Some Types of emotions (O to Z)

Types of Emotions (cont.)

NB Please modify as you see fit as the list is incomplete. Many emotions described below have evolved over time; with some meaning changing significantly. The table focuses on the current situation:

Alphabet Name (source*i) Definition (including links) Impacts & Examples*ii






uncontrollable, unacceptable, sudden outburst of fury, ie intermittent explosive disorder; an irrational frenzy, ie swearing, shouting, smashing something; the capacities of 'flying off the handle' both fascinates and terrifies; can be attributed to low serotonin; different to jealousies or resentments as we can conceal them, and to anger, which can be justified; more likely to fly into a violent rage when slighted by someone we perceive to be inferior to us; link to defiance, anger, injustices, paranoia, insulted, etc



the proliferation of rages like

 - road rage (violent clashes on the road)

- air rage (tantrums in planes)

- trolley rage (eruptions in supermarket aisles)

- mouse rage (tantrums in offices)

- wrap rage (erupt while unpacking groceries)

- internet rage (without face-to-face contact, not able to pick up emotional cues and thus less likely to recognise others as humans);

perhaps the stresses and frustrations of modern life have increased levels of ferocity; can be a natural response to injustice; almost always regret the display later




self-reproach; a desire for something different to have happened; private anguish when looking back at something you wish you had not done or should have done; what ifs; it is often tangled up in the ways we can be deprived of those roles we are appointed to, or designated for ourselves; moving past it can help us emerge with a more flexible, resilient, vision of ourselves; linked with disappointment, uncertainty, hope, etc possibility of reversing decisions, ie if only; can be pointless, ie what is the use of looking backward; need to make amends; people who are more aligned with self-reproach make better managers, ie having a heightened sense of personal responsibility and the ability to learn from one's mistakes



more than a feeling of relaxation or reassurance; it appears in many guises; involves 2 different experiences:

i) bodily-relief of a purely bodily sensation, eg sneezing, belching, defecating, etc

ii) near-miss relief (part of this is called prospect-based emotions, ie feelings felt at the near misses and narrow escapes; they depend on our ability to imaginatively launch ourselves forward and backwards through time to compare alternative realities)

both experiences involve the pleasure felt when an actual or anticipated pain subsides; crying can be part of this, ie tears are part of the physical discharge of tension; linked with disappointment, satisfaction, euphoria

more than simply venting or expressing your anxieties, experience the solace of being listened to and understood; less about our feelings being flushed away and more about your feelings finally being seen





Unwillingness, or dis-inclination, to do something; linked with non-committal despite the pressure to make commitments, to be decisive, communicate clearly what you want, you can hesitate



it is about something we have done or said and we need to correct it; an urgent desire to do something, ie to make amends, etc; the realisation that you have hurt someone is one of the most painful feelings you can experience; Requires a voluntary desire to make amends and a willingness to go through a painful process of penitence in order to cleanse the guilt; sometimes considered an intellectual attitude, not a passion; linked with regret, shame, hopefulness, apology, pity, etc it arrives after the initial flair of anger calms, ie the reality of what has happened is fully understood; an authentic, sincere public apology is a display of remorse and helps the victim to heal






instant regret as inflating yourself self-righteousness like claiming the high moral ground; no one likes their faults highlighted or the idea that somebody thinks they are entitled to judge you; linked with smugness, etc


in a diverse world with many different moral and society rules and where feelings can be hurt and things taken the wrong way, taking the high moral ground can be dangerous; rarely will you change behaviours taking this approach



attitude of hidden anger and denial; the voiceless, strong negative feeling; it is the hatred which is suppressed when forbidden to give voice to the way we are hurt or humiliated or frustrated; linked with vengefulness, rancour, bitterness, terrorism, disgruntlement, anger, etc one of the quietest and most ugly emotions we have; taking a perverse sort of pleasure in feeling hard-done-by and not wanting others know; attitude of hidden anger and denial


feeling of low-level anxiety that you may not have heard your mobile phones ring in age of instant communication (24/7), being in a state of readiness for human contact is fast becoming a default setting



survival of the fittest; human nature is essentially competitive, ie a battle over scarce resources; the desire to overcome the fear of being left behind; it will increase motivation and flexibility; linked with possessiveness, jealousy, one-upmanship, envy, resentment, sibling rivalry, triumph, etc


