EQI.org Home | Main Page on Emotional Literacy | Society


* under construction

Decoding the English language into feeling words


By "decoding" what people say we can get a better idea of their unmet emotional needs, and ways of controlling (or attempting to control) others.

Below some examples in the form of a possible exercise


EQI.org Home Page

Core Components of EQI.org

Other EQI.org Topics:

Emotional Intelligence | Empathy
Emotional Abuse | Understanding
Emotional Literacy | Feeling Words
Respect | Parenting | Caring
Listening | Invalidation | Hugs
Depression |Education
Personal Growth

Search EQI.org | Support EQI.org

EQI.org Library and Bookstore

Online Consulting, Counseling Coaching from EQI.org


  Statement Feeling(s) Unmet Emotional Need How they want you to feel
1 My time is precious.      
2 I am very busy.      
3 Why didnīt you wait for me?      
4 I spent 30 minutes looking for you.      
5 I am not a toy.      
6 You are not the center of the universe. Other people have worse problems.      
7 You are being selfish.      
8 Stop being so selfish.      
9 Stop acting like a little child.      
10 When you are ready to.... call me. (Then the person hangs up.)      
11 You are going to lose me.      
12 If you do that again, I won't give you a second chance.      
13 That was the first and last time I let you do that.      
14 I am so disappointed in you.      
15 You disappointed me.      
16 ... and you know that.      
17 I am not invalidating you.      
18 You are not alone. I am right here.      
19 You hung up on me and didn't even say you were sorry.      
20 You are a &%$ing asshole.      
21 Talk to me.      
22 Look at me.      
23 Come on. Let's go. Nick and Eva want to go for a walk.      
24 If we get lost I will kill you.      
25 How dare she...      
26 It isn't fair.      
27 What gives her the right to...      
28 She can't come to my country and criticize it...      
29 I will never let someone control me or my feelings.      
30 Are you sure?      
40 It would be a waste of our time.      
41 There is no future in it.      
42 It isn't normal.      
43 I don't want to hurt my mother again.      
44 My parents will never accept it.      
45 I think I'd better go.      
46 I think you'd better go.      
47 I am not going to leave you.      
48 You won't lose me.      
49 Your behavior is inappropriate.      
50 I will never forgive him.      
51 I've told you before      
52 I've said before (...I find it difficult to open up to people)      
  Nothing personal or anything      

Items 1-48 were added on Feb 21, 2008


More from the same person as above. Added on Feb 22, 2008

  Statement Feeling(s) Unmet Emotional Need How they want you to feel
53 You are always acting like the victim.      
54 I need time to think about what your intentions are. (2)      
55 I am not interrupting you. I am just explaining.      
56 I am not invalidating you. I am just telling you the truth.      
57 I can see why you have been divorced twice.      
58 I am sure that won't happen, so don't worry.      
59 My parents didn't emotionally abuse me.      
60 You don't even know what I am capable of yet. (Said when angry)      
61 So much for talking later.      
62 You really know how to make someone angry.      
63 Who do you think you are?

(A popular song in 2011)




Most of the statements on this table were made by one person over the course of about two weeks. I was trying to teach her how to express her feelings with feeling words, but didn't have much success. She is a second year university student in Eastern European country studying something they call "English philology."


Here are some notes I started with. Then I created the first table.

My Time is Precious

Why didn't you wait for me?

I spent 20 or 30 minutes walking so I could meet you. I am very busy. My time is precious.

When you are ready to tell me in an understandable way what you want to do and when you want me to work for you, and not go hiding from me and escaping from me, call me and we will talk. Then she hung up. (When I hung up on her she wrote me a text message and said "you hanged up on me and even didn't say you are sorry."

Maybe she felt "disappointed" because she expected me to wait for her.

Why didn't she answer her phone the first time I called? Or the second time I called?

At about 1:20 she called and said she had another idea. She said she would like to go to Cafe Elena and sit and talk for about an hour about what my ideas were for us working together, what my plans were for the orphanage, etc. I told her that I had someone waiting for me at the orphanage at 2:30. Then I suggested she could meet me in the center of town and we could walk up to the orphanage together and talk a bit along the way. She said ok and I am pretty sure she said she would take a taxi and get there in about ten minutes. I waited almost 20 minutes then called her to see where she was, but she didn't answer. I waited a couple more minutes and called again but she didn't answer.

She also told me she had "another idea" when I asked if I could bring some people with me to her party. She tries to rearrange things to fit her needs. But she calls me selfish.

How is someone feeling when they call someone else selfish?


Talking about feelings

I suspect that she has a big unmet need to feel important. She probably felt unimportant when I didn't wait for her. Maybe she felt less important than my project at the orphanage or less important than the kids there or less important than the person I was meeting there. But she didn't say any of this. I am not even sure if she is aware of it.

This is contrasted with the night that we were talking about how important I was to her and how important the university was. I started to realize that the university was more important to her and I said "I can't be less important than the university." She started to interrupt me and I said louder "I can't. I can't!" And I hung up. That is when she sent me the text that said "You hanged up on me and you even didn't say you were sorry." So this tells me she felt abandoned and not apologized to. Not apologized to could mean not cared about, not important or not understood. Or all three.


1 - Same person as 1-50

2. - I have noticed that the word "intentions" is used a lot here in Bulgaria. Yesterday I heard someone use this word again and I asked if they could identify their feelings. I suggested they might be feeling suspicious, or confused or afraid, for example. This led to a deeper discussion about her feelings and unmet emotional needs.

because that's just rude... and now ur scared to say things to me?... like u think im going to jump off a cliff or something?


I'm not stupid.

I'm not that thick.

I'm not retarded.


Do you think I'm stupid?

53 Might want to remove the whole thread. I've deleted my posts on it because I've been thinking that this may not be the best place for that sort of thing - nothing personal or anything.

"I see you have a new boss" - A mother said this to someone who was helping the mother's daughter do something the mother didn't approve of.