Author Topic: Why are you shouting?  (Read 7638 times)

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AylaM

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Why are you shouting?
« on: October 03, 2012, 06:28:36 PM »
I'd like to know how to approach a person who immediately get defensive whenever something is brought up.  Specifically, my mother thinks that any sort of dialogue about something she does is an attack on her.

This is true in general, but the problem I am currently wanting to address involves her phone conversations.  She has the tendency to like to be "where the action is" while chatting on the phone.  If we're watching tv, she'll park herself on the couch.  When I make dinner, she paces around the kitchen. If we're outside, she is too!  This in and of itself isn't a problem, but when mom comes in she starts to speak normally and eventually SCREAMS INTO THE PHONE LIKE THIS.  It isn't even an angry scream she just gets progressively louder for no apparent reason.  She gets so loud that we have to stop whatever we are doing and wait for her to finish her call as we can't hear what we need to over her shouting.  Which is fine for a few minutes, but more than once she's been on a 30 minute social call. 

Like 20 minutes ago.  My father and I were watching tv.  Mom was in the kitchen.  The phone rang, she answered it and plopped down on the couch to lounge and chat about a visit to her friend's house.  We are alone int he house.  There is a whole 'nother couch she could have parked on that was just as close to the kitchen, but across the house from us.  But she chose the room we were in.  After a while we couldn't hear what was happening on the show so we paused it while she finished her 20 minute call. 

I'm not sure how to go about saying anything without her getting defensive.  I actually don't even know how I want this resolved.  On one hand she has as much right to the house as we do.  On the other hand, her use of the living room tends to disrupt our use and that isn't nice.  I am leaning more towards getting her to go elsewhere, as I know from experience that it is sometimes hard to realize that you are starting to get louder.  And that's why I take phone calls behind closed doors.

I was just wondering if anyone had any advice on how to address the topic up without having her get defensive and angry.

BarensMom

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2012, 06:31:35 PM »
I wouldn't address the topic directly with her.  I would discuss this with your father and ask that he take it up with her.

JenJay

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2012, 06:39:42 PM »
My husband does this occasionally. I get his attention, give him a big smile and say "Babe, I can't hear the tv anymore. Could you finish your call in the other room please?" Either you or your Dad should try it.

Giggity

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2012, 07:04:07 PM »
I'd turn off the TV and just sit still and stare at her like she's even more interesting than the show she just interrupted.
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WillyNilly

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2012, 07:36:48 PM »
Has this always been the way?  if so, who on earth stays on the phone with her for long?  She's shouting at them too!

The first thing that I thought of - if this is newish behavior - is to tell her Dr ASAP and get her in for a check up.  That kind of change is weird.

If she's always been this way, I don't know.

taffywduck

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2012, 07:39:22 PM »
My husband does this as well, it doesn't matter where we are or what we are doing he'll answer the phone AND TALK RIGHT THERE. I have talked to him several times about this and he really doesn't realize he's *still* doing it :(.

I have resorted to talking over him and tell him to please go to another room to take his call. He usually does with some minor huffing and puffing, but why should we all stop our conversations until he finishes his conversation? Most of the time these are calls from his employees so it's not even like it could be a family matter that we should be privy to!

He doesn't like me cutting him off to tell him to go to another room, but I feel it's more polite than imposing his conversation on all of us (he'll do it when we have people around visiting too)!

I think your best bet is to discuss it with your dad and have him discuss it with your mom. Sadly it's quite possible she doesn't even realize she does it, then it'll be harder of a habit to break :S.

Giggity

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2012, 07:41:25 PM »
Or when she starts, you and Dad can turn off the TV and leave the room. Shut the door behind you, if the room has one.
Words mean things.

buvezdevin

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2012, 08:23:51 PM »
Does she tend to "want to be where the action is" when *not* on the phone?

It sounds as though, in the most recent instance, she was in another room, but then sat with you and your dad to talk on the phone.

