Verbal Sensitivity Scale

The strength in knowing a weakness


If you have a physical weakness and find yourself in a fight, it would only be natural to protect the weakness from the attack. But it’s easier to recognize a fragile knee than an emotional sensitivity to what others might say. Our emotional body has vulnerabilities, and the Verbal Sensitivity Scale allows us to locate some of our strengths and weaknesses in this area. This evaluation gives a score from 0 to 6 relative to the forms of communication that can be potentially hurtful or damaging to us.

A score that is close to zero indicates resilience on the scale, and/or a well-developed Inner Smile. The closer a score is to 6, the more sensitive we are to a particular form of communication. Interaction with these forms is harmful when we react with avoidance, submission, justification or counter-attack.  

For the following 12 questions, choose the answer that represents your most recent reaction to each of these conflict-prone situations.



1.Someone criticizes an aspect of me or my appearance. For example, “You look fat in that.” / “Really, you’re just like your mother!”
2.Someone accuses me of a negative act. E.g.: “You never clean up after yourself!” / “You’re always late!”
3.Someone is opposed to the ideas/wishes I feel are important. E.g. “I totally disagree” / “In your dreams”!”
4.Someone tries to minimize or exaggerate a point. E.g., “Don’t make such a big deal!” / “Sure, because you’re always right!”
5.Someone insults me or uses vulgar language on me. E.g.: “You seriously need help!” / “A-hole!”
6.Someone puts pressure on me or insists I do something. E.g.: “C’mon! Why won’t you do this?!” / “Calm down/Shut up!”
7.Someone speaks to me in a forceful way. E.g.: “Give me your money!” / “Get out of here!”
8.Someone laughs at me or tries to make a fool of me. E.g.: “Haha! How clumsy you are!” / “Hey everyone, look what he/she did!”
9.Someone is lying to me or tries to conceal something. E.g.: “I didn’t do anything” / “I didn’t know we had to be on time.”
10.Someone brutally resists my ideas. E.g.: “We’re never going to get there that way” / “Pfff. What a crazy idea!”
11.Someone blames me for an attitude or a shortcoming. E.g.: “It’s amazing how slow you are” / “You never think about me!”
12.Someone passes judgment on one of my achievements/creations. E.g.: “What kind of crappy work do you call this?” / “Your son is a mess!”

Verbal Sensitivity Scale