By Katherine Schafler, NYC-based psychotherapist, writer and speaker.
“I just feel so, blah.”
“I’m really good.”
“It’s just whatever.”
There’s a surprising amount of utility is in words like, ugh, blah, and whatever. Because they’re amorphous and vague, we liberally cast them out into our conversations as an all encompassing net which catches a multitude of emotions.
Still, we get so used to speaking ‘text speak’ that we often water down the genuinely positive and lump together the ostensibly negative into the ambiguous land of whatever.
There’s nothing wrong with doing that on an individual level, but the cumulative effect of exclusively choosing vague words to describe how things are going results in a similarly watered down sense of connection to yourself and those around you.
Words are powerful connectors. The language you use helps others to fully take in how you’re feeling and to better understand what you need. The language you use also helps you to process what’s happening, which in turn helps you to gain clarity, feel validated and move forward.
Today’s post is simple. Below are a myriad of words to describe different feelings and emotional states for those moments when you don’t want to reach for “blah,” and “ugh,” or for those moments when telling someone you’re “good” doesn’t quite encapsulate how wonderful you’re actually doing.
WHEN YOU FEEL HAPPY AND GOOD: open, confident, elated, taking delight in the little things, playful, energetic, optimistic, free, animated, at ease, certain, bright, reassured, eager, strong, dynamic, alive, bold
WHEN YOU FEEL SAD OR DEPRESSED: crushed, uneasy, dejected, offended, rejected, achy, appalled, humiliated, alienated, wronged, pessimistic, lonely, dismayed, victimized, guilty, deprived, discouraged, dissatisfied, diminished, powerless, ashamed, sulky, a sense of loss, doubtful, perplexed, embarrassed, hesitant, lost, unsure, disillusioned, heavy
WHEN YOU FEEL ANGRY: irritated, bitter, aggressive, inflamed, incensed, worked up, infuriated, sore, resentful, provoked, annoyed, disrupted
WHEN YOU FEEL INDIFFERENT: dull, nonchalant, neutral, weary, bored, preoccupied, cold, disinterested, listless, sluggish, passive
WHEN YOU FEEL AFRAID AND ANXIOUS: fearful, terrified, suspicious, alarmed, anxious, panicky, scared, worried, shaky, timid, restless, threatened, intimidated
WHEN YOU FEEL INTERESTED: absorbed, intrigued, inquisitive, nosy, intent, curious, adventurous, attracted, engrossed, challenged, drawn toward, passionate
WHEN YOU FEEL WARMTH: touched, close, loved, comforted, admiration, understanding, affectionate
WHEN YOU FEEL OUT OF CONTROL: incapable, alone, paralyzed, useless, dangerous, inferior, vulnerable, forced, empty, frustrated, pathetic, distressed, in despair, feeble, wild, unruly.
And just in case you’d like to use them, here are four other words you can take for the road: please, share, this, post.