What Emotion Am I Feeling? 31+ Examples

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

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There are a lot of emotions you can feel, and it can be unclear what you’re feeling. Learn what emotion you’re feeling now, with our list of options.

As you become more self-aware of your emotions, you’ll discover that what once felt like anger might actually be a different, subtler feeling. Part of knowing your emotions is increasing your emotional vocabulary--words you use to specifically identify what you’re feeling. Goleman provides some useful words to increase your emotional vocabulary:

  • Anger could also be: outrage, exasperation, annoyance, or violence.
  • Sadness could also be: cheerlessness, self-pity, or despair.
  • Fear could also be: concern, misgiving, or edginess.
  • Enjoyment could also be: relief, pride, sensual pleasure, or mania.
  • Love could also be: acceptance, trust, or kindness.
  • Surprise could also be: shock, amazement, or wonder.
  • Disgust could also be: contempt or disdain.
  • Shame could also be: guilt, humiliation, or contrition.

There are obviously more emotions than listed here, but this is a good starting place to start to expand your emotional vocabulary.

Another good way to figure out what emotion you’re feeling is to figure out how your body is changing its physiology.

What Emotion Am I Feeling? 31+ Examples

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Here's what you'll find in our full Emotional Intelligence summary :

  • What are emotions? Why do we have them?
  • What is emotional intelligence? Why is it important?
  • How do you manage your own emotions? Anger, anxiety, and sadness?
  • How can you approach your relationships with more emotional intelligence?
  • How can you teach your children emotional intelligence?
  • How can emotional intelligence boost your career?

Allen Cheng

Allen Cheng is the founder of Shortform. He has a passion for non-fiction books (having read 200+ and counting) and is on a mission to make the world's best ideas more accessible to everyone. He reads broadly, covering a wide range of subjects including finance, management, health, and society. Allen graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude and attended medical training at the MD/PhD program at Harvard and MIT. Before Shortform, he co-founded PrepScholar, an online education company.

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