15 Soul Words to Help Identify What You and Others Are Feeling

This year Mark and I have been reading a wonderful book:  How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich.  The book has given us great insights into ourselves and each other.  Not only that, but it has changed our parenting, as well.

One way that it has changed us is that we are more intentionally tuning into the emotional needs of our kids.  We’re slowing down, listening, and helping our kids figure out what they are feeling (this is no small feat with 16 and 18-year-old boys!) and then tending to those feelings.  We’re doing the same for ourselves.

158877315 (2)The Yerkovich’s offer a “Soul Words” list that helps you identify what you are feeling. When one of our boys is struggling, we’ll print out the list and ask them to circle the words that describe what they are feeling.  This helps us move from dealing with “moodiness” to what’s really at the heart of their struggle.

Here’s the Soul Words list if you’d like to use it for your family:


Cheerful, delighted, elated, encouraged, glad, gratified, joyful, lighthearted, overjoyed, pleased, relieved, satisfied, thrilled, secure.


Affectionate, cozy, passionate, romantic, sexy, warm, tender, responsive, thankful, appreciative, refreshed, pleased


Energetic, enthusiastic, excited, playful, rejuvenated, talkative, pumped, motivated, driven, determined, obsessed


Stunned, surprised, shocked, jolted


Uneasy, embarrassed, frustrated, nauseated, ashamed, nervous, restless, worried, stressed


Positive, secure, self-assured, assertive


At ease, calm, comforted, cool, relaxed, serene


Scared, anxious, apprehensive, boxed in, burdened, confused, distressed, fearful, frightened, guarded, hard pressed, overwhelmed, panicky, paralyzed, tense, terrified, worried, insecure


Shocked, disturbed, injured, damaged


Annoyed, controlled, manipulated, furious, grouchy, grumpy, irritated, provoked, frustrated


Beaten down, exhausted, tired, weak, listless, depressed, detached, withdrawn, indifferent, apathetic


Avoidant, lonely, abandoned, deserted, forlorn, isolated, cut off, detached


Unhappy, crushed, dejected, depressed, desperate, despondent, grieved, heartbroken, heavy, weepy


Deceived, fooled, duped, tricked


Baffled, perplexed, mystified, bewildered


Guilty, mortified, humiliated, embarrassed, exposed


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One Response to 15 Soul Words to Help Identify What You and Others Are Feeling

  1. Susan says:

    We’ve been reading this book too and it has been incredible. We have learned things about each other that we otherwise would not have even talked about since we had to dig in deeper with this book and explore family of origin. Highly recommend!

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