Why ‘do’ we scream when we are scared?
Hmmm. Well for me, the main reason is, I’m usually concentrating on what I'm doing at the time and oblivious to what else is going on around me. So, someone comes up behind me and - yep - I scream, loud and hard – ear piercing. It could be brushing my teeth, hand-washing my car or working on an article, I’m concentrating and yes if you startle me, I’ll scream.
I have to admit, I hate when I do it. I feel so stupid afterwards and turn into a babbling idiot (like that's a stretch) trying to explain why I screamed in the first place.
I started to look further into this “issue” of my screaming and, it appears it’s a natural reaction; an internal defense mechanism – an automatic psychological process that helps protect you. Think of it, we scream right out of our mothers at birth and keep right on screaming through life. Right?
A scream can actually generate around 100-125 decibels of sound pressure (loudness). And, according to current studies, our screams are louder than a man’s, and are closer to the frequencies where our ears are most sensitive, say 3000Hz (that’s a lot by the way.)
Think of it, if you were close enough (and I’m sure you would be in an attack), and screamed it could be used as a distraction. By screaming loud enough, you could momentarily stun the bad guy, in turn; as his nature defense he would blink and his head would move back slightly as he recoils from the noise. For you, your scream would tighten the stomach muscles and give you that spurt of energy needed to strike at this window of opportunity by cramming your fingers into his eyes, ears or nose! Caveat: you’re probably only going to have one opportunity for this so make it count!
This ‘screaming’ defensive maneuver takes practice though. It’s a learned tactic along with tightening up your stomach muscles while doing it. Screaming from down deep in your stomach also gives you a surge of power, bringing oxygen to the body which facilitates alertness, and tightens your stomach muscles. As unpleasant as it sounds, it also prepares you to be stuck (yes it may leave a mark but you’ll live to tell about it!)
If at first you don’t success, i.e., your screaming in the ear doesn’t work, start screaming fire! Remember, the bad guy is set on his objective and wants to do it without being notices or attention being drawn to him. It has been proven that screaming ‘fire’ opposed to ‘rape’ gives you a better chance of getting noticed and/or someone coming to your aid. Who knows why, but screaming ‘help’ or ‘rape’ frightens people because they don’t want to get involved, but scream ‘fire’ and people come out of the wood works because we have been taught at an early age what to do in case of a fire.
Think of this, what are a woman’s natural three weapons? Intuition, voice and body. Right?
So use that naturally inherent defense mechanism called the ‘scream’ – screaming loud and with intend, keeping in mind, noise has been proven to be an effective deterrent.
Now stop yelling! - Scream!
- Survivor Jane
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