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To: My "Forehead Number"

Neon signs are obvious in their message.  It is bright, short, and attention getting.  They leave no doubt in their warning and allow us to quickly process how to proceed.

Early in my marriage my husband said he wished I had a neon sign on my forehead displaying any mood I was in, especially the unpleasant ones.  I was 20 when I got married and happy to say, had a lot of growing up to do.  As the years went on we got smarter. Why not be our own neon sign and communicate that?

So, we came up with the term, "our forehead number".

Before understanding how to determine your forehead number one must understand himself a bit.  The Food Hunger Scale is pretty elementary and well known: at zero we are painfully hungry we could eat anything and at ten we are so stuffed we could go into hibernation.  The Emotion Scale is needed to understand your "forehead number."  Are you as cool as a cat at a zero or are you at a ten throwing your fist into a wall?

I like to keep myself between a zero and four.  When I am passing a four, I know I need to kick in some self-soothing (oh, another great post for later) techniques.  I have a bucket full according to my situation.  Staying in control is wonderful, but I am not always my ideal.

This is where our forehead numbers come into play.  Situations arise where the house is about to catch fire.  Have you been there?  Every child is screaming, emotion buckets are flooded, and what do you want to do- flee, as fast and far away as possible.

Simply hands up to the forehead or a verbal cue of, "I'm at an 8" is a clear neon sign, "I'm outta here!".  Really, a way to communicate to the spouse, "I need to go take care of myself, I'll be back." Skills are needed to know what to do when you leave the room, at another time we can discuss these thoughts.

For us, this comes in handy mostly when we are in a house full of kids.  We like teaching our children, rather than reacting to our children.  Removing ourselves, allowing the other spouse to take care of the children, and return once we are calmer, allowing us to be in control.  This is also very helpful when we are upset with each other. Why would anyone discuss things when their forehead number is high (oh, to new or unfigured out relationships)? Simply, a hon, "my forehead number is high, I need a break" works wonders.  I know the script is much different than the play, but, even with emotions rolling, it still works, as long as there is respect for each other and the plan.  Coming back cool headed (no pun intended) allows the relationship, household, or individual for respect to remain.

Perhaps through the day you can ask yourself, "what's my forehead number"?  Could you pin point yours?  Practice.  It is nice to be in control and have skills even when you are vulnerable.

Be your own neon sign and clearly communicate to those around.

Thank you,

Communication of the Emotion Scale


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