Just wondering if it's some errant trigger to "be social" - she's fine doing things on her own, but when she engages in a social chat (though on the phone) some mis-guided synapse fires the "I am having a social conversation, I should be in a social setting ... Wait, there's people over there...that is where I should be."
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TootsNYC

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2012, 09:15:20 PM »
My husband does this occasionally. I get his attention, give him a big smile and say "Babe, I can't hear the tv anymore. Could you finish your call in the other room please?" Either you or your Dad should try it.

This would be the tactic I would suggest.

HonorH

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2012, 09:48:39 PM »
My husband does this occasionally. I get his attention, give him a big smile and say "Babe, I can't hear the tv anymore. Could you finish your call in the other room please?" Either you or your Dad should try it.

This would be the tactic I would suggest.

It's what I'd suggest, too. It's addressing the matter in the moment in a casual, non-accusing way. You can do the same outside. "Hey, Mom? Could you turn down the volume? We can't hear each other over you."
William wondered why he always disliked people who said "no offense meant." Maybe it was because they found it easier to say "no offense meant" than actually to refrain from giving offense.

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sweetonsno

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2012, 01:54:09 AM »
Any chance that she's having difficulty hearing the person on the other end of the phone? My mom also tends to yell into the phone, but only with certain people. It might help to turn up the volume on the earpiece so she can hear whoever she is talking to better. If she can hear them clearly, she is less likely to assume that they can't hear her (and start speaking more loudly).

Margo

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2012, 06:53:52 AM »
So far as the defensiveness is concerend, would it be possible to sit down with her and your dad and make it a general discussion about how you will *all* act when taking a phone call?

You mightneed to speak to your dad about it in advance. It's harder to take it as an attack on ou if it is being applied to all of the other people in the house as well. It might come better if it came from your dad , not from you, and if he addresses his 'complaint' to you both.

I personally would address it on the basis of having a phone conversaton in the same room as other people, rather than the escalating volume.

Venus193

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2012, 08:53:42 AM »
So far as the defensiveness is concerend, would it be possible to sit down with her and your dad and make it a general discussion about how you will *all* act when taking a phone call?

You might need to speak to your dad about it in advance. It's harder to take it as an attack on ou if it is being applied to all of the other people in the house as well. It might come better if it came from your dad , not from you, and if he addresses his 'complaint' to you both.

I personally would address it on the basis of having a phone conversaton in the same room as other people, rather than the escalating volume.

I agree with this.

I hope anyone she shouts at on the phone calls her out on this.  There is one person in my life whom I have had to tell "Please stop shouting; I can hear you with the receiver at arm's length."  (which I actually tested)

Cami

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2012, 10:43:24 AM »
My dh is usually softspoken. Actually, he's often TOO softspoken and I have to ask him to speak up.

When he's on the phone with certain friends, however, his voice gets louder and louder and louder. There have been times when he's been on the first floor at one end with the door closed and I'll be on the 2nd floor at the opposite end and I can still hear him. I know why he does it though -- the guys he's talking with are so freaking loud themselves. It's human nature to mimic the speech of those with whom we are talking and that's what he's doing. I have mentioned it often enough where now he tries to keep it down, but he's not always successful. But he does know he has to go into "his" room to have these conversations. He learned that after the last time he forgot and I kept raising the tv volume until the lightbulb went on over his head.

Yvaine

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Re: Why are you shouting?
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2012, 10:46:41 AM »
Any chance that she's having difficulty hearing the person on the other end of the phone? My mom also tends to yell into the phone, but only with certain people. It might help to turn up the volume on the earpiece so she can hear whoever she is talking to better. If she can hear them clearly, she is less likely to assume that they can't hear her (and start speaking more loudly).

Another factor is that I think some people, especially people who didn't use a cell phone until later in life, don't actually trust the phone's microphone to pick up their voice unless they shout. I think it's a subconscious thing of "that doesn't look like a phone receiver--it's tiny--that can't possibly get the job done! My ex's mother did this. She could hear just fine. And she was always loud, but cranked it up about ten more notches when she got a cell phone. If he was in the house and talking to her on the phone, I could hear her side of the conversation from two rooms away.