Police Psychology: Anger!! Part 2 Seeing Red
by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
There are many that believe the expression of “seeing red” comes from when a Matador wants a bull to charge, he waves a red cape at him. The theory is the bull “sees red” and gets really angry and charges. Humans that “see red” get very angry and lose control. In reality, bulls are red-green color blind and don’t see the color red. A bull’s vision is like: (see below)
A Man Sees
A Bull Sees
As you can see there is a lack of color in the picture of what the bulls sees. Bulls charge at movement, not color. But we still use the expression anyway.
When you are working with children on anger control, one exercise you often us is to use the metaphor of the turtle. The turtle hides in his shell when things go awry, and he collects himself until he feels it is safe again. You teach the child that the turtle is a smart animal because he hides away from the things that can damage him, and sometimes emotions can damage you, so you have to “hide away” from them until you get yourself collected. Everything stops inside the shell. We work with kids on putting their hands up over their head when they are upset, making an imaginary shell. We even tend to give the turtle a “T” name like, Tucker the Turtle. Tucker tucks away when upset or angry. And so forth and so on. (more…)