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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Counterfeit Emotional Language

Counterfeit emotional language is a concept this week that really interested me. This is defined as communication that appears to express one’s feelings but in reality does not describe how the person is feeling. The book used the example of someone shouting “Why can’t you leave me alone!” While it is clear that the person shouting this is feeling something, it is unclear as to if they’re angry at someone, frustrated with a situation, stressed over something, etc. Instead, the person needs to describe how they’re feeling, whether it be angry, frustrated, or stressed, and the reason for that feeling. Another type of counterfeit emotional language that I found applicable to my communication was the phrase “That’s just how I feel”. I find myself saying this a lot when asked why I’m upset or angry. After reading about counterfeit emotional language, I now know that it’s not an acceptable phrase. I use it because I really don’t know why I’m feeling upset or angry but I want to justify the feeling to the other person. Instead, I need to learn how to begin by acknowledging that I’m not sure why I’m feeling upset or angry. Then, I need to slow down so I can understand why I’m feeling the way I am and better communicate that reason.


rompersb said...

Hi Lind$ay,

I had the same post topic. I know how hard it is to say "Because that's just how I feel." and use that kind of counterfeit emotional language. I have a friend who uses counterfeit emotional language too much. I think that it stems from the fact that he hasn't learned how to properly express his feelings and emotions. For a guy, it is even harder because we do not want to look weak or like we have been hurt. While I wrote about my friend who uses counterfeit emotional language, I also find myself using it too. It's important to say what you are thinking and not allow built up anger or frustration get the best of you.

Great post. Thanks for sharing!


lead_succeed said...


Counterfeit emotional language is definitely an interesting topic haha. Countless times I have been in situations where can not figure out what someone is feeling and it really bothers me. They may state a broad phrase that can mean numerous different things, and I do not know what to say or how to react. I believe competency in describing how one feels and their emotions, is key to better communication. This way no one will be utterly confused. I can not really think of a phrase that I use that is confusing in telling what I'm feeling to others, but I completely understand what you are inferring.

Greaaat postt!


jossshhuaa said...


I’m glad you found value in this section of the chapter as well. I really enjoyed this concept and see how integrated counterfeit language is in our everyday use. People, not to mention any genders ☺, constantly use the rationale “that’s just how I feel”. I never know how to respond to that. Additionally, I don’t think I’ll be citing our text in any argument as I know that won’t be very beneficial to my relationships at all. LOL.

However, I’m really glad you were able to identify your use of counterfeit language and how you plan remove it from your vocabulary. I wonder if there is an easy way of attempting to remove it from other vocabulary as well? Hmmmmm….

Anyways, thanks for the post! Until next time!

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