How often do you find yourself repeating the same vocabulary when it comes to expressing your emotions? Most of us use a limited range of vocabulary for most things, especially when it comes to our feelings.  

This is influenced by all sorts of things, including gender conditioning, culture, society, family upbringing, education level, cognitive functioning, energy and patience levels, personal growth and development journey and emotional intelligence.  

Regardless, it is all too easy for us to slip into everyday over-usage of particular feelings words. And as a result, it is all too easy to fall into the common trap of assuming we are being understood when we say something, and/or to misunderstand others.  

Our communication and emotional literacy can only be enhanced with further self-awareness and insight. When we slow down enough to really ask ourselves how we are feeling, we might be surprised, delighted or, at times, unimpressed with the answer. It also brings us closer in tune and connected to ourselves, even if it is mildly unpleasant. When we can understand ourselves more, we can speak and express ourselves more authentically, and we can enrich our relationships with this valuable information.  

Admittedly, sometimes we might choose to avoid asking ourselves how we are truly feeling because we may be afraid of the answer. That is informative and indicative of perhaps some deeper matters to explore.  

Here are some simple 

  • Avoid using pop language. Trends often misuse and mislabel real emotion. They also very rarely capture what you truly feel exactly.  
  • Have frequent self-check ins. Just like you usually wash your face and look in the mirror once a day, try to do the same with an emotional check in time. You could use your teeth brushing time to do this. 2 minutes a day will grow your connection with yourself.  
  • Hold. Pause, slow down, stay here. When you have made the time to self-check in, don’t rush to an answer.  
  • Start to develop your own emotion wheel of descriptors that arise for you – this is a way to really personalise your own emotional range.  
  • Drop the ego. Don’t use fancy emotional language or jargon to boost your ego or image and be impressive to others.  
  • Replace. When you feel your natural gravitational pull towards a favourite emotional word, ask to pause for a minute, stop and think and play with a replacement that could be 5% more accurate or detailed. If you can’t, that’s ok. Return to the conversation and do this later in post-conversation reflection time. Don’t ruminate, reflect.  
  • Congratulate yourself on trying out some new words and approaches! Good on you for stretching your capacity. You never know what else it might lead to! 


Reach out if you need to:  



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