Definitions of Emotions

By Aaron John Beth’el

The Contrast between Emotions & Feelings



When we read and examine these definitions of our dysfunctional emotions, we realise just how much we have been conditioned and held by them in our lives. And because of this realisation, we probably won’t want to live with them so readily as we did before. This can begin a journey of awareness around the use of our thoughts, and the handling of our emotions.




Irritation, impatience, annoyance and indignation leading to resentment, and sooner or later to outrage or even hostility. It is a self-righteous way to reassert a loss of standing, or control over something or someone, because of either a failed, unsaid presumption, or an overt expectation.




See the definition for Anxiety.




Obsessive thought and emotions focused on a nervous insecurity, dread, doubt, mistrust and associated loss of control. Anxiety is largely an irrational fear and foreboding of the future, whether close or distant. It is the opposite of being present in peace, calm and contentment.



Apathy/ Hopelessness

Stuck in idle mode as if it is the destination, and not wanting to move into the next gear. This results in a lack of motivation, curiosity, wonder, and gratitude. Also not wanting or able to see and experience the marvels of life, or the marvels of our partner, children, family, work, play, art and creativity, or of nature, and of the birds, trees, clouds, ocean, stars and beyond. Whilst believing that we have seen and experienced it all, and yet ultimately it is not possible to have done so.




Largely arises from low self-esteem (arrogance is not the domain of those who love, or who have good self-esteem). And because love is lacking, then power is used to control others, and to have one’s own views be predominant.



Avoidance of Emotion

Although we may think of Avoidance as not being an emotion, we are usually resisting, ignoring or rejecting something internally or externally, which we do not want to face (such as another’s view, or hiding our own view, or perhaps hiding from the truth). There is often a stubbornness, and a wanting to be in control, or not wanting to lose control. And therefore to avoid, requires a suppressing force which buries something inside of us, yet which can be sensed in our body, or observed in our face and body language by others.




Often when we blame someone, we hold the whole person responsible, rather than their particular actions. When blame becomes our ongoing focus, we tend to look for faults, rather than virtues. We may also attempt to shift blame for our difficulties onto something or someone else, rather than take self-responsibility, but this can then become a difficult to resolve battle. However, on the other hand, a distinction can sometimes be carefully made when someone reasonably points out the facts of a situation. Yet someone who is overly sensitive, may still interpret it as being blamed, and become emotionally reactive and lash out. We need to understand that blame tends to be a highly charged emotion.




Lazy thinking on our own behalf, which creates a lack of adventure. Essentially we are bored with our own company, yet this boredom can often be projected as being the fault of someone or something else.



Brooding/ Sulking

Withdrawn and caught up in our own anger, but wanting to communicate it primarily through our facial and bodily gestures, by giving the, “Silent treatment” to someone.



Bullying/ Teasing/ Intimidating

To bully, harass, exclude or intimidate another requires a closed-minded belief in our own superiority. Or it may arise through being jealous of others, or a belief in the weakness or lack of worth of others. However when examined, such closed-minded superiority, is obviously (and perhaps enviously) lacking in acceptance, calm, care, consideration, compassion, contentment, empathy, gratitude, happiness, inspiration, kindness, love, optimism, patience, peace, pride, and trust. The only quality a bully can possibly muster, is a pseudo enthusiasm for putting others down, in order to boost themselves, because they sense being a failure themselves, or because they are bored with their own existence. In other words, bullying is used as a form of one-up-manship, which fundamentally arises because the bully has been deeply dis-empowered, usually through a lack of love. And because love has therefore failed them, they seek power instead. Therefore bullies tend to bully those who do not fit into their view of power. Yet essentially the bully has lost true self-belief and respect, and is therefore lacking the strength for a true focus in their own life.




The jealously driven need to keep up with others (keeping up with the Jones’s syndrome) in order to keep up or surpass them, can lead to escalating aggressive actions, and eventually to violence or even war.



Contempt/ Scorn

Believing that we are innately superior to another, which usually requires some kind of mask to hide behind, because self-perceived superiority can only really exist on a shaky foundation. The expression of true confidence is secure in itself, and does not need to be contemptuous of others.



Confused/ Indecisive

The cause of confusion or indecision and being emotionally lost in them, is often overlooked, which is simply, a lack of information, or overwhelm by too much information, both of which can cause a lack of awareness, clarity or composure.


