Reader Success Story: The Louder You Talk the Less I Hear

A reader submitted this amazing and deeply touching story to me. I was incredibly honored and moved to receive it and to be invited to share it.

Heart Family 300Dear Meryl, 

I am a single mother. My oldest son, Jason, was about 16 and whenever he would break one of the rules or get in some kind of trouble, I would lecture him, often in a loud voice. It was on one of these particular days when I was going on and on at him that he turned to me and said, in a calm and even voice,

    • Mama, the louder you talk to me, the less I hear you.

His words stopped me dead in my tracks, and as I replayed his statement over and over in my mind in the days that followed, I fully understood what he was saying. I immediately changed my way of speaking, not just to my son, but to anyone whom I felt was wrong in some way. Rather than yelling, I adjusted my tone and found that people responded much better to feedback when it was delivered in a kinder, gentler way that ended up having a much stronger impact.

Sadly, my son was killed two and one-half years ago, but our relationship flourished in the years preceding his death because of the advice he gave me that day. We were closer than ever before. I have used that advice with my other son, Joshua, who is now 17, and we are able to resolve our differences peacefully. I speak softly and he listens to what I have to say. Please share my story with other moms so that they, too, can speak softly enough for their children to really hear them


Powerful words from someone who learned just in time. The best PowerPhrases are ones like this… simple statements of truth. This young man’s words were an amazing gift that showed his mother how to respond rather than react to her children.

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