.
Oct 3, 2022

What qualifies as narcissistic abuse? ›

Narcissistic abuse refers to the emotional, physical, sexual, or financial forms of abuse that a narcissist inflicts on others. This abuse can range from mild putdowns to severe, life-threatening violence. If you're in a relationship with a narcissist, you may frequently feel angry, confused, or alone.

Is it okay to yell in a relationship? ›

Yelling can be a part of a healthy relationship; it only becomes a problem when it's tied in with criticism, defensiveness, and contempt. The goal of conflict discussion, which may or may not include yelling, should be to understand each other's positions and try to find some common ground.

Can being yelled at cause PTSD? ›

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Being subjected to constant yelling and verbal abuse can cause symptoms of PTSD. Symptoms can include insomnia, feeling the need to be on guard, getting easily startled and displaying self-destructive behavior.

Can someone yelling at you cause anxiety? ›

Being frequently yelled at changes the brain and the body in a multitude of ways including increasing the activity of the amygdala (the emotional brain), increasing stress hormones in the blood stream, increasing muscular tension, and more.

How do you disagree without negatively affecting a relationship? ›

5 Ways to (Respectfully) Disagree
  1. Don't make it personal. ...
  2. Avoid putting down the other person's ideas and beliefs. ...
  3. Use "I" statements to communicate how you feel, what you think, and what you want or need. ...
  4. Listen to the other point of view. ...
  5. Stay calm.

Is it disrespectful to disagree with your spouse? ›

Fighting is not only normal, but it is healthy for couples for that reason. It is healthy to know you can disagree with your partner and that it is not going to be the end of your relationship.

Is it wrong to disagree with your partner? ›

"It is always OK and healthy to have disagreements in a relationship — disagreeing is not a concern but rather the way we disagree that determines the health of the relationship," Kelsey Latimer, PhD, CEDS-S, assistant director at Center for Discovery, tells Bustle.

Is it healthy to disagree in relationships? ›

But instead of viewing arguing as a bad thing, experts agree relationship conflict can actually be healthy—an opportunity to learn more about your partner and how you can work together as a team.

How to deal with someone who disagrees with everything you say? ›

  1. Active Listening. ...
  2. Let your body show that you're engaged. ...
  3. Don't spend your time formulating a response. ...
  4. Acknowledge emotions and summarize the content. ...
  5. Curiosity, open-ended questions, and translating positions. ...
  6. Respectful/nonjudgmental communication. ...
  7. Separate the person from the problem. ...
  8. Keep your own emotions out of it.

What is the most destructive way to disagree with another person? ›

Destructive Conflict

Rejecting others' viewpoints before you fully understand their position. Mocking or ridiculing others' position. Ignoring or dismissing others' ideas. Disagreeing for the fun of a fight.

What is the word for someone who disagrees with everything you say? ›

synonyms: eristical argumentative. given to or characterized by argument. a person who disputes; who is good at or enjoys controversy. synonyms: controversialist, disputant.

What are the signs of a toxic spouse? ›

All the same, you could notice some of these signs in yourself, your partner, or the relationship itself.
  • Lack of support. ...
  • Toxic communication. ...
  • Envy or jealousy. ...
  • Controlling behaviors. ...
  • Resentment. ...
  • Dishonesty. ...
  • Patterns of disrespect. ...
  • Negative financial behaviors.

How do you respond to a disrespectful partner? ›

Assure them you aren't trying to make them feel bad or prove that someone is right or wrong, but that you simply want them to understand how you feel. Avoid statements like, “You never,” “You always,” “You should.” Instead, focus on the specific actions and how they made you feel.

Is agree to disagree Gaslighting? ›

Gaslighting is the conscious manipulation and control of another person's perspective for unethical reasons over an extended period of time. It's not the same thing as getting in a disagreement. A gaslighter will loveee to tell you that you're just “disagreeing” though.

Is disagreeing with someone disrespectful? ›

Disagreement and disrespect are different. If you disagree with an idea, it does not always mean that you are being disrespectful. You can disagree with someone without showing disrespect.

Is agree to disagree toxic? ›

Agree to disagree – a commonly overlooked phrase, with major repercussions. It sounds harmless, and can even end disagreements on a friendly note. But don't be fooled by the seeming good nature of the expression. “Agree to disagree” is code for “I'll do my thing and you do yours” and erodes organizational alignment.

When should you give up fighting for a relationship? ›

If neither of you feels like discussing your problems and trying to fix things — like, ever — then that's a big red flag your relationship is about to end. It means you've both given up and just can't be bothered doing what it takes to save your love from ruin.

What is a toxic relationship? ›

A relationship is toxic when your well-being is threatened in some way—emotionally, psychologically, and even physically. On a basic level, any relationship that makes you feel worse rather than better can become toxic over time.

How do I disagree with my partner without fighting? ›

How to Resolve Disagreements with Your Partner Without Fighting
  1. Repair Attempts. ...
  2. Use an “I Feel…” ...
  3. Find Common Ground. ...
  4. Let Them Know When You are Getting Too Emotional. ...
  5. Apologize. ...
  6. Get on Their Side. ...
  7. Start Over. ...
  8. Repair Attempts Will Keep Your Marriage in Good Shape.
Dec 15, 2020


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