Control/ Domination

Control or its opposite, a sense of a lack of control, is usually a subconscious element that is present in most emotional states. Control is sought through the aggressive emotions, whilst the anguish of losing control is experienced in the passive emotions. It originates from a deep-rooted sense of inferiority, which makes us think that if we can claim ownership and possession through coercing, controlling or dominating others, as well as our environment, then our own happiness and wellbeing will be ensured. But of course trying to create or maintain control over others does not result in happiness, either for them or for ourselves. Essentially we came here to learn to love, rather than to become skilled controllers of others.




Emotional criticism is to actively disapprove and look for faults in others, particularly in a partner, or our children, so that whatever they say or do, is rarely good enough. This can keep them in a submissive, inadequate, low worth state, from where they may find it difficult to move forward, which can then falsely justify our criticism and dominance. However critics tend to be just as stuck in their own low worth state, if not more, than those they criticise. Such critics usually operate from a false ideal or inherited, compulsive conditioning, because with a more aware perspective, they would live with greater love, compassion, acceptance and consideration for others.




As an emotion rather than a factual communication, cynicism is usually motivated by a self-centred pride to find fault in others, along with a lack of openness to truly examine what others may be offering.



Deception/ Lying

For reasons of self-interest or self-image-preservation, we may deceive others, as well as justify our actions with our own seemingly convincing reasons. And yet at the same time, we are also deceiving ourselves further and further from truth. Lies can be overt, covert or by omission. Yet on the other hand, if we lie to avoid harming the wellbeing of innocent people, we are telling the truth about our deepest humanity.




The belief that a strong defence is the best form of self-protection, can keep us shut off and closed-minded towards having an open communication, with intimacy and trust.



Depressed/ Melancholy

Largely believing in the hopeless, internal or external failings or lies about ourselves, and therefore shutting ourselves off from the world because we don’t think we are good enough to partake. This can be followed by an obsessive focus on pessimism, ranging from gentle to deep, which reduces our life force, and with it our motivation, clarity, self-belief, ability to breathe freely, and consequently our innate happiness.



Disregard/ Ignore

To treat another as if they don’t exist, is an expression of contempt, which can only be asserted because we do not fully know them. By judgmentally excluding or rejecting another, we are partaking in an act of silent, and sometimes hidden, unsympathetic and heartless bullying. Furthermore, if we ignore assisting someone who is excluded or being bullied, then to some degree we are passive accomplices to that bullying.



Disappointed/ Disapprove

Occurs due to a failure to live up to a standard. Unfortunately the standard may be unrealistic. Standards can often include such beliefs as; doing it the right way, always being correct, being perfect, spotless, consistently good, and so forth, which may indicate an overly powerful belief in an inflated idea without fault.
Something in the manner of our perception recalls reactive past thoughts, beliefs and emotions, which if not examined, can overwhelm the reality of our present. Or to put it simply, we have lost our appointment with the present, we are overruled by our past, and so we re-enter disappointment.



Disgust/ Disgrace

See the definition for shame.




Emotional doubt often occurs because of a lack of information, bias, or a lack of belief. However if there is not a lack of information, but lack of belief continues, then doubt can become a deeper emotional response centred around emotions such as suspicion, bias, distrust and disbelief. The question then is, “Are we allowing our own bias, suspicion, distrust and disbelief to have a stronger impact, than the information provided, and if so, why?”



Embarrassed/ Humiliated

Living in fear about perceived or implied imperfections in our self-image or portrayal before others, and so self-consciousness is excessively exaggerated. Or it can arise if we are being boastful or pretentious, and someone humiliates us by pointing out a hidden truth. Yet if someone goes out of their way to humiliate us, there is an added level of their personal need to control occurring.



Emotional Reasoning

Obsessively believing in emotions and emotional thoughts and beliefs, regardless of the truth.




The sense of a lack of self-meaning and purpose, which usually arises from low self-esteem, misfortune, or from existential angst. And consequently we may try to fill ourselves with addictions, food, fame, money, power, sex, shopping and so on.




See the definition for Jealousy.




Having our deeper, hidden or private world revealed, and therefore we become vulnerable to others, so that the emotions of anxiety, defence, embarrassment, fear, guilt, hurt and shame may arise.



The narcissistic belief in our own needs as having priority over another’s needs, resulting in less freedom and choice for them. The other is obstructed or perhaps dictated to, as to what they can do physically, or how they think, or behave socially, as well as what they are allowed sexually, or what is permitted with their clothing, food choices and so on.




