Authors are always thinking of the perfect word. To help out someone created an emotion circle that breaks emotions down into 6 basic emotions. Here is the kicker….2/3rds are considered negative emotions.
Now when I read this, I didn’t agree with how the circle was arranged. I learned in counseling that anger is a mask for hurt, fear and frustration. I also don’t believe that happy and surprised are the only feel good emotions. There is anticipated excitement, contentment, love and general Everything is Right in my World type emotions. I spent many years disconnected from any emotions so reconnecting was a difficult journey. I was blessed with a counselor who has a healthy respect for emotions in our lives. He didn’t see them as annoyances that needed to be expressed. In fact, several years into my counseling he explained that he actually uses the emotion of anger to dig past a persons surface responses. When pissed off, people say things that normally would never be considered. He felt quite frustrated with my ability to make emotions disappear.
One of my photography professors attempted to teach me how to sequence pictures I took. He explained. I blinked my eyes and stared. He explained to go with how it felt. I continued to blink my eyes. He let me meet with him for tutoring time and I tried to explain that I didn’t feel anything. He was impressed, he thought that would be very cool. I happened to know he had teenage daughters. I asked him, “How would it feel if your daughter was getting married in a few years to a young man you really like and you are really happy for her, but you can’t tell her?” He saw my point that there are massive drawbacks to not feeling emotions. No words that I connected to what I was feeling. Anger and excitement felt the same to me, heart pounding adrenaline rush. Anger hid hurt which hid jealousy which felt like fear. What A MESS.
I believe the vocabulary circle is a place to start identifying emotional responses. My first counselor was fascinated how I explored emotions once I started to feel them. First hurdle to get over was feeling ashamed for feeling emotions. Wow. It is a long journey from Black and White of no emotions to the technicolor of living fully with emotions. Sometimes a painful journey but so worth it.