encouraging private commerce and a free market, ie competition, will make society more efficient and prosperous;  linked with emotional intelligence, ie requires you to understand how your own behaviour affects other people's feelings; encourages strategic thinking and cultivates virtues like courage and resilience






a sunken, exhausted feeling when the irreversible happens, ie when we lose something or someone permanently; responses vary from sluggish apathy to blank, annihilating, debilitating despair; its feelings of satiety and acceptance, its quietness and even apathy, makes it distinct from depression; godly sorrow (a beneficial grief which comes with recognising one's spiritual failings and unworthiness before God); linked with resignation, acceptance, depression, gloom, resilience, melancholy, despair, disappointment, grief, etc being familiar with other people's sorrow helps us to better tolerate your own; need to know how to endure it, ie our responses to adverse circumstances and a capacity to survive these feelings and grow through them is part of what constitutes maturity; need to be careful of over diagnosing;




interior contentedness or contentment; linked with triumph, contentment, confidence, cheerfulness, etc self-actualisation; job satisfaction; a happy smile is the outward expression of it
  Saudade (Brazil)


a melancholic yearning for someone or something which is far away or lost; linked with hopefulness, nostalgia, etc living in the past; happy with the status quo; national pride and anthems are examples
  Schadenfreude (Germany)



unexpected thrill or pleasure we feel at another's misfortune, ie makes you feel superior; illicit enjoyment of another's bad luck, as opposed to more forthright scorn or gloating; a burst of enthusiasm about one's own luck; like a catastrophe as long as it's not happening to you; linked with relief, euphoria, rivalry, envy, resentment, etc other people's bad news, eg redundancy, missing out on promotion, poor decision, etc, can leave us feeling relieved as it is not happening to us, ie 'there but for the grace of God go I'


demands an imaginative tour de force; splitting yourself into two, ie with one half feeling superior to the other; we must stand outside ourselves in a fantastic doubling, ie feel sorry for yourself and regard yourself as somebody else; linked with contempt, compassion, picking usually a short and pleasurable indulgence; one way to handle is through altruism, ie encourage small and random acts of kindness, especially to strangers



is a horror of something we are; often linked with social condemnation; usually want to hide or disappear; public punishment by shame; linked with contempt, guilt, remorse, pride, humiliation, etc



most Christian religious societies are based on 'guilt cultures', ie members are encouraged to feel an internalised private guilt when they transgress moral codes; while in a 'shame culture', you maintain your status through the threat of public humiliation and ostracism and the interest of the group being put above those of the individual (including unacceptable individual behaviour brings discredit to everyone in the group); you tend to try to hide your flaws; importance of recognising and valuing differences, ie diversity



caused by something sudden and unwelcome happening; can be a life-threatening condition or emotional shock; linked with resilience, disbelief, incomprehension,indignation


Post-traumatic stress disorder or shell shocked (stammering and disconnected talk plus twitching face and stumbling gait); one's expectations are violently confounded



full of their own self-important and achievements; it is an oasis in a world of mistakes and apologies; linked with gloating, self-congratulations, self-satisfaction, triumph, contempt, conceit, etc feeling one's superiority when another fails


  Song (Pacific Islands)



any slight felt as unfair; taking umbrage on discovering you are receiving less than your fair share


not receiving due recognition for your achievements; feeling angry as you have been overlooked; important in cultures and organisations which rely on natural dependency and cooperation



it is the sense of one's whole body being taken over by an outside force that is so disorientated; triggered by some startling occurrence for which we are entirely unprepared; immediate, temporary, automated response; linked with wonder, joy, hatred, love, embarrassment, etc it silences you and roots you to the spot; feel that you are not in control; it can be nasty or pleasant


T Technostress electronic devices arouse strong passions despite supposedly making our lives easier; linked with self-pity, disgruntlement, rage, ringnxiety you feel as though technology is in charge as we have to cooperate with them, ie read the manual and follow procedures



felt the presence of an elusive, unforeseen menace that leaves us rooted to the spot; more violent than feelings of being spooked, more immediate than dread, less connected to gore and disgust and horror it freezes people, ie cannot think clearly


