Scale Back

RDP – #31 Scale


Looking through some of the online resource for anger scales I did laugh out loud. One set has “Call 911” which is dramatic, another had “Stop!” I mean, who’s going to just stop? Wouldn’t you have already done that if it were possible? The last thing you’d want to say to an angry person is “Just Stop.” That’s likely to further frustrate the angry person. By far the most concerning are those scales that say “Out of Control.” After all the work of the seventies to get people to see that anger is a feeling and that the feeling is not an issue of control, but rather an issue of being aware and attending to it, we’re still inducing fear of anger.

Actions that stem from anger are not the feeling themselves, they are a form of expression, anger looking for a form of outward expression. It would be wise to say put down the sharp object to an angry person, but not – stop being angry or control yourself.

It took a long time in human development to arrive at the idea that feelings are okay, they are simply feelings and that feelings are neither right or wrong – they just are. The other bomshell was that no one makes you angry – a very hard concept for some people to grasp, especialy as we often want to locate the rise of the feeling in someone or something and apportion blame. People can be irritating, there’s no doubt, but how we respond to them is actualy up to us, how we work in our feelings is up to us. We are all responsible for ourselves when it comes to feelings.

Anger is something we can work with. Numerous professionals in the field of counselling have written about how anger is an energy that can be transformed into positive action, and that results in our transformation from anger to reasonable. But by far the best way to transform anger is to reframe. By talking to someone, using I statements (I’m annoyed when I can’t … I’m angry when you say …), naming the feeling and acknowledging it. Naming it simply opens us to reflection, and doing that helps us with perspective, we reframe our situation and look on our feelings and process it, most often stepping back. Overall, I find meditation and reflection really help in my equilibrium.

One of the best resources I’ve encountered in recent years has been Pixar’s “Inside Out.”


flames sear my heart
my head is thrumming with noise
mantra is joyful

©Paul Cannon




Filed under life, mindfulness, psychology, self-development

18 responses to “Scale Back

  1. Well, I’m not sure if I understand the Pixar thing, but we had a Friday night session where there was a five-minute slot to speak about anything that pressed the buttons during the week.
    However, if they didn’t write it down, they’d forget it by the time Friday came around, and the issue wasn’t important enough to remember; and if they did write it down, most of the steam went into the writing and it cleared the way for the deeper issue, which was usually dealt with in a much calmer manner.
    We’re not all the same though, so sometimes things have to be shared and dissipated as soon as possible, like ‘who ate my chocolate?’

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Nice post Paul…. I agree with you, that anger can be reframed and transform into reasonable and positive energy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sometimes anger stays around a long time.
    I’m a chess Player. (Besides many other things…). 5 or 6 weeks ago I took part at a tournament and achieved a result I couldn’t barely dream of before. I got second. The tournament had 15 rounds of blitz-games. I lost to someone in the 7th round and as it turned out later I lost to a cheater, someone who betrayed badly.
    Days later I fully understood the way he “cheated”.
    That incident tortured my soul for weeks.
    I now understand that I wasn’t fully aware of the cheating at the time it occured. Now I will be more focused when it comes to new tournaments. That’s one point.
    The other point is to accept that you will be cheated from time to time. That’s natural. And to accept that you can’t be attentive every time it occurs. We are human.
    So it’s a good thing to accept our failure here.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. yes lets all transform our anger and only act out of kindness 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just think what we could accomplish if that scale was turned around and being content was a 10 and enraged was a 0.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lync56

    Yes – anger is also a secondary emotion and has its roots in another feeling which is driving it – once again the verse at the end is so true


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.