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How Ok?

My partner and I now have developed a new habit of communicating. While most people will say something like "Are you ok?" we often now ask each other "How ok are you?". Then we give each other a number between 0 and 10.

When we send text messages, we say "hkru?" This means "how ok are you?"

This gives us more specific and useful information in a very practical and efficient way.

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Why Not 1-10?


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Why Not 1-10?

Many people are familiar with using the 1-10 scale. I also started using this with questions about feelings. A friend pointed out to me, though, that the scale needed to go to zero. She explained why and I quickly understood she was right.

For example, if you think about how much you hate your best friend. Chances are the best answer would be zero, not one. For many feelings, in fact, we probably feel nothing at all of that specific feeling most of the time.

So 0-10 makes much more sense when it comes to measuring feelings.

S. Hein

See also Zero to Ten

 
How OK Is It....? vs. Is it OK?

One of the first times I realized it would be useful to ask "How ok is it?" instead of just "Is it ok?" was when someone was working for me in my hostel in Montenegro. I will call him Vlad. I asked Vlad if he could help me with something. He said, "Is it ok if I check my mail first?"

It wasn't really ok 10 with me, but I said ok. I was afraid it would take him a long time to check his mail and by the time he got finished I would be done with what I had asked him to help me with. And this is in fact what happened.

So I realized it would have been more helpful to ask me "How ok is it if I check my mail first?" Then I might have said 6. Then he could have said, "Why 6?" And I could have explained what I was afraid of.

Some people who are more aggressive or assertive might have just said, "No, it's not ok. I need your help now. Your mail can wait. This can't." But sensitive people like me often agree to things that are not 100 percent ok with us. And using this kind of scale makes it easier for us to communicate with more emotional honesty.

S. Hein

See also Zero to Ten