LET’S SEE – WHAT LEVEL
of rage am I at right now?!
PREVIOUS: Ways to react (Part 2)
SITE: The Logic of Emotion
LEVELS of anger – Here are some variation:
1. Adam Blatner, M.D., lists 7 levels:
(0) – Feel angry subconsciously but not showing it
(0.5) – Anger shown through subtle clues
(1) – Displeasure is shown without blame
(2) – A little more displeasure to elicit a response
(3) – Anger with a scowl or harsh words
(4) – Anger with loudness of speech and expression
(5) – Losing temper and getting into a rage, aggression
2. Elvis Dumervil has the Anger Matrix
3. Kassinove & Tafrate gives us a Thermometer
• All emotions are signals – that we need to pay attention & maybe take an action, ASAP. Just like anger tells us that something is bothering us or that something’s really wrong. Knowing the various levels of Emotion Signals is a way to be in control of ourselves, but this has to be learned. The sooner the awareness, the more the control.
THIS chart can be used to gauge our level of anger, so each feeling state can be expressed clearly & directly, using whichever word most closely identifies the correct intensity of your emotions in the moment. After considering the options, answer the following Q, with the Percentage Level: “When I consider what we’ve been talking about / what’s been happening, I feel__________”.
• Stress is a feeling state, & is a fact of life. When over-stressed, our ability to handle things goes down & the tendency toward anger goes up. We over-work, yet over-expect. Blaming ourselves – & others – for not being able to cope perfectly is totally unrealistic & based on one or more cognitive distortions (CDs). Sadly our culture rarely provides the permission to ‘do less’, nor the help needed to handle all that’s expected of us. It’s up to us to find as much support as possible & eliminate all the stress we can, in order to thrive.
4. Dr. DeFoore’s “Anger Management Techniques eBook” give us Anger ESCALATION levels (1 = LEAST 10 = MOST intense)
Level 1. Being cool, calm & collected. You may or may not actually be happy, but you’re definitely not angry, anxious or irritated.
Level 2. Slightly irritated or agitated, but not enough to bother you or effect your behavior. You can see the big picture when thinking about your problems. But it is hard to relax.
Level 3. The irritation & frustration is fairly high, & just starting to effect your behavior. It is almost impossible to relax & it’s getting harder to put things in perspective or have empathy for others.
Level 4. People are really starting to bother you, so you don’t have much patience, although you usually don’t say anything. You’re still stuffing the anger & don’t feel settled at all, but you can still focus enough to make good decisions.
Level 5. Now you’re ready to yell at that other driver, or call the people you’re mad at to give them a piece of your mind. You don’t act on the feelings & thoughts yet, but you are getting short & irritable with others, while still trying to be friendly. Starting to have tunnel vision.
Level 6. At this level, it’s just not fun anymore. You’re frustrated & angry at yourself & pretty much everybody else. Others are starting to notice that something’s wrong, as you get more short-tempered & easily annoyed. Your thinking may not be as clear as it usually is.
Level 7. You’re thinking stuff like “This has to stop / I can’t take this any more / I’m going to show them they can’t do this to me /They’ll get what’s coming to them…..” Your thoughts are racing (obsession) & you’re very tense. You need help.
Level 8. Now you’re coming up with a plan. You can’t take it any more, so you’re going to take action, because it feels like you have no choice. Something has to change. You’re not thinking clearly, &even though you know it might backfire, you’re thinking about retaliating.
Level 9. Now you are taking action – starting with yelling, threats & intimidation. You’re thinking about what more you can do to show them how angry you are, and how wrong they are. Your emotions are running you, without any logic. You really need some anger management help, but you probably don’t know it.
Level 10. At this level you’re dangerous to yourself and/or others – in fight mode, with your primitive brain in charge. You can only see one course of action (tunnel vision) & are single-minded about how to make the pain stop. You feel helpless & vulnerable, which is unbearable, so you’re desperate to hide it. How else but with anger & lashing out? Immediate help is recommended!
5. Anger Spectrum (MORE… scroll down)
Anger is experienced on a wide continuum -mild to extreme- with distinct levels that have different effects on us mentally, emotionally & physically (TEA). The graphic illustrates this broad range of intensity, the triggers that correspond to anger as it increases and ways to deal with them. When we notice & acknowledge Red Flags (same as Emotion Signals) in ourselves & our environment, it helps us recognize when our anger is building. These signals allow us time to use anger management skills that we can learn, to keep our reactions from getting out of control.
EXP of BAD PARENTING: Scolding a young child “Don’t be a baby”. This means: ‘don’t have your feelings OR don’t let your feelings control you’. But since adults are rarely in control of their emotion – how can parents expect their children to be, especially without any guidance or example? (Bio-chemically & developmentally small children can’t anyway!)
Interesting fact: Children in many non-Western cultures are not expected to control their emotions until after age 6, when they’re trusted to herd animals, tend to younger children, & do other grownup work, including sitting still in school. Naturally, for those with physical of mental difficulties, it can take longer. BTW – ‘being in control’ always means having a choice, & in this case this includes being able to think before reacting.
NEXT: Anger Categories (Part 1)