Emotional Vocabulary Lists


Your vocabulary matters!

Research is continually showing us that a good emotional vocabulary doesn’t simply help you identify more emotions – it also helps you work with them more easily, because you can quickly identify the type of emotion you feel, its intensity, and the reason you feel it.

All by itself, a larger and more precise emotional vocabulary can help you learn to understand, regulate, and befriend your emotions!

This pocket-sized fold-out Emotional Vocabulary List contains alphabetized lists of words for nine different emotion categories with three differing levels of intensity.

Size: 3 inches by 5.5 inches.

Note: An earlier version of this list is included in the Art of Empathy Card Deck.

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Karla McLaren developed this portable Emotional Vocabulary List to help you develop better emotional awareness and a stronger connection to the gifts inside each of your emotions.

This list includes words to use with people who don’t have strong emotional vocabularies! This list also includes the special words Karla gathered to help you maintain your emotional awareness and honesty even with people who don’t have a large emotional vocabulary yet (or who refuse to use the real names for emotions). These nonspecific emotion words can help you bring up emotional issues without challenging people’s view of themselves as being in complete control of their emotions in every minute of every day (as if that’s a thing)!

An 8-1/2 by 11 inch version of this list is available for free on this site and is translated into 10 languages!

These Emotional Vocabulary Lists are printed in the U.S. on recycled paper with soy-based inks.


Additional information

Weight1 oz
Dimensions5.5 × 3 × .1 in