Lists of Needs and Feelings

“At the core of all anger is a need that is not being fulfilled.” – Marshall Rosenburg

On this Page:

The purpose of this page is simple, and the task it serves is difficult: understanding feeling and needs.

Colloquially, blame and judgement is easily confused with how someone is feeling, and the unmet need creating that feeling. Compassionate Communication (Nonviolent Communication, or, NVC) is the practice of understanding oneself and others more effectively by separating and identifying Objective Observations, Feelings, Needs.

This page will give you insight on the human experience. Study it, and your need literacy will improve. That is, you will more easily and accurately be able to identify feelings and needs by having their words in your lexicon.

Feelings

Remember to be extra wary of ‘Faux Feelings‘ which are thoughts, often containing judgments, masquerading as feelings.

Feelings associated with met needs.

AFFECTIONATE
compassionate
friendly
loving
open hearted
sympathetic
tender
warm

CONFIDENT
empowered
open
proud
safe
secure

ENGAGED
absorbed
alert
curious
engrossed
enchanted
entranced
fascinated
interested
intrigued
involved
spellbound

INSPIRED
amazed
awed
wonder

EXCITED
amazed
animated
ardent
aroused
astonished
dazzled
eager
energetic
enthusiastic
giddy
invigorated
lively
passionate
surprised
vibrant

EXHILARATED
blissful
ecstatic
elated
enthralled
exuberant
radiant
rapturous
thrilled

GRATEFUL
appreciative
moved
thankful
touched

HOPEFUL
expectant
encouraged
optimistic

JOYFUL
amused
delighted
glad
happy
jubilant
pleased

PEACEFUL
calm
clear headed
comfortable
centered
content
equanimous
fulfilled
mellow
quiet
relaxed
relieved
satisfied
serene
still
tranquil
trusting

REFRESHED
enlivened
rejuvenated
renewed
rested
restored
revived

Feelings associated with unmet needs.

AFRAID
apprehensive
dread
foreboding
frightened
panicked
petrified
scared
suspicious
terrified
wary
worried
anxious
tense

ANNOYED
aggravated
dismayed
disgruntled
displeased
exasperated
frustrated
impatient
irritated
cranky

ANGRY
enraged
furious
incensed
indignant
irate
livid
outraged
resentful

CONFUSED
ambivalent
baffled
bewildered
dazed
hesitant
lost
mystified
perplexed
puzzled
torn

EMBARRASSED
ashamed
chagrined
flustered
mortified
self-conscious

AVERSION
animosity
appalled
contempt
disgusted
dislike
hate
horrified
hostile
repulsed

DISCONNECTED
alienated
aloof
apathetic
bored
cold
detached
distant
distracted
indifferent
numb
removed
uninterested
withdrawn

YEARNING
envious
jealous
longing
nostalgic
pining
wistful

DISQUIET
agitated
alarmed
discombobulated
disconcerted
disturbed
distressed
perturbed
rattled
edgy
restless
shocked
startled
surprised
troubled
uncomfortable
uneasy
unsettled
upset

FATIGUE
beat
burnt out
depleted
exhausted
lethargic
listless
sleepy
tired
weary
worn out

PAIN
agony
anguished
bereaved
devastated
grief
heartbroken
hurt
lonely
miserable
regret

SAD
hopeless
depressed
dejected
despair
despondent
disappointed
discouraged
disheartened
forlorn
gloomy
heavy hearted
hopeless
unhappy

VULNERABLE
fragile
guarded
helpless
insecure
leery
reserved
sensitive
shaky

The Plutchik Emotion Wheel

This can be a helpful tool for understanding feelings AND how they are interrelated.

A renowned researcher of emotions, an American psychologist named Dr. Robert Plutchik, theorized the existence of eight core emotions that serve as the foundation for all others: joy, sadness, acceptance, disgust, fear, anger, surprise and anticipation.
In the wheel below notice that opposite core feelings are opposite on the wheel: Joy and Sadness, Acceptance and Disgust, Fear and Anger, Surprise and Anticipation.
For more on the Plutchik Wheel, its history, and how to use it, click here.

Needs

Like our feelings list, this does not detail every need a living human can feel. With that said, it is a helpful inventory of human needs.

CONNECTION

acceptance
affection
appreciation
belonging
cooperation
communication
closeness
community
companionship
compassion
consideration
consistency
empathy
inclusion
intimacy
love
mutuality
nurturing
respect/self-respect

CONNECTION cont’d
safety
security
stability
support
to know and be known
to see and be seen
to understand and
be understood
trust
warmth

PHYSICAL WELL-BEING
air
food
movement/exercise
rest/sleep
sexual expression
safety
shelter
touch
water

HONESTY
authenticity
integrity
presence

PLAY
joy
humor

PEACE
beauty
communion
ease
equality
harmony
inspiration
order

AUTONOMY
choice
freedom
independence
space
spontaneity

MEANING
awareness
celebration of life
challenge
clarity
competence
consciousness
contribution
creativity
discovery
efficacy
effectiveness
growth
hope
learning
mourning
participation
purpose
self-expression
stimulation
to matter
understanding