You may be feeling jittery, jealous, furious, frazzled, panic-stricken, petrified, lonely, bewildered. If someone asks you how you’re feeling, chances are you’ll say “awful”, or another vague word that won’t communicate your specific emotion.
Expressing our feelings can be harder than it seems. Most of us aren’t always in touch with how we feel, and even when we are, we don’t always know how to articulate our emotions. On top of that, saying how we truly feel makes us vulnerable, something we’ve learned to think of as negative.
But learning to identify and name our feelings helps us gain self-awareness, improves our communication, and increases our chances of getting exactly what we need. When we know how we truly feel and can articulate it, we’re better able to help ourselves and get help from others. We’re also better able express gratitude.
To be specific about how you feel, you first need to know the wide range of emotions you can experience. Use this detailed list (created by Center for Nonviolent Communication), to expand your emotional vocabulary:
FEELINGS WHEN YOUR NEEDS ARE BEING MET
Friendly, affectionate, compassionate, loving, open-hearted, sympathetic, tender, warm
Curious, absorbed, alert, curious, engrossed, enchanted, engaged, entranced, fascinated, intrigued, interested, involved, spellbound, stimulated, hopeful
Confident, empowered, open, proud, safe, secure
Excited, amazed, animated, ardent, aroused, astonished, dazzled, eager, energetic, enthusiastic, giddy, invigorated, lively, passionate, surprised, vibrant
Grateful, appreciative, moved, thankful, touched
Inspired, amazed, awed
Happy, amused, delighted, glad, joyful, jubilant, pleased, tickled
Hopeful, expectant, encouraged, optimistic
Calm, clear-headed, comfortable, centered, equanimous, fulfilled, mellow, peaceful, quiet, relaxed, relieved, satisfied, serene, still, tranquil, trusting
Refreshed, enlivened, rejuvenated, renewed, rested, restored, revived
FEELINGS WHEN YOUR NEEDS ARE NOT BEING MET
Afraid, apprehensive, foreboding, frightened, mistrustful, panicked, scared, suspicious, terrified, wary, worried
Annoyed, aggravated, dismayed, disgruntled, displeased, exasperated, frustrated, impatient, irritated, irked
Angry, enraged, furious, incensed, indignant, irate, livid, outraged, resentful
Disgusted, appalled, horrified, hostile, repulsed
Confused, ambivalent, baffled, bewildered, dazed, hesitant, lost, mystified, perplexed, puzzled, torn
Bored, alienated, aloof, apathetic, bored, cold, detached, disconnected, distant, distracted, indifferent, numb, removed, uninterested, withdrawn
Upset, alarmed, discombobulated, disturbed, perturbed, rattled, restless, shocked, startled, surprised, troubled, turbulent, turmoil, uncomfortable, uneasy, unnerved, unsettled
Embarrassed, ashamed, chagrined, flustered, guilty, mortified, self-conscious
Anguished, bereaved, devastated, heartbroken, hurt, lonely, miserable, regretful, remorseful
Sad, depressed, dejected, despaired, despondent, disappointed, discouraged, disheartened, forlorn, gloomy, heavy-hearted, hopeless, melancholy, unhappy, wretched
Anxious, cranky, distressed, distraught, edgy, fidgety, frazzled, irritable, jittery, nervous, overwhelmed, restless, stressed out
Helpless, fragile, guarded, insecure, leery, reserved, sensitive, shaky, vulnerable
Jealous, envious, nostalgic, wistful
Now stop for a moment and ask yourself, how am I really feeling?
© 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication | Website: www.cnvc.org | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: +1.505.244.4041