One of my colleagues, Bea Armstrong, MFT, created the following “Feelings Spectrum” to help people develop their vocabulary when talking about how they feel so they can communicate more effectively. The Feelings Spectrum includes the four basic feelings: sad, mad, glad and fear. To quote Armstrong:
Each feeling runs along a spectrum, based on how we experience that feeling in our body – i.e., how strong of a reaction we might have to it or better known as “how much it pushes our buttons.”
See what synonyms you can come up with for each basic feeling and where you would place them on each spectrum – from 1 to 10 – based on how intensely you experience that feeling. Low response or “button push” would be 1-3, medium 4-6, and high 7 and up. The first time you do this exercise, I suggest you DON’T use a thesaurus. You can do that later.
A couple of examples have been included to help you get started
Pay particular attention to the feelings that are difficult for you to describe, as this may be a sign of unfamiliar territory.
Please Note: The above exercise was designed by, and is the property of Bea Armstrong, MFT, http://www.beaarmstrong.com, by permission.
- Argus Coaching: Business and Personal Life Coaching – http://arguscoaching.com/
- Transition Dynamics Enterprises, Inc – The Seasons of Change and the Career Clarity Program – http://seasonsofchange.com
My Top Ten Book List
- The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman
- The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships by John Gottman, Ph.D.
- Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D.
- It’s Not Fair, Jeremy Spencer’s Parents Let Him Stay Up All Night!: A Guide to the Tougher Parts of Parenting by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D.
- Uncommon Sense for Parents With Teenagers by Michael Riera, Ph.D.
- Write It Down Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It by Henriette Anne Klauser
- Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
- The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.
- Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice: Counter Negative Thoughts and Live Free from Imagined Limitations by Robert W. Firestone, Ph.D., Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., and Joyce Catlett, M.A.
- Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie