Emotional Literacy and Development of Emotional Intelligence

Vijai Pandey Emotional Intelligence 12 Comments

Emotional literacy is the step#2 of Developing Emotional Intelligence. After getting an awareness into the sensations (their origin and movements), it is important to name different sensations with distinct names so that we can uniquely identify them with ease. This is possible only if one has a rich emotional vocabulary. Most people, generally speaking, use 6 to 18 words in describing their emotions despite the fact that there are more than 300 distinct words representing distinct emotions in English language.

One tried and tested way of developing emotional literacy (increasing the vocabulary of emotions) is to start from an easily recognisable feeling and get into the granularity of that by learning about different emotions/feelings associated with that broader umbrella of feelings. In order to help you in the process, here are the 6 umbrellas of feelings and what is under them.

Six broader and their granular versions


How to use this?

It is rather easy for almost everybody to identify and differentiate between broader feelings. Next time, when you notice a sensation and label it as a broader feeling, look little deeper with the help of the words written under each umbrella and try to differentiate them in your experience.

You may also fill this form below and get a 12 page PDF document emailed to you for FREE. This PDF document provides you with 56 emotions that you can independently recognise and label.

Doing it as a habit, every time you get a feeling, will develop richer emotional vocabulary that will lead to higher level of Emotional Intelligence.

Here are some other pages that you might like to read:

Emotional Quotient Inventory for Professionals (EQiP)

Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Success

Please let us know what you think on this, in the comment box below.

Comments 12

  1. very insightful. we may add 1 more positive emotion umbrella – compassionate under which you may have adoring, caring admire, trusting, loving ( to name a few). it was just a thought as just overlooked 1 comment of all being negative emotions and just 1 positive emotion.
    overall the article is helpful to bring more awareness.

  2. Really great job and awesome strategical theory.
    Through this document an amazing results we can expect from children. And, this could be need to develop some other extent to avoid gaps. Please look at the same and come for conclusion.

  3. This is helpful in raising level of awareness. The process of identifying what & how are we feeling and then attaching a specific word for that emotion is helpful. Thanks.

  4. Great!
    I think you should put it in a watermark downloadable form so that people can take a print and put it on board for some time to practice.

  5. Beautiful article Vijai Pandey….
    On top of these 6 words of emotions/feelings, can we not add two future oriented development led emotions: Curious and Excited?
    Out of 6 feelings that you listed, I see only one positive: Happy! Any reason why only negative feelings help us know our true emotional type?
    Is psychometry (Psychological measurement) based on negative emotions and feelings more than the positive ones?
    Just curious…
    Is there something called Positive Psychology? I see many articles…

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