Don’t Tell Me To Be Quiet

by Raymond Moody, M.A.

I know I am loud and I am no stranger to the use of profanity. I am often reminded of my choice of words when I visit my family and friends who have children at the age where they repeat everything they hear. My voice just tends to travel which works well when I am giving a presentation to a large room or when I am trying to flag down my cousin at Disneyland. Seriously, I can yell loud enough to freeze all of Main Street.

Even as a child my report card each year would mention something about how talkative I was and about me working on using my inside voice. How is it that after years of feedback like this I still get so upset when someone tells me to be quiet or looks at me and goes sssshhhhh! This is one of those pet peeves I have that can really ruin whatever conversation I was having and often sticks with me throughout the day. This raises the question, how do we deal with other people’s behaviors that really get under our skin?

I try to use an inside voice but when I get excited that voice tends to be much louder. So after 30+ years I think accepting that I will likely experience this feedback from time to time is a good start. Having the demand that no one should tell me to be quiet does not help me deal with this situation in a healthy way when it happens. I can deal with the frustration. There are far worse things to be criticized for than being too loud and I have dealt with some of them in the past, and I am still standing. I can also accept that some people may not like this behavior of mine and just because they don’t like it doesn’t mean I am unlikable.

With most pet peeves, we hold some demand about how someone should or should not act. When we are feeling upset we can ask ourselves what belief are we holding that makes this so unbearable? When it feels unbearable we can ask ourselves how many times have we experienced this behavior and survived?

What’s your pet peeve?

Ray Moody


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