Occasionally fear, or rather the carefulness and cautionary energy associated with fear, may prevent us from harm. But when fear becomes hyper-vigilant, it can crush our vitality for life, and sap our strength, motivation and confidence, so that we live with a nervous forecast of hesitancy, dread, panic, fright, and danger. With such a focus, we mentally focus on the negative possibilities, rather than being open to a broader perspective or potential. Popular psychology likes to say that Fear represents False Evidence Appearing Real. However when we examine fear, sometimes the evidence for fear is actually real, rather than false (for example a fear of heights when confronted with the added danger of being in a high place). If we needed a more truthful basis to this catchphrase, it could be something like Faithfully Expecting Adverse Reality, and in coming to terms with this, we need to learn to distinguish between fear (or cautionary care) and hyper-fear.




Caused by perceived barriers to our time, schedule, and perception, which then causes a niggling impatience.




Any previously carefree or unexamined view, of being largely unaffected by life, has now been replaced by a stern, fixated view on the finite, loss, and the restrictions of life when faced by death. The openness of the infinite awaits us all.



Grumpy/ Moody

When we are grumpy or moody, we are obsessively ruminating on auto-pilot. Because of this, we become touchy, easily angered or provoked, argumentative, closed, complaining, and our temper is unpleasant not only for others, but also for ourselves, because deep down we don’t like what we are expressing, or who we have become. In other words, grumpiness, like all other emotions, is not working for us, but against us. Essentially we believe we have lost power and control, and our grumpiness is a failed attempt to either get it back, or to point out the inadequacy of the efforts of others. Our release and recovery from being grumpy, is not to persist with failed attempts at power and control, because they simply do not work, but rather by focusing on the opposite qualities of grumpiness, such as openness, kindness and compassion.




Obsessively and shamefully focusing on a particular situation, where we did not fulfil a required standard. This situation could have occurred a long time ago, so that now we may not have the motivation or the resources to move beyond it. Furthermore, sometimes inducing blame and the burden of guilt upon another, can be used as a tool to emotionally manipulate them.



Happiness (Pseudo)

Is predominantly based on something external to ourselves in the outside world, progressing according to our expectations or desires, so that we experience an increase in pseudo happiness, as well as perhaps an increase in power and control. However as soon as this desire fails to go in our favour, emotionally based happiness departs.




Absolutist thinking, focusing only on the apparent or perceived dark side of human beings, which not only projects pain towards them, but also causes pain to ourselves. There are always other, more helpful perspectives to live by.




Is usually caused by a false, dysfunctional, dreamlike and immature belief about our so-called love for another. In reality heartache does not arise from our expression of love, or from love that is unrequited, but rather from our failed, self-centred desire to possess or hold on to another. And therefore when we lose them, it affects us emotionally as a sorrowful ache. However the origin of the ache is not in the heart (though it may affect our heart) but rather in the mental conditioning around our perception of love and its loss, and our fear for the future, that many of us obsessively hold on to.




Lack of love from another is usually blamed for a broken heart. However the truth is, is that it is a lack of true, selfless love from ourselves that is often the problem. The other usually leaves because of what they perceive as being a possessive, and therefore false lover. True selfless love cannot break the heart, and therefore historically it could never have broken a single heart. The despair of a broken heart is caused by obsessive thoughts and desire for another, not coming to fruition.




It may at first seem strange that I have placed hope here as an emotion. But it appears to me that many people who use the word hope, are in fact using it because of a largely unfulfilled, emotional, fear-based, wish or desire. However, those who assign more to hope than a wish, usually speak of it as containing resilience, trust, confidence, belief and so on, in which case it is not so emotional.




See the definition for Anger.




The vulnerable, emotionally-based ego inside of us has taken offence, and is solely focused on the pain which preoccupies the mind.




Wanting to quickly get ahead with our own agenda, regardless of the ideas or needs of others, which we believe get in our way. Consequently this leads us to judge others lives, as being less important than our own.




Failure to reach the right or expected standard. Too little, too much, too late, too soon, and so on.



Indifferent/ Distance

A belief in our own superiority, and therefore arrogantly choosing to be unmoved or interested in others, because our own life is self-absorbed and self-justified.




Being resentful that others also have a say, a mind, or a life of their own.




See the definition for Love (Pseudo).




Insecurity appears to be our primal fear, from which all other emotions originate. It is a lack of confidence and belief because we do not know our true nature or abilities, and therefore we are not at ease with ourselves. We are fearful to put our foot forward, and to survive and prosper through our own actions. With insecurity as a predominant state, the prospect of personal freedom may be viewed with fear, whilst commitment and joining with others, may be viewed with relief, unless the idea of joining with others is much too fearful, and so we keep to ourselves.




The purposeful intent to be scornful of another. See the definition for Contempt/ Scorn.



