In a conversation with Nicole Jansen, host of the Leaders of Transformation podcast, we discuss the question of how many feelings there are. She had heard there were around 4,000 feelings. I would say there could be four billion feelings, and more.

You can say there’s an unlimited number of feelings because they are specific to each individual and the particular situation that person is in. One of the best ways we can empathise with another person is to acknowledge their emotions. The names we might give the emotions are approximations for what that person is actually feeling and yet they seem to help when spoken with kindness.

When you acknowledge the other person’s feelings, without judgement, they will likely feel that they are not alone, that you understand them in some way. You don’t need to get the exact correct word, but rather you communicate that you are with them in their distress.

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