Consciousness

23 Emotions People Feel, but Can’t Explain




How can you truly explain a feeling? To provide an explanation for something that is felt, is an art form of its own – but, luckily language can serve as our palate, allowing us to paint pictures of these inexplicable moments through the imagination.

Below is a list of 23 emotions we have (almost) all certainly felt, and possibly didn’t have the word for.

If you’ve felt any of these emotions and the words resonate with you, feel free to comment and share!

1.     Sonder: The realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.

2.     Opia: The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can simultaneously feel invasive and vulnerable

3.     Monachopsis: The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.

4.     Énouement: The bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turned out, but not being able to tell your past self.

5.     Vellichor: The strange wistfulness of used book shops.

6.     Rubatosis: The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat

7.     Kenopsia: The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people, but is now abandoned and quiet.

8.     Mauerbauertraurigkeit: The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends you really like.

9.     Jouska: A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.

10. Chrysalism: The amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm.

11. Vemödalen: The frustration of photographing something amazing, when thousands of identical photos already exist.

12. Anedoche: A conversation which everyone is talking, but nobody is listening.

13. Ellipsism: A sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out.

14. Kuebiko: A state of exhaustion inspired by acts of senseless violence.

15. Lachesism: The desire to be struck by a disaster – to survive a plane crash, or to lose everything in a fire.

16. Exulansis: The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience, because people are unable to relate to it.

17. Adronitis: Frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone.

18. Rückkehrunruhe: The feeling of returning home after an immersive trip, only to find it rapidly fading from your awareness.

19. Nodus Tollens: The realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.

20. Onism: The frustration of being stuck in just one body, that only inhabits one place at a time.

21. Liberosis: The desire to care less about things.

22. Altschmerz: Weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had – the same boring flaws and anxieties that have been gnawing at you for years.

23. Occhiolism: The awareness of the smallness of your perspective.




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  • Rhone Fraser, Ph.D.
    January 7, 2016 at 11:06 am

    i’ve felt #3 monachopsis (the feeling of being alone) quite often, but I try not let it bother me. I make sure I reach out to others who might be feeling the same.