Naming Emotions for Spouses and Kids

How many people do you know that have a hard time finding a word to describe their emotions? If you’re like me, you know many. And some are very dear to you, making it vital to your relationship for them to be able to name what they are feeling.

Maybe You Have Trouble Naming Your Emotions

Maybe it’s you. You just can’t find the right word. You certainly aren’t alone. For many, it is difficult to name emotions other than happy and angry. Whole generations were largely neglected in receiving training for this skill. Their own parents lacked of awareness of their emotions.

The Power of Words

Having words to describe your emotion wields power. It equips you with the power to courageously share how you really are. What is exposed to the light has power to give relief and find resolution. Milan and Kay Yerkovich in How We Love call these soul words and offer you a list for free here: Soul Words.

Naming Emotions

Here is a great list of soul words to help you put into words your emotions for those you love. This can help in your marriage. It can also help you give your kids a tool name their emotions. Download a free PDF of this image below.

Here is a great list of soul words to help you put into words your emotions for those you love. This can help in your marriage. It can also help you give your kids a tool name their emotions.

Download Free PDF of Image

What Can I Do With This?

Try checking in regularly with those you love. Here is a great model for connecting with your spouse. You can remember it as FANOS. This one is adapted from Faithful and True’s FANOS model, which comes from the Greek Word “phainos” which means “to bring to light” by Mark and Debbie Laaser.

  • Feeling: state your feelings (not what you are thinking)
  • Affirmation: affirm the other person or say “thank you” for something
  • Needs: tell something you need that day (not necessarily from the other person)
  • Own: something you did or said that you’d like to apologize or take responsibility for
  • Status: explain where you are at with things you are working on improving. If you struggle with an addiction, this is where you would tell your spouse your sobriety status. If not, you can explain where you are at with other goals like organization or being less perfectionistic or more patient.

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