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Emotions Wheel: Putting Words to Big Feelings

Apr 16 | What Different Can Do

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, sometimes we all have feelings that we don’t quite have the words to explain to the people around us. The more specific we can be with the words we use to describe how we’re feeling, the better we can understand ourselves and the better we can explain things to the people we care about. At CSG, we like to use an Emotions Wheel. The words in the middle are the biggest feelings. These are words that are easy to place, and usually most easy to recognize in ourselves. From there we can go further out on the wheel to get more specific.

The difference between the words can help the people around us understand how we’re feeling more accurately so they can best help support us and help us work through those feelings. Let’s try an example! If you ask your friend how she is feeling and she says, “I’m sad,” that’s good information – and it’s pretty cool your friend is willing to share their feelings with you! If they were more specific though, you can help a lot more because there’s a big difference between, say, feeling isolated or feeling ashamed. If my friend is feeling isolated, maybe I invite them to join me for a game or a fun afternoon. If they’re feeling ashamed, maybe it would be helpful to talk through their feelings with them. If we use a tool like this to help us be more specific when communicating with people around us, we make it easier to get and give the support we and they may need.

Download Emotions Wheel PDF »

Hope Blaszczynski
Assistant Camp Director