Where Are You on the Anger Scale?

The anger scale ranges from inaction, or Giving Up, due to a sense of helplessness, to Action by words and behavior, to toxic inaction or Toxicity, full of spite and venom which is poison to your body and relationships. You may move in any direction on the scale based on the results of your actions, your current and past experiences, and your sense of possible change. It is important to identify where you are on the scale to better understand what step will be most useful for you. If you have reached the state of Toxicity, you may need to work on releasing your anger before you decide what to do next.

                                            50 Shades of Anger

     Giving up                    ↔                      Action                        ↔                     Toxicity

Disappointed         Irritated         Outraged        Vengeful         Cheated          Hatred         Exasperated

Resignation            Distrustful     Sickened        Contempt        Belligerent      Fury            Cynical

Disillusioned          Annoyed        Appalled         Resistant        Rebellious       Defiant        Trapped

Disenchanted        Offended       Resentful        Testy               Willful               Rage            Devastated

Isolated                  Grumpy         Riled                Furious           Enflamed         Wrath           Indignant

Hurt                        Frustrated     Goaded           Disdain           Virulent            Icy                Skeptical

Dejected                Bitter              Mortified         Revulsion       Hostile              Vicious        Scornful

Thwarted               Bothered       Aghast             Bitter              Suspicious        Loathing     Sarcastic

Moody                   Upset

Note: There are other words that characterize anger. This scale was created as a tool to use and not a definitive measurement.                               

The SET – C Approach

Use these steps to explore what you are experiencing:

  1. Story – In your point of view, what is causing you to feel the way you do? Don’t edit the story. Blame whomever you want. Complain about what happened, what’s changing, or what failed to change. Declare the injustice. Name the ignorance, the short sidedness, the awful behaviors, the cluelessness, and what is flat out wrong.
  2. Emotions – Namethe emotions you are feeling. Be honest. Scan your body for tenseness and aches. Use the scale above to label all that you think you are feeling.
  3. Trigger – What did you expect or want to happen that didn’t? What is the loss you feel (i.e. respect, status, acknowledgment, opportunity, regard, acceptance, belonging, safety, hope, value for yourself or your good work).

Before you take the last step, answer these questions:

  • Now that you have told your story, what do you know for sure?
  • If there were other explanations for someone’s behavior, what might they be?
  • What do you want that you didn’t get? What did you hope would happen?
  • What dream was battered or bruised?
  • Are you willing to create a new dream, hope, or possibility that is worth fighting for? How would you like this story to end?
  • What is the possible future that inspires you to act?

Once you are clear on what outcome you want

  1. Choose – To achieve your outcome, answer these questions:
  • What is the very next thing you could do to achieve your dream? When will you do it?
  • Is there anything you need to declare or ask for?
  • What were you doing before? What could you change that will help you move forward?
  • What do you fear will get in the way? How can you move beyond that fear or concern?
  • What emotions will balance your anger, such as passion, hope, love, courage, and faith? How can you shift to feeling one of these emotions when your anger feels out of control or harmful?
  • Is there any support you need? Who has a similar dream you can align with?
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