Being overly sensitive and easily displeased, annoyed, or provoked, primarily because of the belief or perception that we are being held in check by something or someone else. However a lack of cooperation may also be occurring, at arms length by ourselves.




Believing that either love, or indeed the possession of goods in life, is a competition, which if we are not winning, can cause us to become angry. Also being insecure and envious of others, because we believe that we are not as good as the imagined, perceived, or present company. Behind jealousy is sometimes the desire to be the centre of attention, and this can lead us to become possessive, controlling and distrustful of a partner, which may eventually destroy a relationship. Therefore underpinning jealousy there is likely to be a needy or greedy desire.




Somewhat anxiously believing that we are not good enough to have good friends, or alternatively having overly high expectations of friends which have failed, and therefore shutting ourselves off from others.



Love (Pseudo)

The conviction that our self-centred desire and especially our insecure, possessive, needy desire and infatuation for another is actually love. All other forms of pseudo love are likewise predominantly self-centred.



Manoeuvering or directing another, either overtly or covertly for our own advantage. The belief that it is possible to control another for our own advantage is highly mistaken, which sooner or later will cause distress and sorrow not only to the other, but also to ourselves.



Needy (Co) – Dependence

The needy belief in the physical, mental, and emotional dependence on another for our own survival. And primarily that we need the other’s love and emotional support. However, the needy nature of wanting or even demanding such love and emotional support will usually drive the other further away physically, mentally and emotionally.  Furthermore, the emptiness and resultant grasping that drives neediness and dependence cannot be filled from outside of ourselves. Rather this emptiness can be transformed when we begin to learn to love without such dependence, so that we love selflessly, with care, kindness and compassion. Then we can love for no other reason than to love. This transformation of awareness and love, is a prime key for the life experience of all human beings.


Negative/ Pessimism

The tendency to mentally focus on and anticipate a bad outcome, or the very worst outcome, regardless of the facts, which can then be a catalyst for emotions of apathy, fear, insecurity, depression, worry and so on.




Emotionally indifferent to the care and needs of ourselves or another. It can be caused by either being overly self-centred, or by a lack of self-esteem and concern.



Obligation/ Coercion

To emotionally coerce someone into an obligation or commitment whether passively or aggressively, in order to fulfil our desires, whilst they themselves may have to deny their own desires and needs.




To offend someone is the action of upsetting their standards, or sense of conduct, which can then affect them to react emotionally with perhaps anger or hurt. We may offend someone because of our own controlling, self-righteous and arrogant manner, but offence can also sometimes occur because we unwittingly do not know an individual’s standards or sense of conduct. In such situations we commonly hear that the offended party’s feelings have been hurt, or that they have been disrespected. However in reality it is their conditioned emotions that are hurt. Interestingly, if they acknowledged that it was their emotions that were hurt, this would point out the origin of their emotional conditioning with its implicated aim of trying to be in control. Obviously for most of us, to reveal ourselves in such a manner would be a fearful proposition, and yet ultimately it would likely be liberating.



Pain (Emotional)

Emotional pain can arise from combinations of rejection, hurt, depression, anxiety and self-pity. It usually arises from our dependence on another, particularly our emotional dependence, which may have been shaken, or perhaps our dependence was summarily ended. In the situation prior to the pain, our desire either did not come to fruition, or the other person in some way exposed it. Our pain also brings up emotions of hopelessness and of not being good enough, coupled with the prospect of ongoing loneliness, and the thoughts of fear which that brings with it.




A mixture of fear and anxiety brought on by a sudden stimulus, with the usual response being to fight, flight or freeze. See the definitions for Fear and Anxiety.




The mistaken belief that we can own and control another for our own advantage. It is the gluttony of a selfish ego desire.




The sudden overpowering explosion of anger and outrage, which usually has a much deeper-seated, incensed, smouldering, unresolved origin than the apparent catalyst.




Falling short in our choices and decisions, when compared to the conditioned values of ourselves, family, peers, religion and society, which therefore creates a sense of shame and remorse. Falling short may also arise because of an excessive focus on perfectionism.




When rejected, we usually believe that we have not been truly seen for who we are, or that we are not worthy, or good enough to be accepted or approved of by another. Yet behind another’s rejection of us, can sometimes be a deeper, mournful, self-rejection of our own true value.




We did not behave well enough according to our own standards, or the expected standards of others, and so we enter into a state of depression and shame.




Perceiving that someone has behaved unfairly, inadequately and wilfully, and therefore without due consideration to our own thoughts, beliefs, expectations or plans.




