Emotional Vocabulary and Literacy. more grammar foibals

Emotional vocabulary: A  single word or short phrase that best describes how one feels in the here and now.

I feel Happy“, “I Feel tired“,  “I feel sad“….

Emotional literacy: Being able to clearly and confidently express ones emotions in words.

I took  classes for Rogerian  Active listening (for a volunteer service) and I discovered that my own Emotional Vocabulary and Literacy was very weak.
I felt surprised because, I thought my Emotional vocabulary was limited “.

In fact, A word exist to describe a personality trait for not being able to express feelings in words: ” Alexithymia

So I worked on my literacy.

Some examples of Emotional literacy:

  • I feel like  no one understands me  and they won’t be my friend.” common mistake and indirect
  • I feel Alienated.”  – correct and more direct.
  • I feel alienated…because I think no one understands me and won’t be my friend. – correct and descriptive about ones thoughts”

Another example:

  • I feel like I am able to get this project done quickly.” (no no.)
  • I feel confident“. ( better and direct.)
  • I feel confident because, I think I am able to do this project quickly” (well said).

Another example of  learning to speak with emotional literacy:
”  You make me happy when you visit.”  (very indirect)
I feel happy when you visit.” (directly stated feeling)
Can you see the difference?

I and my classmates wrote down as many “feeling words” as we could in our class, to see how emotionally literate we were.
I think its a great drill, and I have worked to expand my own emotional vocabulary.

The following are examples of some feeling words.

Defeated, lonely   cheated,  betrayed  greif-strucken, deflated,
helpless, lathargic, uncaring, used, heart broken,
Explosive, paranoid,  annoyed, simmering,
Suspicious afraid, fearful, confused, jealous, empty,
unfocused, crisp confident,dull, powerful, motivated, in control,
Happy, loved, brotherly, playful,joyful,exited,exuberent
frustrated, ambivalent,pulled apart stuck, frozen
Curious, investigative, driven

A very large list of feeling words is located at:


You can write your own list, to see how emotionally literate you are.

If you get stuck remember these four basic feeling words : Mad,Sad,Glad, Afraid and see if you can find more descriptive words to replace them.

I  feel excited because, I think that  you would do well!

About chris
I write because I'm not good at it. I share because, writing without sharing seems empty. Thus, I write and share what I think is meaningful.

5 Responses to Emotional Vocabulary and Literacy. more grammar foibals

  1. chris says:

    I hope to have my own list of emotional vocabulary words on this blog soon.

  2. Pingback: reflective listening for improved communication « Pennsylvania Echoes

  3. Pingback: Daily Feeling Chart, Alternate Version | Pennsylvania Echoes

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