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Constructing an Emotional Vocabulary With Feeling Phrases

Mother and father will typically ask their youngsters to precise themselves with phrases—”Use your phrases!” is a typical playground chorus—but it surely’s not all the time straightforward for youngsters. They’re nonetheless exploring emotions and are sorely in want of emotional vocabulary to hold these emotions on. 

Serving to our children broaden their emotional vocabulary helps them do higher at college. It additionally helps them higher perceive the subtlety of feelings and the way phrases like “glad” and “elated” or “detached” and “disinterested” differ. By educating our youngsters the sensation phrases acceptable to their age—and inspiring them to make use of them—we help their emotional progress now into their teen and grownup years.

Challenges for Mother and father and Caregivers

An emotional vocabulary is one during which language precisely describes how you feel. As dad and mom, we actively encourage our children to precise their emotions with phrases. However as adults, we frequently fall quick. 

This is actually because, as adults, we’re anticipated to be higher adjusted and secure. Over time, emotions that will have as soon as been a part of our emotional vocabulary might all of the sudden be thought-about weaknesses by others. As consequence, we might instinctively limit our vocabulary to something however the broadest phrases (resembling “indignant” or “glad”) or undertake lingo (like “cool” or “superior”) to summary and generalize our emotions.

In consequence, we frequently neglect the way to categorical our feelings verbally and as an alternative use emojis or web slang like “LOL” or “ROFL” to make clear our emotions. These behaviors are usually not solely adopted by our children however inspired culturally because the velocity of communication shortcuts vocabulary and expression to solely the necessities.

Feeling Phrases to Use and Educate

By intervening as dad and mom, ideally when our children are younger, we may also help them construct refined emotional vocabularies. In flip, this helps them strategy emotions and relationships in a extra refined and well-adjusted approach. To start the journey, here’s a record of emotions phrases from A to Z.


Indignant, Aggravated, Afraid, Awkward, Affectionate, Anxious, Alarmed, Awed, Aggravated, Amazed, Astonished, Amused, Apprehensive, Absorbed, Ambivalent, Ashamed, Ready, Addled, Admired, Admirable, Affable, Agreeable, Aggressive, Deserted


Courageous, Bothered, Bewildered, Bitter, Bashful, Blue, Baffled, Blissful, Buoyant, Bereaved, Daring


Cheerful, Cooperative, Assured, Calm, Chilly, Curious, Content material, Thoughtful, Cautious, Cranky, Crestfallen, Contrite, Chagrined, Carefree, Composed, Succesful, Caring, Cautious, Contemptuous, Cross, Involved, Complacent, Charitable, Crushed, Cantankerous, Compulsive


Defiant, Depressed, Discouraged, Delighted, Disgusted, Decided, Dissatisfied, Indifferent, Daring, Disillusioned, Devious, Dismayed, Disenchanted, Doleful, Disinterested, Disdainful, Dismissive, Dejected, Disengaged, Distant


Elated, Enthusiastic, Embarrassed, Edgy, Excited, Envious, Exhausted, Keen, Exuberant, Enraged, Euphoric, Extravagant, Ecstatic, Keen, Emboldened


Humorous, Frightened, Fearful, Livid, Truthful, Silly, Pissed off, Forgiving, Flustered, Fulfilled, Fatigued


Grouchy, Responsible, Grief-stricken, Beneficiant, Grasping, Grateful, Grumpy, Guarded, Gleeful, Glad, Gloomy, Glum, Gracious, Grateful 


Pleased, Humiliated, Harm, Helpless, Hopeless, Horrified, Hesitant, Humbled, Heartbroken, Hysterical, Hyperactive


Irritated, Irritable, , Insecure, Impatient, Impressed, Inspiring, Insufficient, Irrational, Ignorant, Detached, Irked, Impertinent, Inquisitive, Remoted


Jealous, Joyful, Joyous, Judgmental, Judged, Jaded, Jocular, Jittery


Type, Eager


Loving, Lonely, Lackluster, Leery, Torpid, Listless, Lazy


Mad, Meek, Imply, Depressing, Malevolent, Marvelous, Manipulated, Manipulative, Misunderstood, Mischievous, Mopey, Melodramatic, Moody, Melancholy, Mirthful, Moved, Morose, Manic


Good, Naughty, Nasty, Nervous, Uncared for, Neglectful, Needy, Wanted, Naive, Nonchalant, Nonplussed, Numb


Overpowered, Overjoyed, Obedient, Obsessive, Obsessed, Offended, Outraged, Overloaded, Overstimulated, Obstinate, Obligated, Optimistic, Open, Openminded


Panicked, Panicky, Peaceable, Placid, Playful, Pensive, Puzzled, Highly effective, Powerless, Happy, Petty, Petulant, Preoccupied, Proud, Prideful, Prickly, Petrified, Pressured, Perturbed, Peeved, Passive


Quirky, Quarrelsome, Certified, Quivery, Querulous, Quiet


Relieved, Relaxed, Resentful, Rattled, Refreshed, Repulsed, Rational, Cheap, Reasoned, Rebellious, Reluctant, Reassured, Remorseful, Reserved, Rejuvenated, Stressed, Rattled


Unhappy, Stunned, Foolish, Scared, Sorrowful, Severe, Shy, Glad, Delicate, Secure, Harassed, Cussed, Sarcastic, Spiteful, Scornful, Safe, Serene, Smug, Sociable, Sympathetic, Startled, Glad, Sanguine, Skeptical, Honest


Grateful, Tearful, Teary, Considerate, Tolerant, Tolerated, Trusted, Trusting, Reliable, Temperamental, Terrified, Timid, Drained, Tiresome, Troubled, Tickled, Torn, Touched, Threatened, Tender, Tranquil


Uneasy, Unsure, Uncomfortable, Unruffled, Unafraid, Ineffective, Helpful, Unimpressed, Unappreciated, Undecided, Unruly, Uptight, Unnerved, Sad, Unsteady, Uplifted, Not sure


Vivacious, Useless, Vibrant, Violent, Valued, Precious, Very important, Vexed, Unstable, Susceptible, Victorious, Victimized, Vacant


Anxious, Cautious, Weak, Weary, Wistful, Wishful, Willful, Prepared, Woeful, Weepy, Whiny, Worn, Whimsical, Heat, Witty, Withdrawn, Nugatory, Wronged, Wasted, Worldly


Youthful, Yielding, Craving


Zany, Zealous, Zestful

A Phrase From Verywell

Incorporate extra feeling phrases into your on a regular basis vocabulary and do not feel foolish if it’s important to verify this record typically. Most adults do not use many feeling phrases usually. Sprinkling a couple of extra phrases into your conversations and welcoming your little one to share how they’re feeling can go a great distance towards serving to them (and perhaps even everybody within the household) construct a complete emotional vocabulary.

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