The attempt to keep ourselves safe by closing the mind (even from our own inner truth). And so we lock the doors of communication and perception through opposition, confrontation, and refusal to surrender to another’s perceived view, regardless of whether they are saying or offering something worthwhile.




In relationship terms, rivalry occurs because it is based on defining love as being the competitive battleground for the emotional affection and possession of another. And therefore the competition may include the emotions of anger, anxiety, blame, bullying, contempt, criticism, deception, fear, hatred, heartache, insecurity, jealousy, manipulation, possession, suspicion, using another, and so on. Of course none of these emotions have anything to do with the expression of love, yet those who are competing, may believe them to be so. In actuality they are competing with their similar desires to possess another. However the truth is in opposition to rivalry, because selfless love is inclusive, not competitive or exclusive.




The expected life story has failed and not gone according to plan, and so there is a sense of loss and grief. Life is infinitely larger and much more complex than any expectation or romantic dreams of happy ever after.



Self-centred/ Selfishness

Self-centred or selfishness is primarily based on being ego self-absorbed, self-indulgent, and self-important, without truly considering others. It is thoughtless, negligent, ungrateful and mean-spirited. At its worst, it is arrogantly and narcissistically indifferent to others and their needs.




Lack of self-respect leading to demeaning ourselves and our abilities, or even our successes. It may also occur in order to seek sympathy from others, or to seek their favour.



Self-doubt is uncertainty, indecision, or vacillation that is usually based on some form of insecurity.



Self-disgust and hatred of our thoughts, actions or body. And therefore believing that shame is our true state beneath any previous facade. See definition of shame.




The belief that we are hopeless and lost, and not making it according to others, or to the rules, or to our dreams and so on.




Arrogance based in fear, which is often communicated through anger.




Purposefully doing something good for another, in order to gain credit, whilst deceitfully manipulating the situation for our own ends.




A loss of self worth, due to an internal or external humiliation. Or because of a regretful consequence, we are seen to be inadequate, tainted, and not up to standard. If fully believed in, we will ultimately become self-rejecting and conclude that we are insignificant, and may want to hide ourselves in some manner.




Believing that we are not good enough or as good as others. We are mentally focusing on our fears, doubts, insecurities, and lack of confidence, which leads us to being inhibited, highly self-consciousness, and unassertive. Furthermore, our standards, or the standards of others may be impossibly high for us




Not wanting to communicate what needs to be communicated because of hurt, fear, obstruction, embarrassment, vulnerability, apathy, or a survival-oriented defensiveness or resistance. In acute situations, time-out may be needed, so that the closed doors of minds and hearts can be allowed to open. With chronic situations, a doorway may need to be created and opened by someone who can be trusted.




This emotion has many similarities to the emotion of Avoidance. Sometimes there can be a tit for tat emotional and behavioural battle for control.




Closed-mindedness and obstinacy, which are often founded upon ignorance.




Often an emotionally based presumption or belief, that a wrong has been committed, rather than believing it to be just one of the options.




The belief that we do not deserve something or someone. That we are deficient and not up to standard.




Is largely the consequence of losing touch with the greater sense of reality, as well as a larger sense of ourselves, because we, or someone or something, has failed to live up to a standard. So we may then withdraw and experience being cut off, isolated, despondent and depressed in our emotional unhappiness. Essentially we have forgotten our true nature’s internally radiant happiness, and have chosen to blindly follow the societal need to focus on external happiness and fulfilment.




Thinking that either another is not desirable enough, or lamenting that we are not desirable enough. True love goes deeper, and beyond features or personality. If we believe that another is not lovable, then from the more compassionate perspective, we are not looking into their deeper nature. Or, if we ourselves are focusing sadly on not being loved, then at that moment we are not focusing on being loving, whereby our liberation and recovery from despair can occur.




The selfish and sometimes self-righteous act of taking advantage, manipulating, exploiting or profiting from another for our own purposes, because we view our own needs to be of greater importance than the needs of another.




Moving inward emotionally, from a perceived threat in order to reduce the possibility of experiencing escalating emotions such as anger, fear, control, blame, resistance, hurt and pain. But it could also be a good time for genuine time-out, in order to reconnect with ourselves, rather than just focus on the pain of emotionally-based withdrawal.




Obsessively thinking and visualising around the scene of a predicted mishap or misfortune, which we have little or no control over. And then fearfully believing that the worst has occurred, or is likely to occur. However, there are many things that we cannot control in our life or in the world. The impotency of the energy of worry, is that it is often wasted on attempting to control that which we cannot, whilst lacking focus upon those things we can.