The Wheel of Emotions

Robert Plutchik, with his excellent work on the wheel of emotions, has produced this great diagram. It depicts brilliantly some of the interrelationships among them:

Use the Wheel of Emotions to enrich your emotional vocabulary!

Exercise: Study the wheel of emotions

Spend some time to study the above diagram. Then, try to understand how the emotions interact and interrelate. This will increase dramatically your emotional vocabulary and give you lots of self-awareness!

The eight Basic Emotions

Let’s attempt to understand the basic emotions. These are the primary colors of our mind.

The following eight are considered to be the very basic ones, from which all others are produced:

  • Joy
  • Trust
  • Fear
  • Surprise
  • Sadness
  • Disgust
  • Anger
  • Anticipation

Check which are positive and which are negative ones.

Secondary and tertiary emotions

As specific emotions mix together, new secondary and tertiary emotions emerge:



Building up a robust emotional vocabulary, is crucial in understanding how we feel. When we are aware of the emotions we experience, we are much more capable for controlling them. Self-control is one of the most important Emotional Intelligence skills. It is absolutely essential for the well-being of our mind. Above all, it determines our relationships, family and workplace.

Learning about our emotions leads to better understanding. Moreover, better understanding leads to controlling. Therefore, being aware of the exact emotions we feel, allows us to regulate them. On the other hand, lack of emotional awareness, results in us being manipulated by our feelings.

Negative emotions

Obviously, nobody likes negative emotions. However, they are as important as positive ones. Their purpose is to protect us from danger. And they work well. But, sometimes they overdo it. They send us false alarms. Nevertheless, with time and experience, we learn to filter out and regulate all those emotions that are too sensitive.

It’s ok.. not to be ok!

To sum up, there is a superpower. And we can all have it. It is the ability to feel well, even when we don’t feel well. It might sound counterintuitive, but it is not. Of course, it requires a lot of effort. But, by the moment we start enriching our emotional vocabulary, we are already into the path that leads to self-control and self-regulation.

See also our article on: Learn about how.. you learn!