Posted on: November 29, 2022 Posted by: H.J. Rangas Comments: 0
Names for Emotions That Are Hard to Describe
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Don’t you sometimes wish that you have names for emotions that are hard to describe? We are more familiar with the concept of a love language as well as expressing and identifying basic emotions. But there are more complex emotions that are hard to express both physically and verbally. Luckily, we do have words for these complex emotions. So here are some that you can add to your vocabulary.


The emotion that you feel from the frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone, wishing instead that you could just get to know them from their deepest center and then ease into a more casual engagement from there.


A kind of melancholic trance where you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details such as raindrops running down the window pane, a leaf blowing in the wind, the cream swirling in your coffee, and so on.


The nostalgia you feel for a time you’ve never known; you imagine stepping into that time watching everyone going about their lives, while you are breathing the same air as them even as you know that they live in a completely different world.

Catoptric Tristesse

The sadness that you feel because you will never know what other people think of you; if they think you’re good or bad or if they even have a deep impression of you at all. You realize that you will never fully know how other people actually see you.

Dead Reckoning

The emotion for when you find yourself bothered by someone’s passing more that you expected you would be; as if you assumed that they would always be a part of your life’s landscape but their passing makes you feel lost and suddenly adrift in a less familiar landscape.

Ecstatic Shock

The surge of energy that you feel upon catching a glance from someone you like; usually starting from your stomach prompting you to break out into a spontaneous smile.


A moment of awareness that a person you’ve known for so long still has their own private life that you know nothing about. You realize that there is an aspect of them that you have not yet explored, which makes you want to know more about them. At the same time, you wonder if you will ever get to know that part of them so deeply.


The emotion for when you have a relationship or friendship that you thought faded long ago but it suddenly pops up and you can’t quite get it out of your head; and it’s bothersome because you have a knowing that it has the possibility of being rekindled.


The emotion for that moment when you realize that you’re currently happy and you try to savor the feeling but it prompts you to analyze it and contextualize it, so the feeling slowly dissolves until it fades away.


A moment that seemed ordinary at the time but which ends up being the small point that sets in motion the gradual change in your life allows you to move forward seamlessly so that the exact moment is hard to pinpoint when you look back.


The desire to care less about things, to loosen your grip on your life, to be more carefree and playful about everything instead of spending time making sure that everything will go as planned.

Nodus Tollens

The realization that the plot of your life isn’t making sense to you anymore; you thought you we’re following the path you set but you find yourself digressing into other paths that doesn’t make sense, so you review your path only to realize that you were supposed to choose all your adventures all along.


A recurring thought that crops up to bother you usually late at night; like a hawk that flies high overhead during the day and descends to peck your brain at night about an undone task or other worries about the future.

Rigor Samsa

A kind of psychological exoskeleton that protects you from pain as well as contain your anxieties; it always ends up cracking under pressure but it keeps growing back again and again until it develops a stronger, more flexible spine.


The kind of unnoticed excellence that happens and exists around you every day but is not talked about such as the hidden talents of your friends, artists selling their masterpieces on the streets or street performers displaying their talents for some spare change from passersby.

There are more words for complex emotions that we haven’t even thought of describing but these are just some that we all can relate to. Knowing these names to complex emotions will help you understand your emotional flow from moment-to-moment. It also helps you understand how other people may be feeling internally, even if they are not able to put it into words.

Feature Image: Original Photo by Khoa Võ on Pexels.

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