Humiliation Impact Rating Scale—an Emerging Proposal

A landmark event early in the study of stress was the publication of the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS). See: http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/srrs.htm

It established a clear demarcation between stressors—external events—and stress—a person's response to the stressor. It provides concrete examples of common stressors. It also provides a (very rough) standard for individuals to judge their reactions to life’s events.

A similar scale of “humiliating events” is proposed here. It might include some of these events in roughly this order:

  • Murder
  • Lack of Water or Food
  • Lack of Shelter
  • Poverty
  • Torture
  • Unequal distribution of basic necessities
  • Detention
  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Bullying
  • Insults
  • Infidelity
  • Betrayal
  • Being fired from your job
  • Being cheated, taken for a sucker
  • Being Excluded
  • Isolation
  • Harassment
  • Being Laughed at
  • Neglect
  • Being Teased
  • Taunting
  • Public criticism
  • Being called derogatory names
  • Omission, being ignored
  • Withholding acknowledgement, recognition or praise
  • Being slighted
  • Being overlooked

Certainly this Humiliation Impact Rating Scale will suffer from the many variations that the SRRS faces, yet the SRRS continues to be useful despite these difficulties. This Scale can help disentangle and sort out the experiences and recommended behaviors of the perpetrator, humiliated victim, and the observer. It can help victims of humiliation avoid blaming themselves for how they feel about conditions they experience in their environment. On the other side of this it can help overly sensitive people “just get over it” for the inevitable trivial insults we all experience.

The scale may need to be modulated by variables such as power differential, degree of injustice, and the vulnerability of the victim. These variables appear in the tentative integrated model


 [ Return to the Dignity Index ]