  Torschlusspanik (Germany) time is running out; blind panic; linked with fear, panic, etc make reckless, on-the-spot decisions because the deadline is looming or because resource seem scarce; impulse buying
  Toska (Russia) associated with landscape; feeling of cosiness; linked with being unsatisfied; an insatiable searching, restlessness; yearning; anguish; boredom
  Triumph passion to conquer and the thrill when we do; heap humiliation on your opponent; physical responses include heartbeat rises, chest swells, leaping in the air, flinging arms skyward, hugging; linked with invincibility, etc need to be humble in victory; use it to motivate





Umpty feeling that everything is all wrong or 'too much'; fed up with everything; best cure is laughter focus on negatives


  Uncertainty not knowing the outcome; usually characterised by an unpleasant emotional experience which we would prefer to avoid; feeling doubtful; leave things to chance; linked with unpredictability, hesitation, doubt, freedom, serendipity, whimsy, creativity, curiosity, etc As the future is uncertain, we flip-flop between scraps of advice; your indecision leaves you claustrophobic and irate; overcome by creating dependable structures






nasty pleasure coming from seeing someone floundering and speechless; 'tit-for-tat'; chance to restore lost dignity; 2-part process

i) urgent desire to right a wrong

ii) rational task of weighing up the appropriate punishment;

linked with revenge, hatred, insult, resentment, etc

victims can achieve satisfaction without setting off a cascade of further retaliation; need to rise above our desire to get even, ie retaliatory action



  Verhguenza Ajena


exquisite torture; vicarious humiliation, usually of strangers; realise that you made a mistake and failing to acknowledge it adequately; thick-skin and self-important, ie don't feel the shame they should punishment for transgressing codes of expected behaviour; need to understand the other person's position, ie put yourself in their shoes; importance of the group over the individual
  Viraha (Indian) a longing felt during separation or abandonment; striving for spiritual intimacy with the divine, ie a religious focus; linked with erotic lust, ecstasy, romantic infatuation, desires, etc feeling of incompleteness without a loved one; longing for reunion





all your imperfections exposed; experience yourself as 'naked and defenceless'; develop courage to ask something we need; when we make a commitment; linked with the desire to connect, developing intimacy, building a sense of identity, cultivating self-worth, robustness, authenticity, trust, etc


finding the bravery required to live with integrity, speak from the heart, ie having the courage of your convictions; need to protect your secrets like personal information, banking details; handle job insecurity; able to handle 'no's; 'vulnerable people' (used to describe all those marginalised and dispossessed, at risk of manipulation or abuse)





craving for adventure and discovery; the desire to see what is beyond the next mountain or next village; restless; desire to roam; nomadic instinct; linked with dissociative amnesia, sadness, nostalgia, etc the desire to experience something different;
  Warm glow



random acts of kindness; pleasure of giving, ie nature's rewards of behaviour which will help our species survive; one of the key pleasure pathways in the brain, the mesolimbic system which carries dopamine to the areas associated with reward, is engaged when we donate to charity, similar to when we receive money yourselves; linked with self-satisfaction, generosity, kindness, compassion, etc we are suspicious of other people's motives for helping, ie could be motivated by one-upmanship and desire for prestige; 'altru-hedonism' or 'altruistic pleasure'; need to be careful of selfishness, ie act in your own self-interest; helping others binds community together


sudden surprise, usually related objects which seem to be rare and extraordinary; linked with astonishment, bewilderment, awe, fear, desire to know, miracles, aberrations, curiosity, etc a natural desire to know, wondering 'how' and 'what'; oddity over order



troubled state of mind arising from the frets and cares of life, eg changes in one social status, breaches of etiquette, etc; 'worry gene'; linked with anxiety, apprehension, imagination



catastrophising (always visualise the worst possible outcome); examining problems from every possible angle allows new ideas to come into focus and existing ones to rearrange themselves; worriers have fewer accidents and could live longer and reproduce more (different from stress and anxiety which may shorten lives)



Zal melancholy felt at an irretrievable loss; linked with disappointment, regret, anger, despair it is fickle and shifts, ie one moment resign, the next rebellious
    (sources: Tiffany Watt Smith, 2015 & Wikipedia)  


i) mentioned source(s) if non-English-speaking countries

ii) suggest that you complete this column with your own examples


Search For Answers

designed by: bluetinweb

We use cookies to provide you with a better service.
By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our policy. I understand