How to Identify Your Emotions and Get Your Needs Met

By Emma Soleil

Until about 3 years ago, I struggled to identify my emotions real-time. Feelings would that would start out as a whisper went completely unnoticed until they were metaphorically screaming at me from a megaphone and had produced some undesirable dynamic in my life. This modus operandi existed because I hadn't learned to identify or express my feelings as I child. I grew up in an environment where I learned to repress and suppress my feelings, banishing them from my awareness without actually creating any resolution. That coping strategy may have been a short term fix that offered an illusion of stability, but ultimately it was draining both personally and relationally. Learning how to identify feelings and constructively express them has been liberating and has drastically improved my relationships. The following two lists of emotions were key in my journey:

 

Emotions Experienced When Needs Are Satisfied

Absorbed Engrossed Moved
Adventurous Enlivened Optimistic
Affectionate Enthusiastic Overjoyed
Alert Excited Overwhelmed (Positively)
Alive Exhilirated Peaceful
Amazed Expansive Perky
Amused Expectant Pleasant
Animated Exultant Pleased
Appreciative Fascinated Proud
Ardent Free Quiet
Aroused Friendly Radiant
Astonished Fulfilled Rapturous
Blissful Glad Refreshed
Breathless Gleeful Relaxed
Buoyant Glorious Relieved
Calm Glowing Satisfied
Carefree Good-humored Secure
Cheerful Grateful Sensitive
Comfortable Gratified Serene
Complacent Happy Spellbound
Composed Helpful Splendid
Concerned Hopeful Stimulated
Confident Inquisitive Surprised
Contented Inspired Tender
Cool Intense Thankful
Curious Interested Thrilled
Dazzled Intrigued Touched
Delighted Invigorated Tranquil
Eager Involved Trusting
Ebullient Joyous / Joyful Upbeat
Ecstatic Jubilant Warm
Effervescent Keyed-up Wide-awake
Elated Loving Wonderful
Enchanted Mellow Zestful
Encouraged Merry
Energetic Mirthful

 

 

Emotions Experienced When Needs Are Not Yet Satisfied

Afraid Disgusted Intense
Aggravated Disheartened Irate
Agitated Dismayed Irked
Alarmed Displeased Irritated
Aloof Disquieted Jealous
Angry Distressed Jittery
Anguished Disturbed Keyed-up
Annoyed Downcast Lazy
Anxious Downhearted Leery
Apathetic Dull Lethargic
Apprehensive Edgy Listless
Aroused Embarrassed Lonely
Ashamed Embittered Mad
Beat Exasperated Mean
Bewildered Exhausted Miserable
Bitter Fatigued Mopey
Blah Fearful Morose
Blue Fidgety Mournful
Bored Forlorn Nervous
Brokenhearted Frightened Nettled
Chagrined Frustrated Numb
Cold Furious Overwhelmed
Concerned Gloomy Panicky
Confused Guilty Passive
Cool Harried Perplexed
Cross Heavy Pessimistic
Dejected Helpless Puzzled
Depressed Hesitant Rancorous
Despairing Horrible Reluctant
Despondent Horrified Repelled
Detached Hostile Resentful
Disaffected Hot Restless
Disappointed Humdrum Sad
Discouraged Hurt Scared
Disenchanted Impatient Sensitive
Disgruntled Indifferent Shaky
Shocked Terrified Upset
Skeptical Tired Uptight
Sleepy Troubled Vexed
Sorrowful Uncomfortable Weary
Sorry Unconcerned Wistful
Spiritless Uneasy Withdrawn
Startled Unglued Woeful
Surprised Unhappy Worried
Suspicious Unnerved Wretched
Tepid Unsteady

What Are Your Needs?

When I perceive that any of my basic human needs are not met or are threatened I become upset. My perception can differ from objective reality and so when I am upset I first reflect on what beliefs and experiences I have that created my perception and negative feelings. In cases, where I decide a shift in my beliefs and perceptions would be positive, I use PSYCH-K® to make that change. PSYCH-K® is an individualistic process which helps me cultivate a positive, peaceful internal experience and then requires action to make the potential it unlocks manifest. In instances where I would still like someone else to modify their behavior, I identify which of my basic human needs is lacking in that moment and request their assistance in co-creating resolution. The basic human needs are:

 

Autonomy

  • To choose our dreams, goals, and values
  • To choose our plan for fulfilling our dreams, goals, and values

Celebration

  • To celebrate the creation of life and dreams fulfilled
  • To mourn losses: loved ones, dreams, etc. 

Integrity

  • Authenticity
  • Creativity
  • Meaning
  • Self-worth

Interdependence

  • Acceptance
  • Appreciation
  • Closeness
  • Community
  • Consideration
  • Contribution to the enrichment of life 
  • Emotional safety
  • Empathy
  • Honesty 
  • Love
  • Reassurance
  • Respect
  • Support
  • Trust
  • Understanding
  • Warmth

Play

  • Fun
  • Laughter

Spiritual Communion

  • Beauty
  • Harmony
  • Inspiration
  • Order
  • Peace

Physical Nurturance 

  • Air
  • Food
  • Movement
  • Protection
  • Rest
  • Sexual expression
  • Shelter
  • Touch
  • Water

How to Share Feelings to Get Your Needs Satisfied

Finally, bringing it all together, the formula I use for constructively communicating feelings to get my needs met is Observation, Feelings, Needs, and Requests. For example:

"When you are out late, I feel anxious. Would you please give me a call when you'll be returning home later than usual? It would be reassuring for me and calm my nerves."

This format of addressing conflict helps people help me. It avoids any accusatory language that could make the other party defensive and therefore much less likely to abide. It also expresses vulnerability which can inspire others to help. For more on constructive ways to communicate during conflict, Marshall B. Rosenberg's Non Violent Communication is gold.

This formula paired with inner work facilitated by PSYCH-K® Sessions empowered my authentic self expression and enabled me to create better relationships (including to myself), reduce stress and other emotional turmoil, and build a happier life :) 

Written by Emma Soleil

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