Below are some resources that I have found particularly useful in learning and describing the skills we discuss here. This is preliminary, so check back in a few weeks for links to more videos, books, and articles.
The image to the left is the Emotions Wheel. There are many variations on this theme. This one is created by the Juno Institute. The idea is that there are a handful of primary emotions and by moving toward or away from the center, you get a more root or nuanced look at what you are feeling. For example, if all you can feel is “Sad,” try looking to see if that flavor of sad might be more like Lonely or Grief. Moving from the outside in, if you are feeling Jealous, you may want to search deeper inside yourself to trace that back to the root emotion of Anger. Like many things, this is not THE WAY. Others create other feelings wheels with different emotions at the center. This is just a good reminder that emotions are layered. Sometimes it can help to get more precise and nuanced. Sometimes it can help to get more basic to get at the root of what you’re feeling. Try it out.
The Center for Nonviolent Communication has done decades of wonderful work in the field of communications skills, interpersonal awareness, and taking it into the professional arena and international relations. Here is their Feelings Inventory [PDF]. They break feelings down into the primary categories of Satisfied and Dissatisfied, and then list out subcategories and nuanced feelings from there. Similar to the Emotions Wheel above, but in list form and with a different spin.
How To Be An Adult – by David Richo (amazon link)
This is one of the shortest, most straightforward, most useful books I have ever seen on adult development and personal growth. He covers assertiveness, challenges to adulthood, personal values, self-esteem, relationships, intimacy, shadow… all in 100 paperback sized pages.
Getting Real – by Susan Campbell (amazon link)
Subtitled, “Ten Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life.” This is a fantastic book about how to be recognize our emotions with clarity, how we act because of them, and how to assume full responsibility for what is really ours. One of my favorite books on the emotional awareness topic.