Question: Could the app offer suggestions for how to come down the Grump Meter from Red?
Our answer: If you’ve arrived at Red, you’ve lost your head. You’re so upset that thinking and choosing a tool from the Toolbox is not possible. This is what distinguishes Red from Orange: On Red, you lose your capacity to make choices. For this reason, landing on Red can result in dangerous or harmful behavior. On Orange, however, you have enough cognitive ability to make choices.
Think of Red like a tornado. In a tornado, the best you can do is stay safe and weather the storm. You hope that no irreparable damage is done. After the wind dies down, you can move about and consider your next steps. So too, with the state of feelings and moods. When a person around you is on Red, the best you can do is keep yourself and others safe. When the person calms down to Orange, it becomes possible to choose a tool from the Toolbox.
For these reasons, the Grump Meter app directs you to the Toolbox if you are on blue, green, yellow, or orange. On all of those colors, you can think and choose a tool to help yourself come back to Blue. If you have gone to Red, you’ll see that the app gives you a chance to become aware that you “lost your head,” and asks you if you were able to be safe on red. Consider: Did you cause emotional or physical harm to yourself or others on red? The app also asks if you skipped green, yellow, and orange on your way to red. Sometimes people go straight from blue to red. Do you? Can you recognize yourself going up the Grump Meter and prevent the trip to red?