etben: flowers and sky (Default)
etben ([personal profile] etben) wrote2013-04-12 11:51 pm

vocabulary of feeeeelings

so J and I were talking earnestly, as we often do on Friday nights, and we wound up discussing parenting (as we often do on Friday nights), and came to the following realization: both of us come from families with a limited vocabulary of negative emotions.

For example: My parents were GREAT at positive feeling words! They were proud, they were happy, they were excited, they were interested, they were amused, they were pleased...

...but when it came to expressing NEGATIVE feelings, they had two options: frustrated and disappointed. The latter was for something my brother or I had done wrong; the former was pretty much a catch-all for any negative emotion about something else - work kerfuffle, family drama, geopolitical turmoil, you name it. I think my mom had an option out on sad, but that was really only for if somebody you knew personally had died.

J had a similar experience—the same words, even!—which makes me wonder: what were the words your parents used to express emotions? I'm trying to figure if this is a thing that all parents do, or if this is just my family being wicked weird.

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