Have you ever worked in English when no one in the room (or in the call) is a native speaker? I have, and it is troublesome. Does the foreign language dumb us down?

I observed video calls held in English, where no one would raise concerns or painfully try and rapidly give up. But as soon as the remote connection would be closed, a lively discussion would ensue in German, presenting all the concerns I would have expected in the first place.

There is a lot of controversy around the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis of linguistic relativity. The depth of your vocabulary may not influence how you see the world, but it affects how well you can express yourself and thus deal with sufficient complexity. Among others, emotions are particularly complex to describe. Even when using our native languages, it is sometimes hard to find the right words to express our feelings.

If you haven't seen the movie "Inside out," it's well worth it. This animated movie brilliantly explores the five basic feelings (Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger) and their combinations (Ecstasy, melancholy, intrigue, surprise, righteousness, despair, self-loathing, anxiety, betrayal, prejudice, revulsion, loathing, terror, hatred & rage). I don't know about you, but I rarely use words like "loathing," "righteousness," or "melancholy."

Here's a very nice overview:

"Emotions Matrix" after the movie "Inside Out"

Today I attended an online conference, where a colleague of mine put the "feeling wheel" on my radar. That's one more source of vocabulary to express my feelings:

"Feeling Wheel", source Wikimedia commons

I would encourage you to explore those two diagrams and refresh your vocabulary with the words you don't know yet or rarely use! I wish you delightful and worthwhile discussions from there on!


Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash