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Feelings word list as a tool for Emotional Intelligence

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When it comes to feelings, naming is taming! Name your emotions more easily with this handy list of pleasant and unpleasant feelings. Subscribe to our newsletter and download this free resource.


Feelings Word List – structured in three categories

PLEASANT FEELINGS
UNPLEASANT FEELINGS
PSEUDO-FEELINGS
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One of the challenges in working with feelings and learning “emotional intelligence” is learning “vocabulary”. With the help of a larger number of words for feelings, we can describe emotions in a more differentiated way. These lists help to lay a foundation for a differentiated awareness of our “emotional world”. When we have the words to  express our feelings, we can communicate more empathically.

These feelings word lists are based on Nonviolent Communication (NVC) according to Marshall Rosenberg. If you haven’t heard of NVC, you can watch Marshall himself explain some basics here. The lists are categorized into:

  • Pleasant (“positive”) feeling words, which we can perceive when our needs are met.
  • Unpleasant (“negative”) feeling words that we can perceive when our needs are not met.
  • “Unreal” feeling words including those we often use as “feelings” in everyday life, but are not “real” feelings. Rather, they contain a thought or an evaluation, or assign responsibility for a feeling to others.

Sources:

1. Rosenberg, M. (2016). Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Available at https://www.amazon.de/-/en/Marshall-B-Rosenberg/dp/3955715728

Pleasant Feelings (When feelings are met)

Calmness

peaceful, quiet, rested, secure, relaxed, grounded, balanced, recovered, calm

Gratitude

grateful, blessed, worry-free, deeply moved, hopeful, liberated

Love

touched, connected, alive, passionate

Happiness

overjoyed, happy, convivial, glad, bright, elated, fun-loving, satisfied, blissful, joyful, fulfilled, free

Curiousness

interested, surprised, inquisitive, amazed, attentive, deepened, fascinated, motivated, excited, clear, wide awake, present

Strength

confident, independent, powerful, dynamic, carefree, stable, consolidated, brave, strong

Joy

delighted vivid, inspired, enthusiastic, peppy, motivated, easy, optimistic, light-hearted, loose, inspired

Enthusiasm

excited, hilarious, energized, ecstatic, jubilant, euphoric, enraptured, turned up, exuberant

Unpleasant Feelings (When feelings are not met)

Loneliness

alone, lonely

Shame

timid, embarrassed, shy, insecure

Fear

anxious, troubled, fearful, terrified

Fright

horrified, petrified, shocked, shaken

Guilt

guilty, obligated, responsible

Disgust

repelled, disgust, nauseated

Helplessness

powerless, empty, despondent, desperate, hopeless, fragile, paralyzed, inert, lifeless

Indifference

indifferent, tired, weak, listless, numb, depressed, melancholic, impassive

Sadness

upset pathetic, grouchy, moody, miserable, sad, unhappy, uncomfortable, gloomy, lousy

Frustration

grumpy, tense, disillusioned, restless, stressed, uneasy, torn, bitter, frustrated

Anger

angry, displeased, incensed, feisty, aggressive, raging, agitated, furious, enraged

Unreal/Mental Feelings/ Pseudo-feelings

Poor

stupid, inadequate, incompetent, insignificant, inappropriate, unimportant, unworthy, dirty

Rejection

repelled, devalued, rejected, dropped, used, less valued, deceived, let down, isolated, ridiculed, left behind, misunderstood, not accepted, not taken seriously, unappreciated, unsupported, unheeded, undesirable, unheard, unloved, unseen, unintentional, unrespected, abandoned, denied, neglected

Accusation

exploited, pressed, threatened, controlled, molested, offended, lied to, mothered, used, accused, protected (failed), evaporated, cowed, intimidated, locked, constrained, reduced, deceived, ignored, mislead, sidelined, provoked, tricked, revised, overused, disregarded, scammed, adopted

Attack

defeated, robbed, assailed, cheated, dominated, muffled, forced, ripped out, fooled, lured in to the trap, trampled, manipulated, disregarded, abused, cut down, put under pressure, repressed, misunderstood, run over , overwhelmed, fucked over, hated