I watched a little girl almost run out into traffic today.
I was across the street from her, and cars were whizzing by. Her older brother was waiting patiently, but I guess she couldn’t. Thankfully, her mother was paying attention because she grabbed her at the last second. I could hear her mother call her name loudly and then when the street cleared, I heard her mother sweetly say, “now, we have to wait to cross the street, ok?”
And that was all wrong.
Okay, I quite literally live in fear of being scolded. I avoid conflict like it’s the plague. I honestly say “yes” to people just so I won’t have to disappoint them. And to be yelled at? That makes me want to crawl out of my skin. I’d burn all my living possessions if it kept me from being yelled at (honestly. Down to my toothbrush). But that experience today made me realize something. People don’t yell at you to make you feel bad. They yell at you so that you understand, and you make a memory of fear so you don’t do it again.
That mom was setting herself up to just have her daughter run into the street again because she wasn’t making it clear that that was the wrong thing to do. She was telling her it was OK, not with her words, but with her tone.
I understand now that people yell at you so that you don’t make the same mistake. Which is much, much more important than having your feelings hurt. Especially when traffic is involved.
I realized today that sometimes, raising your voice is the best way to be heard.