It is common for people when they talk about feelings or emotions to think that they are talking about synonyms, but is it the same or do they have differences? People can be more aware of the feelings they have in each moment but they forget the emotions behind them. Emotions are neglected because people are not fully aware of the deep currents that move them within themselves, some even retain them and others hide them.


To understand it better, we are going to give an example. Think of the phrase: “I am proud”, it can have three different meanings:

    • That I am currently proud of something
    • That in general I am proud
  • That I am a proud person

The first example would be an emotional experience or an emotion, the second would be a feeling, and the third would be a personality trait of the person.

It is quite common to confuse these three instances, but above all it is more common to differentiate between feelings and emotions. While the feeling is brief and episodic, an emotion may or may not result from lived experiences, may last for many years, or predispose from a variety of emotional experiences, as well as thoughts, beliefs, desires, and actions. For example, love can give rise not only to loving feelings, but also to joy, pain, anger, longing, jealousy, among many others.

As we have just indicated, it is very common to confuse emotions and feelings . An emotional experience will always generate feelings or physical sensations (“I get angry because I am hungry”, for example). Not all conscious experiences are feelings, for example you can feel an emotion without having a physical sensation (“I feel happy because I have that new friend”, for example).

On the contrary, an emotion, in a certain sense, is latent, it can only be felt, in the strict sense, through the emotional experiences to which it gives rise, although it could also be discovered through thoughts, beliefs, desires and actions associated. Despite these conscious and unconscious. In manifestations, emotions do not need to be conscious, and some emotions, such as hating a mother or being in love with your best friend, can only be discovered after a lot of internal work.

Unconscious emotions

Emotions can be unconscious in a person but that affects their daily life and their feelings in general. Normally when there is an unconscious emotion, it usually occurs due to repression or not wanting to realize the reality of their emotions, not accepting it.

Of course, self-deception can also occur at the level of an emotional experience if it is not acceptable or tolerable, for example, by wrongly attributing the type or intensity of the emotional experience, or by wrongly attributing its object or cause.

Therefore, envy is often interpreted as outrage and the opposite would be the pleasure derived from the misfortune of others … The fear of ghosts or the dark is almost certainly the fear of death unconsciously, since that people who live without such fears will have no trouble in the dark. Even the most basic emotions like happiness can be misleading to the extent that they have too much weight on the experience or on some things. For example, a person who thinks he is happier because he has a bigger house does not know exactly what happiness means. In that sense, emotions are not objective or neutral perceptions, but subjective “ways of seeing” that reflect human needs and concerns.

In conclusion

Therefore, emotions are integrated into the human being and feelings arise based on those emotions and lived experiences. Feelings are more fleeting and emotions remain ingrained for longer within people .

It is essential to know and name the emotions that are felt in order to understand ourselves better and be able to act in life accordingly and find emotional well-being. Feelings have more to do with the temperament and personality (in addition to the experiences) of the person.

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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