Learning How to Speak in the Language of Emotions (The Feelings Wheel)

Feb 22, 2023
Albert Wong

Learning to speak in the language emotions is not easy! This Emotions Wheel -- also know as a Feelings Wheel -- is designed to help. By giving you a wheel to look at and connecting with actual feelings, you might be better able to speak your feelings as they arise.

So, the next time someone asks you how you feel — and you don’t know how to answer them -- take a look at your Feelings Wheel -- it can help!


Feelings Wheel 2.0

This is an adapation of Mike Bostock’s adapation of Geoffrey Roberts’s Emotion Wheel using D3’s partition layout. Robert’s 2015 work seems to be based on a feelings vocabulary wheel by Kaitlin Robbs from 2014, which in turn appears to be based on The Feeling Wheel published by Gloria Willcox in 1982.

Why I made this revision: Geoffrey Roberts’s original Emotion Wheel contained a number of words that were not, in fact, feelings.

This wheel is an attempt to rectify this.

For example, when a person says “I feel disrespected” — which was on Roberts’s original wheel — they are not actually speaking about a feeling — they are having a story that someone else is disrespecting them — but their actual feeling could be, nearly anything. For example, some people could feel delight at being disrespected, others could feel angry, others could feel sad, others could feel a steely determination.

So, this Feelings Wheel attempts to correct the errors from the original Emotion Wheel and create a world in which we share feelings that are actually much closer to real feelings.

Feel free to use and adapt!

Image credit: Albert Wong

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