Share your feelings openly and use vivid descriptions to connect deeper with others


  1. Express vulnerability in tense situations to create a connection with others
    Let’s say you’re teaching a class of students who come from a different racial background than you. You’re clearly uncomfortable, and since the students are picking up on it, they aren’t paying any attention to you. You can say, “I’m feeling nervous. I don’t know anyone in this area and I’m anxious because I want to be accepted.” The students will relax and be more responsive because they now know that your anxiety is not caused by the cultural/racial difference.

  2. Distinguish your feelings from what you think you are
    You’re a guitar player but you’re not happy with your skills or performance. To express your feelings, you can say “I feel frustrated with myself as a guitar player” instead of “I feel inadequate as a guitar player.” This will help you connect to the actual emotion.

  3. Distinguish your feelings from how you think others are behaving toward you
    You’re sad that your colleague hasn’t thanked you for helping her complete her project. When discussing your feelings with a friend, you can say “I feel discouraged by the people I work with” instead of “I feel unimportant to the people I work with.” The second statement is vague and doesn’t help you identify the real emotion you’re dealing with.

  4. Use specific and descriptive words to create deeper connections
    When expressing good feelings, use words such as amused, blissful, cheerful, ecstatic, glorious, or joyful. When expressing bad feelings, use words such as dejected, fearful, horrified, lazy, irate, sad, or upset. Vivid descriptions help you connect better with your own emotions.


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